United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER ON LACEY DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
J. BRYAN United States District Judge
MATTER comes before the Court on the Motion for Summary
Judgment filed by Lacey Police Department and the City of
Lacey (“the Lacey Defendants”). Dkt. 39. The
Court has reviewed the motion and the remainder of the file
Complaint and Amended Complaint.
U.S.C. §1983 case arises from Plaintiff's negative
encounter with law enforcement on July 4, 2014. Plaintiff
e-filed the Complaint on July 5, 2017, the last day to file
under the applicable three year statute of limitations, given
the July 4th holiday. Dkts. 1-2, 1-9. See
discussion, Dkt. 24 at 3-6. The Complaint named as
defendants Lacey Police Department and “Chris Packard
c/o Lacey Police Department, ” both with the same
mailing address of 420 College St. SE, Lacey, Washington.
Dkt. 1-2 at 1.
November 2, 2017, the Court issued an Order finding that
“Lacey Police Department” is not a proper
defendant. Dkt. 24 at 8. The Court directed dismissal of
Lacey Police Department if Plaintiff failed to file an
amended complaint naming the City of Lacey as a defendant.
Id. Plaintiff filed the Amended Complaint on
November 20, 2017. Dkt. 28. The Amended Complaint names three
defendants: “Lacey Police Department and City of Lacey,
” “Chris Packard c/o -Officer, ” and
“Thurston County a Political subdivision of the State
of WA (Sheriff's Depart.).” Dkt. 28 at 2. The
Amended Complaint alleges substantially the same set of
facts. See Dkts. 1-2 and 28.
The Lacey Defendants' Motion for Summary
Lacey Defendants filed their Motion for Summary Judgment on
December 7, 2017. Dkt. 39. Attached to the motion is the
declaration of Joe Upton, Commander with the Lacey Police
Department, who represents under penalty of perjury that,
after a thorough review of all Lacey Police Department
records, “I have determined that no Lacey Police
Department officers were involved in any way with the July 4,
2014 incident.” Dkt. 40 at 1. A detailed 911 log for a
July 4, 2014 police event references Chris Packard
(id. at 3) and Plaintiff (id. at 4). The
declaration of Defendant Packard states that since 2012 he
has been continuously employed with Thurston County
Sherriff's Office. Dkt. 35 at 1.
January 3, 2018, after the both the Court and the Lacey
Defendants warned Plaintiff of the consequences for failing
to respond to a motion for summary judgment (see
Dkt. 39 at 1; Dkt. 43), Plaintiff filed a “Motion to
respond/rebut dismissal/summary judgement of Chris Packard
and Thurston County/Summary Judgement of summary Judgement
[sic].” Dkt. 44 at 1. In the pleading,
Plaintiff states, “I am just not that knowledgeable in
all the different departments and ranks of the law
enforcement . . . I also believe that the Lacey Police
Department was in fact present that day [of July 4,
2014].” Id. at 6. Other pleadings filed around
that date make no other reference to the conduct of the Lacey
Defendants. See Dkts. 45-47.
ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
judgment is proper only if the pleadings, the discovery and
disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that
there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that
the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The moving party is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law when the nonmoving party fails to make a
sufficient showing on an essential element of a claim in the
case on which the nonmoving party has the burden of proof.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1985).
There is no genuine issue of fact for trial where the record,
taken as a whole, could not lead a rational trier of fact to
find for the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co.
v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586
(1986)(nonmoving party must present specific, significant
probative evidence, not simply “some metaphysical
doubt.”). See also Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e).
Conversely, a genuine dispute over a material fact exists if
there is sufficient evidence supporting the claimed factual
dispute, requiring a judge or jury to resolve the differing
versions of the truth. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 S.Ct. 242, 253 (1986); T.W. Elec. Service
Inc. v. Pacific Electrical Contractors Association, 809
F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987).
determination of the existence of a material fact is often a
close question. The court must consider the substantive
evidentiary burden that the nonmoving party must meet at
trial - e.g., a preponderance of the evidence in most civil
cases. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 254, T.W. Elect.
Service Inc., 809 F.2d at 630. The court must resolve
any factual issues of controversy in favor of the nonmoving
party only when the facts specifically attested by that party
contradict facts specifically attested by the moving party.
The nonmoving party may not merely state that it will
discredit the moving party's evidence at trial, in the
hopes that evidence can be developed at trial to support the
claim. T.W. Elect. Service Inc., 809 F.2d at 630
(relying on Anderson, supra). Conclusory,
nonspecific 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).
has not made a showing of an issue of material fact as to the
Lacey Defendants involvement in any way with the July 4, 2014
incident. The only showing Plaintiff makes is her bare,
unsubstantiated “belie[f] that Lacey Police Department
was in fact present, ” which is not enough to create an
issue of material fact, when the record overwhelmingly points
to the opposite. According to Commander Upton, there is no
record of involvement by the Lacey Police Department with the
July 4, 2014 incident. Plaintiff recalls the involvement of
an Officer Packard, whom she has named in the Amended