United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment and Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule
37(d). Dkt. # 20. For the reasons below, the Court
GRANTS Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment and DENIES Defendant's Motion
March 2017, Plaintiff Ian Shipp came to stay with Roger Parks
after Shipp was evicted from his own residence. Dkt. # 20;
Dkt. # 22-1 at 8. At some point prior, the two became
acquainted with each other while living in the same Seattle
neighborhood. Id. Parks eventually moved to San Juan
Island where he was renting an apartment in the town of
Friday Harbor. Id. After accepting Parks's
invitation to stay with him, Plaintiff arrived with nothing
but a backpack, a change of clothes, and a guitar.
Id. He was not added to the lease. Id. at
9. After roughly four months, Parks broke his legs in a
motorcycle accident and began staying at a different
residence with his girlfriend. Id. at 8. During that
time, Plaintiff remained at the Friday Harbor apartment.
Id. at 8-9.
March and October 2017, the relationship between the two
disintegrated to the point where Parks did not feel safe
around Plaintiff. Id. at 9. In October 2017, Parks
received notice that he was being evicted from the Friday
Harbor apartment. Id. at 10. Given his deteriorating
relationship with Plaintiff, Parks requested a civil standby
from the San Juan County Sherriff's Department (the
“Sherriff's Department”) to keep the peace
while he gathered his belongings. Id.
move out took place on October 12, 2017. Id. Two San
Juan County officers, Sherriff Ron Krebs and Deputy Eric
Peter, conducted the civil standby and Parks had several
friends and co-workers assist him with the move. Dkt. # 21-1
at 9, 20; Dkt. # 22-1 at 8-27. While he did not object to the
officers' presence in the apartment, Plaintiff did
complain that Parks was taking property that did not
rightfully belong to him. Dkt. # 21-1 at 22. Specifically,
Plaintiff claimed that Parks left the Friday Harbor apartment
for longer than 45 days so his belongings were considered
abandoned and now Plaintiff's property. Id. at
10. Sherriff Krebs informed Plaintiff that he would have to
seek judicial relief for such a claim. Id. After
roughly half an hour, almost all of Parks's property had
been retrieved. Id. at 26. Plaintiff gave the
officers some ammunition belonging to Parks that had been
missed in the collection, at which point Parks and the
officers left. Id. at 13, 25. Plaintiff remained in
the apartment after Parks move out until he was formally
evicted the following month. Id. at 2, 13.
October 13, 2017, Plaintiff sent an email to the
Sherriff's Department stating that he had been mistreated
during the civil standby. Dkt. # 22-1 at 2-4. He claimed that
the officers forced their way in, that some of his personal
property was stolen, that he was threatened with arrest.
Id. The Sherriff's Department forwarded
Plaintiff's complaint to San Juan County Detective Lach
Buchanan, who then contacted the seven witnesses present
during the civil standby, including the landlord.
Id. at 6. None of the witnesses corroborated the
claims made by Plaintiff. Id. at 8-27.
March 26, 2018, Plaintiff brought an action against San Juan
County (the “County”) alleging violations of 42
U.S.C. § 1983, negligence, intentional infliction of
emotion distress, conversion, and trespass. Dkt. # 1.
Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on April 3, 2018. Dkt. #
10. According to the County, Plaintiff has refused to
participate in the discovery process. Defense counsel last
communicated with Plaintiff on December 28, 2018 to request a
conference after Plaintiff failed to attend his deposition or
provide any written discovery responses. Dkt. # 21,
¶¶ 12-21; id., Ex. 18. Plaintiff responded
with a profanity-laced tirade directed at his former counsel
and others involved with the action. Id., Ex. 9.
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).
the court need not, and will not, “scour the record in
search of a genuine issue of triable fact.” Keenan
v. Allan, 91 F.3d 1275, 1279 (9th Cir. 1996); see
also White v. McDonnel-Douglas Corp., 904 F.2d 456, 458
(8th Cir. 1990) (the court need not “speculate on which
portion of the record the nonmoving party relies, nor is it
obliged to wade through and search the entire record for some
specific facts that might support the nonmoving party's
claim”). The opposing party must present significant
and probative evidence to support its claim or defense.
Intel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co.,
952 F.2d 1551, 1558 (9th Cir. 1991). Uncorroborated
allegations and “self-serving testimony” will not
create a genuine issue of material fact. Villiarimo v.
Aloha Island Air, Inc., 281 F.3d 1054, 1061 (9th Cir.
2002); T.W. Elec. Serv. V. Pac Elec. Contractors
Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987). Because
Plaintiff failed to file an opposition to Defendant's
motion, the Court accepts unchallenged statements of fact
from the Defendant in their entirety. See Monet v. Chase
Home Fin. LLC, No. 10-CV-00135-LHK, 2011 WL 3740817, at
*7 (N.D. Cal. Aug.23, 2011) (noting that, “[i]the
absence of an opposition, Rule 56 permits the Court to
consider all facts raised by the moving party as undisputed
for purposes of the summary judgment motion”).
Dismissal as a Discovery ...