United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER RE: MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT (DKT. 18)
Honorable Candy W. Dale United States Magistrate Judge.
Jimmy Dale Martin, an inmate in the custody of the Idaho
Department of Correction, is proceeding pro se in this civil
rights action against one of the Oneida County Sheriff's
deputies, Sergeant Doug Williams. Pending before the Court is
Sgt. Williams's Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 18),
seeking judgment as a matter of law on all claims asserted by
Martin. All parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a
United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(c). (Dkt. 14.)
interest of avoiding delay, and because the Court
conclusively finds the decisional process would not be
significantly aided by oral argument, the pending motion will
be decided on the record. For the reasons that follow, the
Court concludes there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and that Sgt. Williams is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law.
a.m. on November 6, 2014, Sgt. Williams, received a telephone
call from Justin Schwartz, another deputy with the Oneida
County Sheriff's Office, who reported he had located a
stolen 2010 GMC Acadia parked off the road on 100 West near
Old Highway 191 in Oneida County. Aff. Williams, ¶ 3-4
(Dkt. 18-3 at 1-2). Deputy Schwartz reported the
vehicle's passenger tire was shredded and looked like it
had been driven on the rim. Id. Deputy Schwartz
indicated also that a black Motorola handheld radio was found
inside the vehicle and he confirmed with the owners of the
vehicle that the Motorola device did not belong to them.
the same morning at 7:50 a.m., Oneida County dispatch
received a telephone call from someone identifying himself as
“Daly.” Id. at ¶ 5 (Dkt. 18-3 at
2). Daly asked if the Sheriff's Office had arrested Jimmy
Dale Martin the previous night. At 8:30 a.m., dispatch
received a call reporting a suspicious male walking on Old
highway 191 near Canyon County Road. Id. Sgt.
Williams responded to the location, identified Martin, and
began to question him. Id. at ¶ 6 (Dkt. 18-3 at
2). When Sgt. Williams asked where Martin was headed, Martin
stated he and his girlfriend had been in a fight, and she had
“kicked him out of the vehicle” a few hours ago.
Id. at ¶ 7 (Dkt. 18-3 at 2). Sgt. Williams
informed Martin a vehicle theft had occurred earlier in the
morning and the vehicle was abandoned near their current
location. Id. at ¶ 8 (Dkt. 18-3 at 2-3). In
response, Martin put his head down and stated
asking Martin a few other questions, Sgt. Williams returned
to his patrol vehicle and placed a telephone call to Oneida
County Sheriff Semrad to provide him with an update. In the
meantime, Sheriff Semrad had been informed of the
investigation and had made a telephone call to Martin's
girlfriend, Lisa Nicholas. Id. at ¶ 9 (Dkt.
18-3 at 3). Nicholas reported to Sheriff Semrad that she had
dropped Martin off in Malad, Idaho the night before. Nicholas
confirmed Martin had a small black radio with a flashlight
attachment on his person when she dropped Martin off.
Id. Sheriff Semrad informed Sgt. Williams of these
details during their telephone call. Id. After the
call, Sgt. Williams arrested Martin for the theft of the GMA
Acadia and malicious injury to property. Id. at
¶ 10 (Dkt. 18-3 at 3). Sgt. Williams read Martin his
Miranda rights, placed him handcuffs, and transported Martin
to the Oneida County Sheriff's Office. Id.
Williams interviewed Nicholas after Martin's arrest.
Id. at ¶ 11 (Dkt. 18-3 at 3). During the
interview, Nicholas reported she had kicked Martin out of her
vehicle at about 6:00 a.m. on November 6, 2014. Id.
She reported she called a bail bondsman named Daly, although
she could not recall the time she made the call. Id.
During the interview, Sgt. Williams showed Nicholas a picture
of the Motorola handheld radio found in the GMC Acadia.
Id. at ¶ 12 (Dkt. 18-3 at 3-4). Nicholas denied
that Martin's radio had a flashlight attachment.
Id. Sgt. Williams asked Nicholas if she had
Martin's radio so he could see what is looked like, and
she responded: “No, I must have kicked it out of my
truck or under the seat or something.” Id.
13, 2015, due to his prisoner status, the Clerk of the Court
conditionally filed Martin's civil rights complaint.
(Dkt. 3.) In the Complaint, Martin alleges Sgt. Williams and
the State of Idaho engaged in illegal profiling and
harassment, and that Sgt. Williams defamed Martin's
character. (Dkt. 2.) The Court's September 17, 2015
Initial Review Order permitted Martin to proceed on Fourth
Amendment false arrest and false imprisonment claims pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and on his state law defamation
claim against Sgt. Williams. (Dkt. 9.) The Court did not
permit Martin to proceed on his claims against the State of
Idaho. On March 3, 2016, Sgt. Williams filed a motion for
summary judgment, seeking judgment as a matter of law on all
of Martin's claims. (Dkt. 18.)
Rule of Civil Procedure 56 directs the Court to “grant
summary judgment if the movant shows there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). One
of the principal purposes of summary judgment “is to
isolate and dispose of factually unsupported
claims….” Celotex Corp v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986). Summary judgment is the
“principal tool by which factually insufficient
claims or defenses [can] be isolated and prevented from going
to trial with the attendant unwarranted consumption of public
and private resources.” Id. at 327.
moving party initially bears the burden of proving the
absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” In re
Oracle Corp. Secs. Litig., 627 F.3d 376, 387 (9th Cir.
2010) (citing Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323).
“Where the moving party meets that burden, the burden
then shifts to the non-moving party to designate specific
facts demonstrating the existence of genuine issues for
trial.” Id. “If a party fails to
properly support an assertion of fact or fails to properly
address another party's assertion of ...