United States District Court, D. Idaho
SHARON R. HAMMER and JAMES R. DONOVAL, husband and wife, Plaintiffs,
CITY OF SUN VALLEY; NILS RIBI, in his individual and official capacity; and DEWAYNE BRISCOE, in his individual and official capacity, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Honorable Edward J. Lodge U.S. District Judge.
before the Court in the above-entitled matter is Plaintiff
Sharon R. Hammer's Motion for Summary Judgment. (Dkt.
115.) The responsive briefing has been filed and the Motion
is 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, the Motion
is decided on the record without a hearing.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Sharon R. Hammer and James R. Donoval, husband and wife,
filed a Complaint against Defendant City of Sun Valley
(“Sun Valley” or “the City”) as well
as Defendants Nils Ribi and DeWayne Briscoe in both their
individual and official capacity. (Dkt. 1.) The Complaint
raised fourteen claims relating to allegations concerning
events occurring during and after Ms. Hammer's employment
as the City Administrator of Sun Valley from June 1, 2008
until January 19, 2012. (Dkt. 1.)
17, 2014, the Court granted Defendants' Motion for a
Judgment on the Pleadings dismissing Counts 1-8, 10, and
12-14. (Dkt. 41, 70.) The Court later granted summary judgment
in favor of Defendants on the remaining counts and Judgment
was entered in favor of Defendants. (Dkt. 71, 72.) On appeal,
as relevant to this Motion, the Ninth Circuit reversed the
Court's dismissal of Hammer's “unconstitutional
bias claim, the dismissal of the claims against Nils Ribi and
DeWayne Briscoe in their individual capacity….to
clarify the grounds for the district court's dismissal
because we are unable to determine the reasoning as to why
these claims were dismissed.” (Dkt. 104.)
case was re-opened and Hammer filed the instant Motion for
Summary Judgment as to Count 8 of the Complaint - the
unconstitutional bias claim. (Dkt. 115.) The Court finds as
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.
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).
seeks summary judgment against all of the Defendants on Count
8 of the Complaint which raises a § 1983 claim alleging
unconstitutional bias deprivation of property in violation of
her due process rights under the Fifth ...