United States District Court, D. Idaho
RAYMOND R. HAMELL and RACHELLE J. HAMELL, Plaintiffs,
IDAHO COUNTY, a political subdivision of the State of Idaho, KATHY ACKERMAN, Idaho County Clerk, JIM CHMELICK, Idaho County Commissioner, MARK FREI, Idaho County Commissioner, SKIP BRANDT, Idaho County Commissioner, JOHN AND JANE DOES 1 - 5, in their individual and official capacities, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Edward J. Lodge U.S. District Judge
the Court in the above-entitled matter are the parties'
Cross Motions for Summary Judgment. (Dkt. 32, 33.) The
responsive briefing has been filed and the Motions are ripe
for the Court's consideration. The facts and legal
arguments are adequately presented in the briefs and record.
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 is
decided on the record without a hearing.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
facts underlying this case arise from the Defendant Idaho
County's sale of three properties it acquired from
Plaintiffs, Raymond R. Hamell and Rachelle J. Hamell, through
a tax deed after the Plaintiffs failed to pay property taxes.
(Dkt. 26.) The properties are identified as: Shingle Creek
Property, Shaw Subdivision Lot 1, and Shaw Subdivision Lot 2.
The property sales were held by public auction. Plaintiffs
allege the Notices of Sale for each of the public auctions
issued by the Defendants were deficient because they failed
to contain the proper legal description of the properties as
required by Idaho Code § 31-808. As a result, Plaintiffs
argue, the properties sold for less than their assessed value
thereby depriving Plaintiffs of their due process rights to
any excess proceeds from the sales.
have brought this § 1983 action against the Defendants
Idaho County, Kathy Ackerman, the Idaho County Clerk, and
Idaho County Commissioners Jim Chmelik, Mark Frei, and Skip
Brandt. (Dkt. 26.) The Complaint raises a § 1983 claim
for deprivation of the Hamells' property interest without
due process, liability by statute for failing to satisfy the
requirements of Idaho Code § 31-808, and an alternative
claim for declaratory relief. (Dkt. 26.) The parties have
filed Cross Motions for Summary Judgment which are now before
the Court. (Dkt. 32, 33.)
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 that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). An issue is
“material” if it affects the outcome of the
litigation and may be considered “genuine” if it
is established by “sufficient evidence supporting the
claimed factual dispute…to require a jury or judge to
resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at
trial.” Hahn v. Sargent, 523 F.3d 461, 464
(1st Cir. 1975) (quoting First Nat'l Bank v. Cities
Serv. Co. Inc., 391 U.S. 253, 289 (1968)); see also
British Motor Car Distrib. v. San Francisco Auto. Indus.
Welfare Fund, 883 F.2d 371 (9th Cir. 1989).
Rule 56, summary judgment is mandated if the non-moving party
fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence
of an element which is essential to the non-moving
party's case and upon which the non-moving party will
bear the burden of proof at trial. See Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). If the non-moving
party fails to make such a showing on any essential element,
“there can be no ‘genuine issue of material
fact,' since a complete failure of proof concerning an
essential element of the nonmoving party's case
necessarily renders all other facts immaterial.”
Id. at 323.
In order to withstand a motion for summary judgment, a party
(1) must make a showing sufficient to establish a genuine
issue of fact with respect to any element for which it bears
the burden of proof; (2) must show that there is an issue
that may reasonably be resolved in favor of either party; and
(3) must come forward with more persuasive evidence than
would otherwise be necessary when the factual context makes
the non-moving party's claim implausible.
British Motor Car, 882 F.2d at 374 (citation
omitted). When applying this standard, the court views all of
the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 255 (1986); Hughes v. United States, 953 F.2d
531, 541 (9th Cir. 1992).
Section 1983 ...