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Roger Arden Elseth; Patricia v. Vernon Speirs

February 24, 2011

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; DEPUTY PROBATION OFFICER RONALD TAM, INDIVIDUALLY; AND DEPUTY PROBATION OFFICER JEFF ELORDUY, INDIVIDUALLY, DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION*fn1

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

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.*fn2

For the reasons stated below, each Defendant's motion for summary adjudication will be granted.

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). "A fact is 'material' when, under the governing substantive law, it could affect the outcome of the case." Thrifty Oil Co. v. Bank of America Nat. Trust and Sav. Ass'n, 322 F.3d 1039, 1046 (9th Cir. 2003) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). An issue of material fact is "genuine" when "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Id. (quotation omitted).

When the defendant is the moving party and is seeking summary judgment on one or more of a 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).

If the moving party satisfies its initial burden, "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). "[The] non-moving plaintiff cannot rest upon the mere allegations or denials of the adverse party's pleading but must instead produce evidence that sets forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Estate of Tucker ex rel. Tucker v. Interscope Records, Inc., 515 F.3d 1019, 1030 (9th Cir. 2008) (quotation omitted).

Evidence must be viewed "in the light most favorable to the non-moving party," and all "all reasonable inferences" that can be drawn from the evidence must be drawn "in favor of [the non-moving] party." Nunez v. Duncan, 591 F.3d 1217, 1222-23 (9th Cir. 2010).

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.

It is the non-moving party's obligation to "identify with reasonable particularity the evidence that precludes summary judgment." Simmons v. Navajo County, Ariz., 609 F.3d 1011, 1017 (9th Cir. 2010) (quotation omitted). The district court "has no independent duty to scour therecord in search of a genuine issue of triable fact." Id. (quotation omitted).

II. UNCONTROVERTED FACTS

On December 5, 2006, Plaintiff Allen Elseth ("Allen") was housed at the Sacramento County Juvenile Hall. (Pls.' Resp. to 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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