Opinion No. 5
from the District Court of the First Judicial District of the
State of Idaho, Kootenai County. Hon. Cynthia K. C. Meyer,
judgment of the district court is affirmed. Attorney fees and
costs on appeal are awarded to respondent.
Haight, Coeur d'Alene, for Appellant. G. W. Haight did
not appear at oral argument.
Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General, Boise, and Law Offices
of David Hansen, Liberty Lake, WA for Respondent. Renee R.
Hollander-Vogelpohl and David B. Hansen appeared at oral
an appeal from the district court's grant of summary
judgment against Dea Haight ("Haight") and the
dismissal of her complaint for damages and declaratory and
injunctive relief. Haight alleged that the Idaho Department
of Transportation ("ITD") was negligent in placing
and maintaining construction barrels on Interstate 90
("I-90") in Shoshone County, Idaho. In addition to
her negligence claim, Haight alleged portions of Idaho's
motorcycle and driver's manuals published by the State
misrepresent the law and prescribe standards which present a
danger to motorists. The district court concluded that Haight
failed to present sufficient evidence to support her
negligence claim and that she lacked standing to bring a
declaratory judgment action against ITD. Haight now alleges
the trial court erred. We affirm the trial court's
dismissal of Haight's case.
II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
about 10:00 a.m. on July 11, 2014, Haight and her husband
were travelling east on I-90 through Kellogg and Osburn,
Idaho. In her complaint, Haight stated that the south lane of
the east bound portion of the roadway was closed off by
orange construction barrels. The barrels were placed on the
broken line separating the south lane and the north lane of
travel for the eastbound traffic. At Mile Post 53, Haight
alleges that one of the barrels was completely within the
lane of travel in the north passing lane for eastbound
traffic-the only lane open for eastbound traffic at the time.
Haight claims the barrel caught both arms on the awning of
her fifth wheel camper trailer, ripping one arm completely
away from the body of the camper and partially tearing away
the other arm.
filed a complaint on August 20, 2015, alleging ITD
"negligently, carelessly and contrary to law placed and
maintained construction materials obstructing the
public's lane of travel on I-90 in Shoshone County."
Consequently, Haight asserted ITD's failure to maintain
I-90 was negligence, negligence per se, and a breach of
ITD's legal duty of care to the public. As a direct and
proximate result of ITD's malfeasance or misfeasance,
Haight claims damages in the amount of $2, 000. Additionally,
as a result of the damage, Haight contends the camper is
unusable, and the value of the loss is $300 per week starting
on July 11, 2014 and continues to accrue until the damage is
second cause of action is for declaratory relief seeking an
injunction restraining ITD from publishing any information
which is contrary to law. Haight alleges that portions of the
Idaho motorcycle and driver's manuals published by the
State misrepresent the law as it pertains to the operation of
motor vehicles. Haight seeks a writ mandating ITD correct all
licensing manuals and other materials related to
qualifications for a vehicle operator's license.
April 20, 2016, the district court issued its scheduling
order, notice of trial setting, and initial pretrial order.
The scheduling order states that motions for summary judgment
"shall be timely filed as to be heard not later than
ninety-one (91) days (thirteen weeks) before trial." ITD
served its first set of interrogatories and requests for
production on Haight on April 28, 2016. On October 12, 2016,
ITD deposed Haight. That same day Haight served her first set
of interrogatories and requests for production on ITD, more
than a year after filing her claim. ITD filed separate
summary judgment motions on Haight's two claims on
October 20, 2016, and the motions were noticed for hearing on
November 22, 2016 in compliance with the Scheduling Order.
ITD responded to Haight's discovery request on November
10, 2016. On November 14, 2016, Haight filed an untimely
motion pursuant to Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 56(d)
(formerly 56(f) (2015)) stating that she was unable to
satisfy the district court's order to file affidavits
opposing ITD's summary judgment motions and asked for
more time to complete discovery.
summary judgment hearing, the district court heard arguments
regarding Haight's untimely motion, but ultimately denied
the motion. ITD then presented arguments on the merits of the
summary judgment motions, but Haight's counsel declined
to argue Haight's negligence claim. On December 20, 2016,
the district court issued its Memorandum Decision and Order
on ITD's motions for summary judgment, granting both
motions. A final judgment was entered on December 30, 2016
and filed with the clerk on January 3, 2017. On February 10,
2017, Haight timely filed her notice of appeal.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
this Court reviews the district court's ruling on a
motion for summary judgment, it employs the same standard as
the district court's original ruling on the motion.
