HENDRICK v. TOWN OF SUMMITVILLE, INDIANA
ENTRY ON MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT - For the foregoing reasons, Defendant Town of Summitville, Indiana's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (Filing No. 9 ) is GRANTED. Counts II and III of the Complaint are dismissed with prejudice. Count I of the Complaint remains pending for trial. **SEE ORDER** Signed by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on 9/22/2016. (JLS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
TOWN OF SUMMITVILLE, INDIANA,
Case No. 1:15-cv-00748-TWP-DKL
ENTRY ON MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT
This matter is before the Court on a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment filed pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 by Defendant Town of Summitville, Indiana
(“Summitville”) (Filing No. 9). After his employment with Summitville ended following nearly
twenty-eight years of service as the Town Marshal, Plaintiff Anthony Hendrick (“Hendrick”) sued
Summitville in state court for unpaid wages under the Indiana Minimum Wage Law (“IMWL”),
Indiana Code § 22-2-2 et seq. The state court entered summary judgment in favor of Summitville
and dismissed the case without prejudice. Hendrick then filed this case, asserting the same IMWL
claims as well as a claim for unpaid wages under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”),
29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. Summitville moved for summary judgment on the two state law claims
on the bases of collateral estoppel and that Summitville is not an “employer” under the IMWL,
making that statute inapplicable. For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS Summitville’s
Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.
The following material facts are not necessarily objectively true; but, as required by Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 56, the facts are presented in the light most favorable to Hendrick as the
non-moving party. See Zerante v. DeLuca, 555 F.3d 582, 584 (7th Cir. 2009); Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). Additionally, as Hendrick explains, “Hendrick does not
dispute any of the facts set forth by Defendant in its Statement of Undisputed Material Facts
[Docket Entry No. 11, pgs. 6-7] for purposes of the pending Motion.” (Filing No. 12 at 2.)
Summitville is an Indiana political subdivision. Hendrick was employed by Summitville
as its Town Marshal for almost twenty-eight years. As Summitville’s Town Marshal, he was the
only individual employed by Summitville who engaged in law enforcement activities prior to May
11, 2012, and up until he was injured and went on workers’ compensation on October 29, 2013.
Hendrick remained on workers’ compensation until March 25, 2014. On March 28, 2014, he
submitted his letter of resignation as Summitville’s Town Marshal. His resignation became
effective on April 30, 2014. Hendrick received his final paycheck on that date. (Filing No. 11 at
6.) During the final three years of his tenure as Town Marshal, Hendrick regularly worked between
130 and 140 hours per week and was paid a gross salary of approximately $759.00 per week.
(Filing No. 12-1 at 1.)
Due to Hendrick’s injury and subsequent resignation as Summitville’s Town Marshal, from
December 23, 2013, through July 24, 2014, Summitville employed J.C. Cook to serve as interim
Town Marshal. J.C. Cook received his last paycheck on August 7, 2015. At no time was Hendrick
ever responsible for overseeing J.C. Cook. In addition to the employment of Hendrick and J.C.
Cook, Summitville employed a street and sewage commissioner and a town clerk on a full-time
basis, a town clerk’s assistant on a part-time basis, and two street and sewage department
employees on a part-time basis. (Filing No. 11 at 6–7.)
Hendrick previously brought IMWL state law claims against Summitville in Madison
Circuit Court No. 6 under Cause No. 48C06-1410-PL-000133. On April 8, 2015, the state court
entered summary judgment in favor of Summitville and against Hendrick on the IMWL state law
claims and dismissed Hendrick’s complaint without prejudice. (Filing No. 10-2.) Hendrick never
appealed the state court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of Summitville and against
Hendrick. (Filing No. 11 at 7.)
On May 11, 2015, Hendrick filed his Complaint in this case, asserting a claim for failure
to pay minimum wages and a claim for failure to pay overtime wages under the IMWL. He also
asserted a claim for failure to pay minimum wages under the federal FLSA. (Filing No. 1 at 3.)
In his Complaint, Hendrick alleged that Summitville “is an ‘employer’ within the meaning of the
FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 203(d) and (x), and as that term is defined by Indiana Code § 22-2-2-3.” (Id.
at 1.) On May 27, 2015, Summitville filed its Answer and admitted that it is an “employer” within
the meaning of the FLSA but denied that it is an “employer” within the meaning of the IMWL.
(Filing No. 7 at 1.)
On October 30, 2015, Summitville moved for partial summary judgment on Counts II and
III of the Complaint (the two IMWL state law claims), asserting that the claims should be
dismissed because of collateral estoppel and because Summitville is not an “employer” under the
IMWL, making that statute inapplicable.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 provides that summary judgment is appropriate if “the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving
party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Hemsworth v. Quotesmith.com, Inc., 476 F.3d
487, 489–90 (7th Cir. 2007). In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court reviews “the
record in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw[s] all reasonable inferences
in that party’s favor.” Zerante, 555 F.3d at 584 (citation omitted). “However, inferences that are
supported by only speculation or conjecture will not defeat a summary judgment motion.” Dorsey
v. Morgan Stanley, 507 F.3d 624, 627 (7th Cir. 2007) (citation and quotation marks omitted).
Additionally, “[a] party who bears the burden of proof on a particular issue may not rest on its
pleadings, but must affirmatively demonstrate, by specific factual allegations, that there is a
genuine issue of material fact that requires trial.” Hemsworth, 476 F.3d at 490 (citation omitted).
“The opposing party cannot meet this burden with conclusory statements or speculation but only
with appropriate citations to relevant admissible evidence.” Sink v. Knox County Hosp., 900 F.
Supp. 1065, 1072 (S.D. Ind. 1995) (citations omitted).
