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Diana Williams v. Pamela Miller

April 22, 2013

DIANA WILLIAMS,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
PAMELA MILLER, IN HER INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY; YOLO COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL SERVICES, DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT ) MILLER'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, DISMISSIN GREMAINING STATE CLAIMS UNDER ) 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c), & ) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST ) FOR RELIEF UNDER RULE 56(d)

Pending are Defendant Pamela Miller's ("Miller") motion for summary judgment on Plaintiff Diana Williams' ("Plaintiff") First Amendment retaliation claim alleged under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and Defendant Yolo County Department of Employment and Social Services' ("DESS") motion for summary judgment on Plaintiff's state law claims. Also pending is Plaintiff's application under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 56(d), in which she requests that each Defendant's motion "be denied," or, in the alternative, that "the Court continue the hearing date on [the] summary judgment motions [to] allow Plaintiff adequate time to conduct discovery to effectively oppose these motions." (Pl.'s Appl. 4:8-12, ECF No. 20.)

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 Am. Nat'l Trust & 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.

[The movant] 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 [movant] 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 [movant] must persuade the court that there is no genuine issue of material fact.

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

If the movant satisfies its initial burden, "the nonmoving party must set forth, by affidavit or as otherwise provided in Rule 56, specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac. Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987) (citation and internal quotation marks 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) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).

Further, Local Rule 260(b) 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.

If the non-movant does not "specifically . . . [controvert duly supported] facts identified in the [movant's] statement of undisputed facts," the non-movant "is deemed to have admitted the validity of the facts contained in the [movant's] statement." Beard v. Banks, 548 U.S. 521, 527 (2006).

Evidence must be viewed "in the light most favorable to the non-moving party," and "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) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).

II. FACTUAL SUMMARY

The following factual summary is drawn from Plaintiff's declaration except where noted.*fn1 Plaintiff Diana Williams was Assistant Director for the Yolo County Department of Employment and Social Services ("DESS"), and was later promoted to Chief Deputy Director. (Decl. Pl. in Supp. of Opp'n Defs.' Mot. Summ. J. ("Pl.'s Decl.") ΒΆ 3, ECF No. 22-3.) Defendant Pamela Miller was the Director of DESS and was Williams' direct supervisor. For a time, Defendant Miller ...


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