Ardito v. City of Providence

Ardito v. City of Providence - DEREK A. ARDITO, et al. v....

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DEREK A. ARDITO, et al. v. CITY OF PROVIDENCE, et al. C.A. No. 03-155T UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF RHODE ISLAND 263 F. Supp. 2d 358; 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8858; 19 I.E.R. Cas. (BNA) 1838 May 27, 2003, Decided Introduction The plaintiffs are fourteen individuals who have applied for positions as Providence police officers and were selected to attend the 61st Providence Police Academy, successful completion of which is a prerequisite to being hired. The plaintiffs brought this action to enjoin city officials from, now, excluding them from the Academy and replacing them with other applicants chosen on the basis of changed [**2] selection criteria. The matter is before the Court for consideration of the plaintiffs' application for a preliminary injunction pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(a) . For the reasons hereinafter stated, the plaintiffs' application is granted and the defendants will be preliminarily enjoined from conducting the 61st Providence Police Academy unless the plaintiffs are included. Facts After observing the witnesses who testified during a four-day hearing and reviewing the exhibits, this Court finds the relevant facts to be as follows. Sometime in 2001, the City of Providence (all defendants collectively referred to as "the City") decided to begin hiring officers to fill existing vacancies in its Police Department ("the Department") and additional vacancies that the City expected would result from anticipated retirements. Only individuals who graduate from a training academy conducted by the City are eligible to become Providence police officers. Accordingly, the City decided to conduct two consecutive training academies, the 60th and 61st Police Academies. The size of each Academy is based on the number of vacancies that the City expects will need to be filled. The size of [**3] previous Academies has ranged from as few as four applicants to as many as fifty-eight. Originally, the 60th and 61st Academies were each to consist of fifty applicants; but, because Academy personnel complained that a school of fifty was too large, the number to be admitted to the 61st Academy was reduced to forty. In order to be admitted to the Academy, an applicant must pass a series of tests and be deemed qualified by members of the Department who interview the applicant. Applicants are provided with a booklet describing the selection process and they complete an
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application form in which they acknowledge that although they may successfully complete all phases of the evaluation process and may be deemed qualified, they are not guaranteed acceptance into the Academy. The selection criteria have varied slightly from academy to academy; but, generally, the process includes a physical agility test, a written examination, a background check and one or more interviews. The applicants deemed the most qualified, then, are tentatively selected to fill available slots in the Academy. At that point, a letter is sent informing those applicants that they have been selected to attend the Academy [**4] provided that they
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Ardito v. City of Providence - DEREK A. ARDITO, et al. v....

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