“In much the same way that a court is not required to scour the record in search of evidence
to defeat a motion for summary judgment, nor is it permitted to conduct a paper trial on the merits
of [the] claim.” Ritchie v. Glidden Co., 242 F.3d 713, 723 (7th Cir. 2001) (citations and quotation
marks omitted). “[N]either the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties
nor the existence of some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts is sufficient to defeat a motion
for summary judgment.” Chiaramonte v. Fashion Bed Grp., Inc., 129 F.3d 391, 395 (7th Cir.
1997) (citations and quotation marks omitted).
In seeking summary judgment, Summitville first asserts that Hendrick is collaterally
estopped from pursuing his two IMWL claims because those state law claims were previously
adjudicated in the Madison Circuit Court, and the Court should give full faith and credit to the
state court’s order granting summary judgment to Summitville and dismissing Hendrick’s state
law claims. Summitville also asserts that it is entitled to summary judgment in this case because
it is not an “employer” as that term is defined in the IMWL at Indiana Code § 22-2-2-3. Thus,
Summitville cannot be held liable under the IMWL because it falls entirely outside the scope of
that state statute. In granting Summitville’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, the Court
focuses its analysis and decision on this second argument for summary judgment.
In responding to the summary judgment motion, Hendrick advances arguments of
preemption, pleading in the alternative, and statute of limitations. At the core of each of these
arguments is Hendrick’s rationale that, if his FLSA claim fails, then his state law IMWL claims
should be viable because those claims would provide the only other possible relief. Hendrick
asserts that, if he cannot ultimately prevail on his FLSA claim, then the FLSA does not apply and
his state law IMWL claims should proceed.
In support of its summary judgment motion, Summitville explains that,
When enacting the IMWL, as part of the IMWL, the Indiana Legislature made it a
requirement, and it remains a requirement to this day, that an employer must meet
the definition of “employer” as set forth in Ind. Code § 22-2-2-3 in order to be
subject to any of the provisions of the IMWL, including the overtime pay provisions
found at Ind. Code § 22-2-2-4(k). Ind. Code 22-2-2 et seq. Moreover, the Indiana
Legislature makes it clear in Ind. Code § 22-2-2-3 that an employer need only be
subject to the minimum wage provisions, and not the overtime pay provisions, of
the FLSA in order to be excluded from such definition of “employer” applicable to
the IMWL. Ind. Code § 22-2-2-3.
(Filing No. 13 at 11) (emphasis in original).
The Indiana General Assembly defined “employer” for purposes of the IMWL in this way:
“Employer” means any individual, partnership, association, limited liability
company, corporation, business trust, the state, or other governmental agency or
political subdivision during any work week in which they have two (2) or more
employees. However, it shall not include any employer who is subject to the
minimum wage provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as
amended (29 U.S.C. 201-209).
Ind. Code § 22-2-2-3.
This statutory definition does not use the phrase “subject to the minimum wage and
overtime provisions” of the FLSA. It also does not use the phrase “subject to the minimum wage
or overtime provisions” of the FLSA. This definition of “employer” excludes an employer on the
basis of being “subject to the minimum wage provisions” of the FLSA.
Furthermore, the statutory definition does not include or exclude an employer on the basis
of whether the employee might ultimately prevail on the merits of his FLSA claim. It also does
not include or exclude an employer on the basis of whether the employee’s IMWL state law claims
fall outside the statute of limitations for FLSA claims but within the statute of limitations for
The statutory definition the Indiana General Assembly chose to use when it enacted the
IMWL specifically excluded “any employer who is subject to the minimum wage provisions of
the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.” Ind. Code § 22-2-2-3. Therefore, to determine whether
Summitville is excluded from the IMWL because of the statutory definition, and therefore, whether
the IMWL claims can survive the summary judgment motion, the Court must determine whether
Summitville is subject to the minimum wage provisions of the FLSA. The Court notes that its
analysis and decision is not based on the legal principle of federal preemption. It is based simply
on the statutory definition in the IMWL and the statute’s inapplicability.
An employer under the FLSA “includes any person acting directly or indirectly in the
interest of an employer in relation to an employee and includes a public agency,” and a “‘[p]ublic
agency’ means the Government of the United States; the government of a State or political
subdivision thereof; any agency of the United States . . . , a State, or a political subdivision of a
State; or any interstate governmental agency.” 29 U.S.C. § 203(d), (x). The minimum wage
provisions of the FLSA, found at 29 U.S.C. § 206, are applicable to Summitville as a public agency
that employed Hendrick as its town marshal because none of the exemptions apply to Summitville.
See 29 U.S.C. § 213(a) and (b)(20) (exempting Summitville from “overtime” provisions but not
from minimum wage provisions). Because Summitville is subject to the FLSA minimum wage
provisions, it is not an employer for purposes of the IMWL. Therefore, the IMWL does not apply
to Summitville, and Hendrick’s claims under the IMWL must fail.
Hendrick pled in his Complaint that Summitville is an employer within the meaning of the
FLSA, and Summitville admitted to this allegation. Hendrick also pled in his Complaint that Count
I, the FLSA claim, was brought pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 206, the minimum wage provisions of the
FLSA. These allegations further support the Court’s determination that Summitville is not an
employer under the IMWL because the definition explicitly excludes employers subject to the
minimum wage provisions of the FLSA.
For the foregoing reasons, Defendant Town of Summitville, Indiana’s Motion for Partial
Summary Judgment (Filing No. 9) is GRANTED. Counts II and III of the Complaint are
dismissed with prejudice. Count I of the Complaint remains pending for trial.
Thomas Maurice Beeman
Alex Maurice Beeman
Andrew G. Jones
LAW OFFICE OF ANDREW G. JONES
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