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One Unnamed Deputy District Attorney, et al. v. County of Los Angeles

September 19, 2011

ONE UNNAMED DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ET AL. PLAINTIFFS,
v.
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Otis D. Wright II United States District Judge

O

I. INTRODUCTION

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION [144, 145]

The Association of Deputy District Attorneys ("ADDA") brings this action on behalf of a class of deputy district attorneys to protect their "First Amendment rights of speech and association to engage in union-related activities without being subjected to Defendants' policy of discrimination and intimidation." (Compl. ¶ 5.) Among other things, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants punitively transferred several deputy district attorneys associated with the ADDA, demoted them, awarded them undeserved mediocre performance reviews and otherwise discriminated against them.

Defendants now move for summary judgment as to the ADDA's Eighth and Ninth claims. This Court previously granted the ADDA's motion for a preliminary injunction on March 2, 2010, and its motion for class certification on January 24, 2011. As the parties are thus familiar with the facts of this case, the Court will only address those facts material to disposition of the pending motions as they arise.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard:

Summary Judgment Rule 56(c) requires summary judgment for the moving party when the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, shows 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). The moving party bears the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986). That burden may be met by "'showing' -- that is, pointing out to the district court -- that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case." Id. at 325.

Once the moving party meets its initial burden, Rule 56(e) requires the nonmoving party to go beyond the pleadings and identify specific facts that show a genuine issue for trial. Id. at 323-34. The nonmoving party must use "[its] own affidavits, . . . depositions, answers to interrogatories, [or] admissions on file" to designate such specific facts. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324 (citation omitted). "A scintilla of evidence or evidence that is merely colorable or not significantly probative does not present a genuine issue of material fact." Addisu v. Fred Meyer, 198 F.3d 1130, 1134 (9th Cir. 2000).

Only genuine disputes -- where the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party -- over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. It is not the task of the district court "to scour the record in search of a genuine issue of triable fact. [Courts] rely on the nonmoving party to identify with reasonable particularity the evidence that precludes summary judgment." Keenan v. Allan, 91 F.3d 1275, 1279 (9th Cir. 1996).

B. Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment

On June 30, 2011, Defendants County of Los Angeles ("County"), Steve Cooley, Curt Hazell, John Spillane, John Zajec, Jacquelyn Lacey, Janet Moore, Mario Trujillo and Lance Wong moved for partial summary judgment as to the Eighth and Ninth claims in Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint. (See Docket Nos. 144, 145.) On July 1, 2011, Defendant Peter A. Burke filed his own motion. Because Burke was subsequently dismissed from this action, his motion is MOOT. (Docket No. 146.)

Furthermore, the "ADDA has no objection to summary judgment being granted to [all Defendants other than the County] as to [Claim] VIII and to all Defendants as to [Claim] IX." (Opp'n at 2.) Accordingly, the Court turns to Plaintiffs' Eighth Claim against the County, ...


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