Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Benjamin C. Oyarzo, et al v. Tuolumne Fire District

August 27, 2012

BENJAMIN C. OYARZO, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
TUOLUMNE FIRE DISTRICT, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO QUASH (Document 33)

Plaintiff Benjamin C. Oyarzo filed this motion to quash on July 9, 2012. The matter was heard on August 24, 2012, before the Honorable Dennis L. Beck, United States Magistrate Judge. Shannon Seibert appeared on behalf of Mr. Oyarzo. Paul Kozina appeared on behalf of Defendants Tuolumne Fire District, Joseph Turner, Darlene Hutchins, Kenneth Hockett and Brian Machado.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Mr. Oyarzo filed this action on March 18, 2011, against Defendants Tuolumne Fire District ("TFD"), Joseph Turner, Darlene Hutchins, Kenneth Hockett and Brian Machado. He was a Fire Chief with TFD until his employment was terminated on January 1, 2011, and alleges causes of action for violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments, failure to pay wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, violation of the California Firefighter's Bill of Rights, and discrimination and retaliation under California law.

On September 2, 2011, pursuant to the parties' stipulation, this action was consolidated with 1:11cv01272 LJO DLB, Hart v. Tuolumne Fire District, et al. Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on September 19, 2011. Trial is currently set for September 10, 2013.

Mr. Oyarzo filed the instant motion to quash four subpoenas seeking employment and academic records on July 9, 2012. The parties filed a joint statement on August 17, 2012.

ALLEGATIONS IN AMENDED COMPLAINT

Mr. Oyarzo, a 46 year-old male, was hired as a permanent, full-time employee of TFD in June 2006. Prior to spring 2010, Mr. Oyarzo was regularly commended on his performance. In November 2007, the Board of Directors voted to promote him to Administrative Captain and in April 2008, he was promoted to Fire Chief.

Throughout the last two years of him employment, Mr. Oyarzo's colleagues and superiors made comments about his age, such as referring to him as "old man."

In March 2009, Mr. Oyarzo spent personal time working to implement a plan to annex approximately 68,000 acres of Tuolumne County land into TFD's jurisdiction. The plan would result in increased tax revenue for TFD, which would have provided resources to increase the safety of residents in the annexed territory. He pursued this in part due to his interest in his personal safety and the safety of his home, located within the territory at issue.

In February 2010, County officials expressed their anger at the annexation efforts and insisted that the activity be placed on hold. Mr. Oyarzo agreed to hold the project until June 2010. After learning that County officials were angry, Defendant Turner, Chairman of the Board of Directors, told other Board members that Mr. Oyarzo was personally responsible for the annexation effort.

In April 2010, Mr. Oyarzo disciplined all members of TFD's firefighting staff for safety violations. He reported the violations to the Board in May 2010.

In May 2010, Defendant Turner and other Defendant Board members collaborated to convince the firefighters who had been disciplined by Mr. Oyarzo to fabricate allegations that they could use to discipline him. Defendants used the complaints that were elicited to institute an investigation into Mr. Oyarzo without his knowledge.

On June 8, 2010, Mr. Oyarzo was called into a closed session during a Board meeting and learned that he was the subject of an investigation. He was questioned during the meeting and his repeated requests to view the complaints were denied. Mr. Oyarzo was placed on forced leave until June 28, 2010.

On June 25, 2010, Defendant Turner telephoned Mr. Oyarzo and told him not to return to work on June 28 and to instead appear for continued questioning before the Board. He appeared for the meeting and was further questioned. Mr. Oyarzo's requests to view the additional complaints were denied. Mr. Oyarzo's request to obtain counsel was also denied and he was forced to continue responding to the Board's interrogation. At the conclusion of the meeting, Defendant Turner insisted that the Board vote unanimously to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.