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Riley v. Brotherhood of Railway Carmen Division

United States District Court, C.D. California

September 29, 2014

KENNETH RILEY, Plaintiff,
v.
BROTHERHOOD OF RAILWAY CARMEN DIVISION, TRANSPORTATION COMMUNICATIONS INTERNATIONAL UNION/IAM, Defendant.

JESUS G. BERNAL, District Judge.

Before the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 23) filed by Defendant the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen Division of the Transportation-Communications International Union/IAM. ("Defendant" or "Union.") After considering the papers timely filed and the arguments presented at the September 29, 2014 hearing, the Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Kenneth Riley ("Plaintiff") filed a Complaint against Defendant on June 24, 2013. (Compl., Doc. No. 1.) The Complaint asserts a single claim against the Union for breach of the duty of fair representation. (Compl. ΒΆΒΆ 28-35.) Defendant answered on September 13, 2013. (Doc. No. 16.)

On August 4, 2014, Defendant filed its Motion for Summary Judgment. ("Motion, " Doc. No. 23.) In support of the Motion, Defendant attached: a Separate Statement of Uncontroverted Facts and Conclusions of Law ("SUF, " Doc. No. 23-3); the Declaration of Sergio Elizarraras ("Elizarraras Decl., " Doc. No. 23-4) attaching eight exhibits; the Declaration of N. Skelly Harper ("Harper Decl., " Doc. No. 23-13); and excerpts from the deposition of Plaintiff ("Plaintiff's Depo., " Doc. No. 23-14) with three exhibits attached.

On August 20, 2014, Plaintiff filed his Opposition to Defendant's Motion. ("Opp'n, " Doc. No. 29.) Plaintiff also attached the Deposition of Plaintiff along with three exhibits.[1]

Defendant replied on August 25, 2014. ("Reply, " Doc. No. 31.) On August 26, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Surreply. ("Surreply, " Doc. No. 32.)[2]

II. LEGAL STANDARD[3]

A motion for summary judgment shall be granted when there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc. , 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986). The moving party must show that "under the governing law, there can be but one reasonable conclusion as to the verdict." Anderson , 477 U.S. at 250.

Generally, the burden is on the moving party to demonstrate that it is entitled to summary judgment. Margolis v. Ryan , 140 F.3d 850, 852 (9th Cir. 1998); Retail Clerks Union Local 648 v. Hub Pharmacy, Inc. , 707 F.2d 1030, 1033 (9th Cir. 1983). The moving party bears the initial burden of identifying the elements of the claim or defense and evidence that it believes demonstrates the absence of an issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett , 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).

When the non-moving party has the burden at trial, however, the moving party need not produce evidence negating or disproving every essential element of the non-moving party's case. Celotex , 477 U.S. at 325. Instead, the moving party's burden is met by pointing out there is an absence of evidence supporting the non-moving party's case. Id.

The burden then shifts to the non-moving party to show that there is a genuine issue of material fact that must be resolved at trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); Celotex , 477 U.S. at 324; Anderson , 477 U.S. at 256. The non-moving party must make an affirmative showing on all matters placed in issue by the motion as to which it has the burden of proof at trial. Celotex , 477 U.S. at 322; Anderson , 477 U.S. at 252. "This burden is not a light one. The non-moving party must show more than the mere existence of a scintilla of evidence." In re Oracle Corp. Sec. Litig. , 627 F.3d 376, 387 (9th Cir. 2010) (citing Anderson , 477 U.S. at 252). "The non-moving party must do more than show there is some metaphysical doubt' as to the material facts at issue." In re Oracle , 627 F.3d at 387 (citing Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp. , 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986)).

A genuine issue of material fact exists "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party." Anderson , 477 U.S. at 248. In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the Court construes the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Barlow v. Ground , 943 F.2d 1132, 1135 (9th Cir. 1991); ...


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