United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on Defendants' motion for
summary judgment. Dkt. # 25. Plaintiff opposes the motion.
Dkt. # 29. For the reasons that follow, the Court
GRANTS Defendants' motion.
Court discussed the facts of this case in its previous order.
See Dkt. # 23. The Court need not reiterate those
facts here. For the purpose of this Order, the Court need
only layout the procedural history of this matter.
3, 2013, Plaintiff was notified of his termination from the
police department. Dkt. # 28 at 7. That same day, Plaintiff
filed a formal grievance regarding his termination. Dkt. #
28-1 at 77. On May 10, 2013, Plaintiff's grievance was
denied. Id. at 79. As a result, on May 16, 2013, the
Everett Police Officers Association (EPOA) submitted the
grievance to the Mayor. Id. at 81. On May 24, 2013,
the City denied the grievance. Id. at 83. On May 4,
2016, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit in state court. Dkt. # 1-2
are now before this Court on their motion for summary
judgment. They argue, in part, that Plaintiff's §
1983 claim is untimely because he filed his claim outside the
three-year statute of limitation period.
judgment is appropriate if there is no genuine dispute as to
any material fact and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving
party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the absence
of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Where the moving
party will have the burden of proof at trial, it must
affirmatively demonstrate that no reasonable trier of fact
could find other than for the moving party. Soremekun v.
Thrifty Payless, Inc., 509 F.3d 978, 984 (9th Cir.
2007). On an issue where the nonmoving party will bear the
burden of proof at trial, the moving party can prevail merely
by pointing out to the district court that there is an
absence of evidence to support the non-moving party's
case. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 325. If the moving
party meets the initial burden, the opposing party must set
forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue of
fact for trial in order to defeat the motion. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986). The court
must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party and draw all reasonable inferences in that
party's favor. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing
Prods., 530 U.S. 133, 150-51 (2000).
resolving a motion for summary judgment, the court may only
consider admissible evidence. Orr v. Bank of
America, 285 F.3d 764, 773 (9th Cir. 2002). At the
summary judgment stage, a court focuses on the admissibility
of the evidence's content, not on the admissibility of
the evidence's form. Fraser v. Goodale, 342 F.3d
1032, 1036 (9th Cir. 2003).
Statute of Limitation
received his notice of termination on May 3, 2013 and filed
this lawsuit on May 4, 2016. Dkt. ## 1-2 (Complaint), 1-3
(Amended Complaint) at ¶ 3.36. The parties do not
dispute that Plaintiff filed his § 1983 claim after the
three-year statute of limitations had run. Dkt. ## 25 at 5-6,
29 at 10. However, Plaintiff denies that his claim is
untimely because he argues that the statute of limitation was
tolled during the pendency of his grievance procedure. Dkt. #
29 at 10. Plaintiff explains that he filed a formal
grievance, which was denied on May 24, 2013, and because the
statute of limitation was tolled during this period, he had
until May 24, 2016 to file his § 1983 claim.
Id. at 10-11.
relies on Galindo v. Stoody Co. and Maurer v.
Int'l Bhd. of Elec. Workers, Local 569, AFL-CIO for
the purpose of his equitable tolling argument. Id.
at 10-11. Both cases are based on the National Labor Relation
Act's six-month statute of limitation period. See
Galindo v. Stoody Co., 793 F.2d 1502, 1508 (9th Cir.
1986); Maurer v. Int'l Bhd. of Elec. Workers, Local
569, AFL-CIO, 200 F.Supp.3d 1052, 1059 (S.D. Cal. 2016).
Moreover, both Galindo and Maurer involved
claims against the plaintiffs' respective unions. See
Galindo, 793 F.2d at 1507 (stating that the complaint
alleged that the union breached its duty of fair
representation); Maurer, 200 F.Supp.3d at 1060-61
(stating that the complaint alleged breach of contract claims
against the union). The facts of those cases are therefore
readily distinguishable from the instant matter.
tolling is appropriate in labor disputes like that of
Galindo because there is a “national policy
favoring nonjudicial resolution of labor disputes.”
Galindo, 793 F.2d at 1510. This is especially
poignant when the period to file suit is limited to six
months such that waiting for a nonjudicial procedure to end
prior to filing suit in district court is impractical. The
crux of this policy-favoring nonjudicial resolution-is not