Infanger v. City of Salmon, 137 Idaho 45, 46-47, 44
P.3d 1100, 1101-02 (2002). In a motion for summary judgment,
the moving party bears the burden of proving the absence of a
material fact. Sadid v. Idaho State University, 151
Idaho 932, 938, 265 P.3d 1144, 1150 (2011). "When
considering whether the evidence in the record shows that
there is no genuine issue of material fact, the trial court
must liberally construe the facts, and draw all reasonable
inferences, in favor of the nonmoving party."
Liberty Bankers Life Ins. Co. v. Witherspoon, Kelley,
Davenport & Toole, P.S., 159 Idaho 679, 685, 365
P.3d 1033, 1040 (2016). If the moving party has satisfied its
burden, the non-moving party must then come forward with
sufficient admissible evidence identifying specific facts
that demonstrate the existence of a genuine issue for trial.
Wattenbarger v. A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., 150
Idaho 308, 317, 246 P.3d 961, 970 (2010). Although
circumstantial evidence can create a genuine issue for trial,
a mere scintilla of evidence is insufficient to demonstrate
the existence of a genuine issue of material fact.
Callies v. O'Neal, 147 Idaho 841, 846, 216 P.3d
130, 165 (2009). Thus, the slightest doubt as to the facts
will not forestall summary judgment. Zimmerman v.
Volkswagen of America, Inc., 128 Idaho 851, 854, 920
P.3d 67, 70 (1996). "If the evidence reveals no disputed
issues of material fact, then only a question of law remains,
over which this Court exercises free review." Lapham
v. Stewart, 137 Idaho 582, 585, 51 P.3d 396, 399 (2002).
"This Court exercises free review over questions
regarding the interpretation of the Idaho Rules of Civil
Procedure." Boise Mode, LLC v. Donahoe Pace &
Partners Ltd., 154 Idaho 99, 103, 294 P.3d 1111, 1015
(2013) (citation omitted). "The decision to grant or
deny a Rule 56(f) [currently 56(d)] continuance is within the
sound discretion of the trial court." Taylor v. AIA
Services Corp., 151 Idaho 552, 572, 261 P.3d 829, 849
(2011) (citation omitted).
is a jurisdictional issue and presents a question of law.
In re Jerome Cty. Bd. Of Comm'rs, 153 Idaho 298,
308, 281, P.3d 1076, 1086 (2012).
The district court did not err when it denied Haight's
Rule 56(d) (formerly 56(f)) motion to allow discovery before
disposition of the summary judgment motion.
argues that there were circumstances justifying the
untimeliness of her request to defer summary judgment under
Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 56(d) because a series of
events affected her counsel's ability to devote time to
her case. Haight further contends that she was unable to
provide affidavits in opposition to ITD's motion because
she did not receive ITD's response to her discovery
requests until it was too late for her to respond. Without
necessary discovery, Haight maintains there was no way to
know who was responsible for placement of the barrels, when
they were placed there, why they were placed there, what
purpose they were intended to serve, what alternative safety
or control devices should have been used, who was employed at
the job site, what activities they were or were not
undertaking, and who knew or should have known that one or
more barrels had been in the lane of travel. Therefore,
Haight argues additional time for discovery was necessary
under Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 56(d). Conversely, the
State argues the district court properly exercised its
discretion in denying the Rule 56(d) motion because (1) the
motion was not timely filed, (2) Haight failed to meet her
burden to specify what additional discovery would reveal and
how it would preclude summary judgment, and (3) Haight failed
to diligently pursue discovery.
The district court properly denied Haight's request
to defer summary judgment under Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure
56(d) because Haight's request was untimely.
argues the district court abused its discretion under a
reasonable view of the facts. Specifically, Haight asserts
that her motion under Rule 56(d) should have been granted
because a series of unforeseeable ...