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Elseth v. Speirs

November 19, 2010

ROGER ARDEN ELSETH; PATRICIA ANN ELSETH; AND ALLEN ELSETH, BY HIS GUARDIAN AD LITEM, ROGER ARDEN ELSETH AND PATRICIA ANN ELSETH, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
VERNON SPEIRS, CHIEF PROBATION OFFICER OF THE COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO, INDIVIDUALLY; DAVID GORDON, SUPERINTENDENT SACRAMENTO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, INDIVIDUALLY; DEPUTY PROBATION OFFICER RONALD TAM, INDIVIDUALLY; DEPUTY PROBATION OFFICER JEFF ELORDUY, INDIVIDUALLY; DR. RICHARD SAXTON, M.D., INDIVIDUALLY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Garland E. Burrell, Jr. United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION

Defendants Verne Speirs, Ronald Tam, and Jeff Elorduy ("Defendants") move for summary adjudication on Plaintiffs' first claim for "Assault and Battery upon a Juvenile." Specifically, Defendants seek summary adjudication of the following:

1) Plaintiffs Patricia Elseth and Roger Elseth's first claim against all Defendants;

2) Plaintiff Allen Elseth's first claim against Defendant Verne Speirs; and

3) Plaintiff Allen Elseth's first claim against Defendant Ronald Tam.*fn1

Plaintiffs did not file an opposition or statement of non-opposition in response to the motion, as required by Local Rule 230(c).

I. LEGAL STANDARD

A party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact for trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). If this burden is satisfied, "the non-moving party must set forth, by affidavit or as otherwise provided in [Federal] Rule [of Civil Procedure] 56, specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pacific Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987) (quotations and citation omitted) (emphasis omitted). This requires that the non-moving party "come forward with facts, and not allegations, [that] controvert the moving party's case." Town House, Inc. v. Paulino, 381 F.2d 811, 814 (9th Cir. 1967) (citation omitted). All reasonable inferences that can be drawn from the evidence "must be drawn in favor of the non-moving party." Bryan v. McPherson, 608 F.3d 614, 619 (9th Cir. 2010).

When the defendant is the moving party and is seeking summary judgment on one or more of plaintiff's claims,

"[The defendant] has both the initial burden of production and the ultimate burden of persuasion on [the motion]. In order to carry its burden of production, the [defendant] must either produce evidence negating an essential element of the [plaintiff's claim] or show that the [plaintiff] does not have enough evidence of an essential element to carry its ultimate burden of persuasion at trial. In order to carry its ultimate burden of persuasion on the motion, the [defendant] must persuade the court that there is no genuine issue of material fact."

Nissan Fire & Marine Ins. Co., Ltd. v. Fritz Companies, Inc., 210 F.3d 1099, 1102 (9th Cir. 2000)(citations omitted).

The Eastern District's Local Rule 260(b) further requires: Any party opposing a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication [must] reproduce the itemized facts in the [moving party's] Statement of Undisputed Facts and admit those facts that are undisputed and deny those that are disputed, including with each denial a citation to the particular portions of any pleading, affidavit, deposition, interrogatory answer, admission, or other document relied upon in support of that denial.

E.D. Cal. R. 260(b). "If the moving party's statement of facts are not controverted in this manner, the Court may assume the facts as claimed by the moving party are admitted to exist without controversy." Farrakhan v. Gregoire, 590 F.3d 989, 1002 (9th Cir. 2010) (quoting Beard v. Banks, 548 U.S. 521, 527 (2006)) (finding that a party opposing summary judgment who "fail[s] [to] specifically challenge the facts identified in the [moving party's] statement of undisputed facts . . . is deemed to have admitted the validity of [those] facts . . . .").

II. UNCONTROVERTED FACTS

On December 5, 2006, Plaintiff Allen Elseth ("Allen") was housed at the Sacramento County Juvenile Hall. (Defs.' Statement of Undisputed Facts ("SUF") #10.) That morning, an officer noticed Allen was standing in the doorway of his cell looking out the window, which was against the rules. Id. ...


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