DANIELS v. AMERICAN POSTAL WORKER UNION No. 01 C 1759.
167 F.Supp.2d 999 (2001)
Janice L. PIERCE DANIELS, Plaintiff, v. AMERICAN POSTAL WORKER UNION, Herby Weathers, Jr., Local President, Samuel Anderson, St. Clair Derby, and John Hall, Defendants.
United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division.
October 5, 2001.
Stanley Eisenstein, Edward John Burke, Katz, Friedman, Schur & Eagle, Chtd., Chicago, IL, for defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
BUCKLO, District Judge.
Janice L. Pierce Daniels is a Black woman who worked for the United States Postal Service in Chicago, Illinois. She was hired in 1977 to work as a "LSM.ZTM Operator" at the West Van Buren Street facility. She was injured in 1978, and was unable to continue in that position. In 1981, she was reassigned to be a Distribution Clerk. Later in 1981 and 1982, she had "bid assignments" to the position of Clerk Steno. That job was abolished in March 1994, and Ms. Daniels was reassigned to the position of a Distribution Clerk at the USPS Roseland Station, Chicago. She was represented by the American Postal Worker Union (the "APWU") from 1985 through 1987, and again since 1997. The other defendants are or appear to be employees or individual representatives of the APWU.
Arguing pro se, Ms. Daniels claims to have suffered unspecified instances of race, sex, and disability discrimination, and retaliation from about 1984 (as stated in her EEOC complaint attached to her complaint) to about March 1987 (the cutoff date stated in her complaint). She does not give any details about these acts of discrimination or retaliation in her complaint or the material she attaches. In addition, Ms. Daniels also argues that the defendants committed various breaches of the union contract in failing to process grievances for arbitration, telling her lies, and refusing to give her information. She argues that the defendants violated their duty of fair representation under section 10(b) of the Labor Management Relations Act ("LMRA"), 29 U.S.C. § 160, triggering section 301 of the LMRA, 29 U.S.C. § 185, which permits a union employee to sue her employer for the violation of collective bargaining agreements. She also argues that the defendants committed unfair labor practices in violation of section 8(b)(1)(A) of the LMRA, and that defendant St. Clair Darby in particular committed a crime in making false statements to the government in June or July 1998. She asks for $1 million in punitive and compensatory damages. The defendants move to dismiss Ms. Daniel's complaint for failure to state a claim, essentially because the statute of limitations has run on those of her claims that I could hear. I grant the motion, terminating this case.
I grant a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim only if it appears beyond a doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of her claim which would entitle her to relief. Conley v. Gibson,
Ms. Daniels' claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., are barred by the statute of limitations.
Ms. Daniels invokes the continuing violation doctrine, under which conduct that falls outside the limitations period is actionable if it is linked with related acts that fall within the period. Selan v. Kiley,
Ms. Daniels argues that the limitations period should be suspended under the doctrine of equitable tolling, which applies, first, "when the prospective plaintiff simply does not have and cannot with due diligence obtain information essential to bringing a suit," Anderson v. Bd. of Regents of Univ. of Wisc. Sys.,
Ms. Daniels also sues under section 301 of LMRA for a breach of the duty of fair representation ("DFR"). Here the six month limitations period of the LMRA applies. Johnson v. Graphic Communics. Int'l Union,
Ms. Daniels' DFR complaints, as far as I can tell from her complaint, concern grievances relating to the abolition of her previous position and her reassignment through the bid process, and were based on events that occurred up through 1994. The complaint in this case and the material she appends to it also shows that she has filed a number of charges with the NLRB alleging a breach of the union's duty of fair representation, including in 1995, 1998, 1999, and 2000. These have apparently been dismissed by the NLRB, including case No. 13-CB-15765 (dismissed October 1998), and case No. 13-CB-16099-1 (dismissed February 10, 2000). This lawsuit was filed in March 2001, well beyond the six month limitations period. In her response, Ms. Daniels says that she has filed NLRB complaints as recently as June 18, 2001 (dismissed August 9, 2001), but I may only consider the allegations in her complaint, that is, as of March 2001.
Ms. Daniels argues that equitable estoppel should apply because the APWU and its representatives lied to her made her believe that they were pursuing her grievances. But "a pro se complainant can plead h[er]self out of court by pleading facts that undermine the allegations set forth in h[er] complaint." Henderson v. Sheahan,
Ms. Daniels lacks standing to sue St. Clair Darby for making false statements to the government under 18 U.S.C. § 1001. Nothing in that criminal statute provides for a private right of action or provides civil remedies for a private person affected by any such statements. Only the government may prosecute a defendant for this crime. In addition, I have no jurisdiction over Ms. Daniels' claims that the defendants committed unfair labor practices in violation of section 8(b)(1)(A) of the LMRA, insofar as these claims may differ from her DFR charges. United States v. Palumbo Bros., Inc.,
The APWU's motion to dismiss is GRANTED. For the same reasons, so is that of all the individual defendants. This case is terminated.
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