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Raven Trautman v. Nez Perce County Sheriff's Office

May 25, 2011

RAVEN TRAUTMAN,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
NEZ PERCE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: U. S. District Judge Honorable Edward J. Lodge

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Pending before the Court in the above-entitled matter is Defendant Nez Perce County Sheriff's Office's motion for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 8) filed on April 1, 2011. Plaintiff's counsel was served with the motion and her response was due by April 25, 2011. As of the morning of May 24, 2011, no response has been filed by Plaintiff.

The Local Rules of Civil Practice before the United States District Court for the District of Idaho provide in relevant part:

The responding party must serve and file a response brief . . . . The responding parties must serve and file with the response brief any affidavits, copies of all photographs, and documentary evidence on which the responding party intends to rely.

D. Id. L. Civ. R. 7.1(c)(1)(emphasis added).

Failure to file a response may be deemed to constitute consent to the granting of the pending motion. D. Id. L. Civ. R. 7.1(e). Pursuant to United States v. Real Property Located at Incline Village, 47 F.3d 1511, 1520 (9th Cir. 1995) default summary judgment is proper unless movant's paper are insufficient to support the motion or on their face the movant's papers reveal a genuine issue of material fact. See also Marshall v. Gates, 44 F.3d 722, 725 (9th Cir. 1995) (summary judgment may not be granted simply because opposing party violated a local rule, if movant did not meet burden of demonstrating absence of genuine issue for trial). Accordingly, the Court will evaluate the motion for summary judgment on the merits.

Having fully reviewed the record, the Court finds that the facts and legal arguments are adequately presented in the briefs and record. Accordingly, in the interest of avoiding further delay, and because the Court conclusively finds that the decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral argument, this matter shall be decided on the record before this Court without oral argument.

Background

Plaintiff Raven Trautman ("Trautman") was hired by the Nez Perce County Sheriff's Office ("Sheriff's Office") as a dispatcher on January 14, 2008. Pursuant to the Nez Perce County's ("County") Personnel Policy, Trautman was on probationary status for one year from her start of employment with the Sheriff's Office and could be "dismissed without cause and at the discretion of the supervising Elected Official or Department Head." Section IIB. of Personnel Policy.

The Dispatch Supervisor, Kerry Reagan, received numerous complaints regarding Trautman's performance and interpersonal skills with co-workers. On November 15, 2008, Trautman threw a file at another dispatcher. A written complaint was filed with Ms. Reagan. Ms. Reagan discussed the complaint and other performance issues with Lt. Paul McNish. It was determined that Trautman's employment would be terminated and she was notified of her termination on November 18, 2008.

Trautman raises three claims in her Complaint. She claims her 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights were violated when she alleges the County deprived her of her property and liberty interests without due process; the County breached her employment contract by tortiously and wrongfully discharging her without cause; the County tortiously and wrongfully interfered with her employment contract. Trautman makes unspecified factual allegations regarding sexual discrimination and infliction of emotional distress, but these are not listed as separate causes of action in her Complaint.

It is undisputed that Trautman did not file a claim of sexual discrimination with the Idaho Human Rights Commission or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EECO") prior to filing her Complaint.

Standard of Review

Motions for summary judgment are governed by Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 56 provides, in pertinent part, that judgment "shall be rendered forthwith 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 ...


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