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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Cleveland Firefighters v. City of Cleveland EE-OH-0108
Docket / Court 1:00-cv-00301 ( N.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
On February 1, 2000 a group of white firefighters filed suit against the City of Cleveland in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The suit stemmed from consent decrees from the 1970s that were entered into as part of a settlement of a suit (Headen v. City of ... read more >
On February 1, 2000 a group of white firefighters filed suit against the City of Cleveland in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The suit stemmed from consent decrees from the 1970s that were entered into as part of a settlement of a suit (Headen v. City of Cleveland) brought by black applicants to the fire department who alleged that the testing and hiring procedures discriminated against minority candidates. The relevant portion of the consent decree provided that a fair test be produced and that the ratio of minority hires be equal to the ratio of minorities who passed the test until the proportion of minority firefighters was roughly equal to the percentage of minority population in Cleveland.

The group of white firefighters, organized as Cleveland Firefighters for Fair Hiring Practices (CFFHP), claimed that these consent decrees discriminated against white firefighters in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VII. Vanguards of Cleveland, a group organized to increase the number of minority firefighters and a party to the original suit, intervened as a third party plaintiff and defended the consent decrees and argued that Cleveland still engaged in discriminatory hiring practices. The City of Cleveland, which had filed a motion to stay the execution of the consent decree, defended the city's current hiring practices.

The city's motion to stay execution of the consent decree was denied and the parties thereafter entered into a modified consent decree approved by the court (Judge John M. Manos) on September 29, 2000. It provided that the original consent decree was to remain in effect until one third of the city's firefighters were minorities or the city had hired from three eligible lists, whichever occurred first. It also provided that the parties would negotiate new recruitment and training goals to increase the number of minority hires.

On September 26, 2008 the city filed a motion for an extension of time to comply with the consent decree on the grounds that reductions in the number of firefighters had prevented it from complying. Vanguards filed a motion to extend the terms of the consent decree on September 29, 2008. CFFHP opposed both motions and argued that the consent decree should be allowed to expire as contemplated in 2000. On August 20, 2009 the court (Judge Donald C. Nugent) denied the motions of the city and Vanguards, terminated the consent decree, and closed the case. On September 18, 2009 Vanguards appealed this decision to the Sixth Circuit. Oral arguments were held on March 10, 2011 and as of May 11, 2011 no decision has been issued.

Michael Perry - 05/12/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Utilize objective hiring/promotion criteria
Defendant-type
Fire
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Testing
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
White
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) City of Cleveland
Plaintiff Description A group of white firefighters.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:00−cv−00301 (N.D. Ohio) 01/11/2010
EE-OH-0108-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
09-4208 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 03/10/2011
EE-OH-0108-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Second Amended Consent Decree 09/29/2000
EE-OH-0108-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Extend the Terms of the Second Amended Consent Decree 09/29/2008
EE-OH-0108-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Supplemental Memorandum of Law in Support of the Motions to Extend the Consent Decree 05/27/2009
EE-OH-0108-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Vanguards' Post-hearing Memorandum of Law in Support of the Parties' Motion to Extend Paragraph One of the Consent Decree with attached Stipulated Order 06/08/2009
EE-OH-0108-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Cleveland Firefighters for Fair Hiring Practices' Post-hearing Memorandum (including attached previous stipulated order) 06/11/2009
EE-OH-0108-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order 08/20/2009 (2009 WL 2602366) (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Gaughan, Patricia Anne (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000
Manos, John Michael (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002 | EE-OH-0108-9000
Nugent, Donald C. (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0001 | EE-OH-0108-0006 | EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Streepy, Jack B. (N.D. Ohio) [Magistrate]
EE-OH-0108-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bashein, W. Craig (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002 | EE-OH-0108-9000
Bryan, Bradric T. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0004 | EE-OH-0108-0006 | EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Diemert, Joseph (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000
Fleming, Andrew P. (New York)
EE-OH-0108-9001
Flowers, Paul W. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000
Goodwin, Elizabeth A. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000
Hanculak, Thomas M. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Meador, Garnett R. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002 | EE-OH-0108-9000
Powell, Daniel A. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Brady, Matthew T. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000
Carr, Pinkey S. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002
Carter, Cornell P. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002 | EE-OH-0108-9000
Chandra, Subodh (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000
Duvin, Robert Philip (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002 | EE-OH-0108-9000
Gibbons, Kevin (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0004 | EE-OH-0108-0006 | EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Kordeleski, Kathleen M. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000
Monegan, Theodora (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002 | EE-OH-0108-9000
Schaltenbrand, Eric J. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000
Schwartz, Kenneth D. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002 | EE-OH-0108-9000
Wolff, Robert M. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002 | EE-OH-0108-9000
Other Lawyers Stege, Edward R. Jr. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002 | EE-OH-0108-0003 | EE-OH-0108-0004 | EE-OH-0108-0005 | EE-OH-0108-0006 | EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001

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