SHARON R. HAMMER, Plaintiff-Appellant,
NILS RIBI, Defendant-Respondent.
Opinion No. 95
from the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District of the
State of Idaho, Blaine County. Hon. Robert J. Elgee, District
judgment of the district court is vacated and the case is
remanded for further proceedings.
R. Donoval, Eagle, for appellant.
& Hales, P.C., Boise, for respondent. Kirtlan Naylor
Hammer appeals from the district court's order dismissing
her complaint. Hammer's action against Nils Ribi alleges
that he assaulted her during a city council meeting on
September 15, 2011. The district court granted Ribi's
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which
relief could be granted. The district court denied
Hammer's motion to require Ribi to undergo a mental
examination and ruled that Hammer failed to plead facts which
would show that Ribi was not immune from suit under the Idaho
Tort Claims Act (ITCA). We vacate the judgment dismissing
Hammer's lawsuit and remand for further proceedings.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
litigation arises from events occurring during a city council
meeting on September 15, 2011. Hammer was employed as City
Administrator for Sun Valley, and Ribi was a member of the
city council. Hammer's complaint alleges that, during a
break in the meeting, Hammer left the council chambers to
copy some documents. Ribi followed Hammer and demanded that
she make certain changes to budget documents. Hammer refused
to make the changes and told Ribi that she had to speak with
the Mayor before she could make any changes. Ribi then raised
his arms and told Hammer, "No! You will not talk to the
Mayor!" Hammer was afraid that Ribi was going to hit
her, and she stepped back and said, "Whoa!"
complaint alleged that Ribi had committed a civil assault.
Hammer's action was originally brought in federal court.
In July of 2015, the federal court declined to continue to
exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the civil assault
claim. Hammer then filed this case in state court. In the
state court proceedings, Hammer filed a motion pursuant to
I.R.C.P. 35, seeking an order requiring Ribi to undergo a
moved to dismiss the complaint. Hammer responded with a
motion to amend her complaint. Following a hearing, the
district court granted Ribi's motion to dismiss the
complaint for failing to properly plead facts that would
support a claim of civil assault but granted Hammer leave to
amend her complaint. The court then denied Hammer's
motion for a mental examination. Hammer filed a motion to
reconsider which the district court denied without hearing.
20, 2016, Hammer filed her amended complaint. Ribi filed a
motion to dismiss the amended complaint under Idaho Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), again arguing that Hammer had
failed to plead facts necessary to support a finding of civil
assault. Ribi also claimed that he was immune from the
lawsuit under the ITCA. The district court granted the motion
to dismiss. The district court assumed, without deciding,
that Hammer had properly pleaded the elements of civil
assault but held that Hammer had failed to plead sufficient
facts to show that Ribi was not immune under the ITCA. Hammer
STANDARD OF REVIEW
this Court reviews an order dismissing an action pursuant to
I.R.C.P. 12(b)(6), we apply the same standard of review we
apply to a motion for summary judgment." Losser v.
Bradstreet, 145 Idaho 670, 672-73, 183 P.3d 758, 760-61
(2008). "A 12(b)(6) motion looks only at the pleadings
to determine whether a claim for relief has been
stated." Young v. City of Ketchum, 137 Idaho
102, 104, 44 P.3d 1157, 1159 (2001). "[O]n review of a
dismissal this Court determines whether the non-movant has
alleged sufficient facts in support of his claim, which if
true, would entitle him to relief." Idaho Wool
Growers Ass'n, Inc. v. State, 154 Idaho 716, 720,
302 P.3d 341, 345 (2012) (internal quotations and citations
omitted). "In doing so, the Court draws all reasonable
inferences in favor of the non-moving party."
decision to order psychological testing is within the
discretion of the trial court." Navarro v.
Yonkers, 144 Idaho 882, 887, 173 P.3d 1141, 1146 (2007).
"A trial court acts within its discretion when it (1)
recognizes the decision as one of discretion, (2) acts within
the outer limits of that discretion and (3) reaches its
conclusion through an exercise of reason." Id.