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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 this lawsuit against the City of Cleveland in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The suit stemmed from a 1970s consent decrees that settled Headen v. City of Cleveland, a case brought by black applicants to the ... read more >
On February 1, 2000, a group of white firefighters filed this lawsuit against the City of Cleveland in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The suit stemmed from a 1970s consent decrees that settled Headen v. City of Cleveland, a case 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 defending the consent decrees and arguing 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 after finding that the decree had already been in effect long enough. 2009 WL 2602366.

On September 18, 2009, Vanguards appealed this decision to the Sixth Circuit. Oral arguments were held on March 10, 2011, and on January 27, 2012, the sixth Circuit vacated the district court’s decision. The Court of Appeals held that the district court had answered the wrong question in refusing to extend the consent decree for additional years. The District Court had considered whether the provisions continued to be necessary. Instead, according to the Sixth Circuit, the appropriate question was whether "the decree's racial classifications continue to remedy past discrimination by the City's Fire Department." Because the District Court did not make specific finds of fact as to the appropriate question, the case was remanded. 669 F.3d 737.

Hearing was held on December 26, 2012 before Judge Donald C. Nugent, and on January 8, 2013, the court (Judge Donald C. Nugent) issued an order that found the amended consent decree no longer necessary to advance the goals of that decree, that the City substantially complied with all enforceable terms of the decree, and that race-based provisions were no longer needed to address past discrimination and were consequently unconstitutional. The case is now closed

Michael Perry - 05/12/2011
MJ Koo - 03/12/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
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 Impact
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
White
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) City of Cleveland
Plaintiff Description A group of white firefighters.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se 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
Filing Year 2000
Case Closing Year 2013
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:00−cv−00301 (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/08/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
09-4208 (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/08/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Second Amended Consent Decree [ECF# 45-1]
EE-OH-0108-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/29/2000
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Extend the Terms of the Second Amended Consent Decree [ECF# 45]
EE-OH-0108-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/29/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Supplemental Memorandum of Law in Support of the Motions to Extend the Consent Decree [ECF# 60]
EE-OH-0108-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/27/2009
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 [ECF# 63]
EE-OH-0108-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/08/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Cleveland Firefighters for Fair Hiring Practices' Post-hearing Memorandum (including attached previous stipulated order) [ECF# 64]
EE-OH-0108-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/11/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 72] (2009 WL 2602366) (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 08/20/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals Opinion
EE-OH-0108-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/27/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion Re City's Motion for Extension of Time to Extend the Terms of Second Amended Consent Decree, Vanguard's Renewed Motion to Extend [ECF# 101] (917 F.Supp.2d 668) (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/08/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Gaughan, Patricia Anne (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000
Keith, Damon Jerome (Sixth Circuit, E.D. Mich.)
EE-OH-0108-0008
Kethledge, Raymond M. (Sixth Circuit)
EE-OH-0108-0008
Manos, John Michael (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002 | EE-OH-0108-9000
McKeague, David William (Sixth Circuit, W.D. Mich.)
EE-OH-0108-0008
Nugent, Donald C. (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0001 | EE-OH-0108-0006 | EE-OH-0108-0007 | EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Streepy, Jack B. (N.D. Ohio) [Magistrate]
EE-OH-0108-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bashein, W. Craig (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002 | EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001 | EE-OH-0108-9001
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 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Fleming, Andrew P. (New York)
EE-OH-0108-9001
Flowers, Paul W. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Goodwin, Elizabeth A. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Hanculak, Thomas M. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Meador, Garnett R. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002 | EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Powell, Daniel A. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Brady, Matthew T. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Carr, Pinkey S. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002
Carter, Cornell P. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002 | EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Chandra, Subodh (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Duvin, Robert Philip (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002 | EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001
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 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Menzalora, William (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9001
Monegan, Theodora (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002 | EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Schaltenbrand, Eric J. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Schwartz, Kenneth D. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002 | EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Wolff, Robert M. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-0002 | EE-OH-0108-9000 | EE-OH-0108-9001
Other Lawyers Durchslag, Melvyn R. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0108-9001
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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