United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendants' motion for
summary judgment (Dkt. No. 92). Having thoroughly considered
the parties' briefing and the relevant record, the Court
finds oral argument unnecessary and hereby GRANTS the motion
for the reasons explained herein.
or 1993, Defendant Midtown Center, LLC borrowed $3.2 million
in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to acquire
properties in Seattle. (Dkt. No. 93-1 at 6.) These funds were
obtained from the city of Seattle, but were part of a grant
from the federal government. (Id.) The CDBG funds
were paid back to the City around 2000. (Dkt. No. 93-1 at 7.)
2002, Defendant Midtown bought property in Seattle's
Central District, which included a house on Spring Street
(Spring Street House). (Dkt. No. 94-1 at 1; Dkt. No. 94 at
2.) Defendant Midtown purchased Spring Street House intending
to demolish it to create additional parking for another one
of its tenants. (Dkt. No. 93-1 at 3.) However, Spring Street
House was not demolished because the tenant did not need the
2008, Plaintiff moved into Spring Street House. (Dkt No. 93-1
at 10.) Plaintiff paid no rent. (Dkt No. 93-1 at 3-4, 10-11.)
Instead, he helped keep the surrounding property clean and
2015, Defendant Midtown's partners voted to oust the then
managing partner, Thomas Bangasser, and replaced him with
Defendant Margaret Delaney. (Dkt. No. 94 at 2.) Defendant
Midtown then began the process of selling Spring Street House
and the surrounding properties. (Dkt. No. 92 at 6.) On or
around March 15, 2017, following several court proceedings
and disagreements between the parties, Plaintiff was evicted
from Spring Street House. (Dkt. No. 92 at 5; Dkt. No. 94 at
3.) Defendants then sold Spring Street House and the
surrounding properties. (Dkt. No. 92 at 6.)
to his eviction and the sale of the property, Plaintiff filed
a lawsuit in this Court alleging a number of different
claims. (Dkt. No. 4.) Some of Plaintiff's claims have
been addressed in various orders by this Court, leaving only
the Title VI, assault, and defamation claims. (See
Dkt. Nos. 18, 33, 46, 54, 70, 90.) Plaintiff alleges that
Defendants discriminated against him by denying him basic
benefits that they afforded white tenants, thereby violating
Title VI, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d, et seq. (Dkt. No.
4.) Plaintiff also alleges Defendant Delaney assaulted and
defamed him. (Id.) On June 14, 2017, Defendants
moved for summary judgment on these claims. (Dkt. No. 92.)
Summary Judgment Standard
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In making such a determination, the Court
must view the facts and justifiable inferences to be drawn
therefrom in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 255 (1986). Once a motion for summary judgment is
properly made and supported, the opposing party “must
come forward with ‘specific facts showing that there is
a genuine issue for trial.'”
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)).
Material facts are those that may affect the outcome of the
case, and a dispute about a material fact is genuine if there
is sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to return a
verdict for the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S.
at 248-49. Conclusory, non-specific statements in affidavits
are not sufficient, and “missing facts” will not
be “presumed.” Lujan v. National Wildlife
Federation, 497 U.S. 871, 888-89 (1990). Ultimately,
summary judgment is appropriate against a party who
“fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the
existence of an element essential to that party's case,
and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at
trial.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 324 (1986).
Title VI Claim
VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides that “[n]o
person in the United States shall, on the ground of race,
color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in,
be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination
under any program or activity receiving Federal financial
assistance.” 42 U.S.C. § 2000d. For a plaintiff to
prevail on a Title VI claim, one threshold requirement is
that the defendant is currently receiving federal funds.
Fobbs v. Holy Cross Health Sys. Corp., 29 F.3d 1439,
1447 (9th Cir. 1994) (overruled on other grounds).
Additionally, “to prevail on a Title VI claim . . . a
plaintiff must prove (1) that he is an ‘intended
beneficiary of the federally-funded program the defendants .
. . ‘participated in, ' . . . and (2) that the
defendant intentionally discriminated against him in
violation of the statute.” Clarke v. Upton,
703 F.Supp.2d 1037, 1050 (E.D. Cal. 2010).