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Yates v. Scioto County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities

March 26, 2007

LAUREN MCKINSEY YATES, ET. AL., PLAINTIFFS
v.
SCIOTO COUNTY BOARD OF MENTAL RETARDATION AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, ET. AL., DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Timothy S. Hogan United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

This matter is before the Court on the Motion for Summary Judgment of the Defendants Scioto County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmentally Disabled and John Oakley as to the Cross-Claims of Defendant and Cross-Claimant Anthony Miller (Doc. 41), Defendant and Cross-Claimant's Response to Motion for Summary Judgment for Defendants Scioto County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmentally Disabled and John Oakley as to the Cross-Claims of Defendant and Cross-Claimant Anthony Miller (Doc. 56) and the Reply Memorandum of the Defendants Scioto County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmentally Disabled and John Oakley Regarding the Motion for Summary Judgment as to the Cross-Claims of Defendant and Cross-Claimant Anthony Miller (Doc. 57).*fn1

BACKGROUND

Defendant and Cross-Claimant, Anthony Miller was employed as a principal at the Vern Riffe School, which is part of the charter of the Scioto County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmentally Disabled ("SCBMRDD"). (Doc. 5, Answer and Cross-Claim of Defendant Anthony Miller, ¶ 24). Miller had been hired pursuant to an employment contract with the SCBMRDD. (Doc. 5, Ex. 1, Principal's Contract, attached).

Under the terms of Miller's contract, he was hired for a three-year period commencing on August 20, 2000, and ending on August 20, 2003. (Id. at ¶1). Pursuant to ¶ 14 of Miller's contract, 14. Re-employment At the expiration of this contract, the Principal shall be re-employed for a term of one year at the same salary plus any increments authorized by the Board, unless the Superintendent or the Board, on or before ninety (90) calendar days prior to the expiration date, either re-employs the Principal for a succeeding term or gives the Principal written notice of the Superintendent's or Board's intention not to re-employ him. (Emphasis added)

(Id. at ¶14).

On March 12, 2003, Miller was informed by Defendant John Oakley, the superintendent of the SCBMRDD, that his employment contract would not be renewed. (Doc. 5, Cross-Claim, at ¶ 25). Miller also received written notification of the decision not to renew his contract on March 13, 2003. (Deposition of Anthony Miller, at 70, Ex. 3).

Miller brings this cross-claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Defendants SCBMRDD and John Oakley violated his rights to equal protection of the laws, substantive due process and procedural due process by failing to renew his employment contract. (Doc.5, Cross-Claim, at ¶¶43, 46, 49). Miller also brings claims for breach of contract, wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, breach of implied contract in violation of state law. Finally, Miller brings a claim which, while referencing various reprimands, appears to allege that his "termination" was in direct violation of "Ohio statutory policy and federal statutory policy" which directed Miller to cooperate with law enforcement and childrens services agencies. (Doc. 5, Count VI). We are unsure what to make of this claim, as, apparently, are Defendants SCBMRDD and John Oakley in that they completely fail to address said claim in their motion.

OPINION

A motion for summary judgment should be granted if the evidence submitted to the court demonstrates that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. See also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986). The moving party has the burden of showing the absence of genuine disputes over facts which, under the substantive law governing the issue, might affect the outcome of the action. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323.

A party may move for summary judgment on the basis that the opposing party will not be able to produce sufficient evidence at trial to withstand a motion for judgment as a matter of law. In response to a summary judgment motion properly supported by evidence, the non-moving party is required to present some significant probative evidence which makes it necessary to resolve the parties' differing versions of the dispute at trial. Sixty Ivy Street Corp. v. Alexander, 822 F.2d 1432, 1435 (6th Cir. 1987); Harris v. Adams, 873 F.2d 929, 931 (6th Cir. 1989). Conclusory allegations, however, are not sufficient to defeat a properly supported summary judgment motion. McDonald v. Union Camp Corp., 898 F.2d 1155, 1162 (6th Cir. 1990). The non-moving party must designate those portions of the record with enough specificity that the Court can readily identify those facts upon which the non-moving party relies. Karnes v. Runyon, 912 F. Supp. 280, 283 (S.D. Ohio 1995)(Spiegel, J.). "[A]fter a motion for summary judgment has been filed, thereby testing the resisting party's evidence, a factual issue may not be created by filing an affidavit contradicting [one's own] earlier deposition testimony." Davidson & Jones Dev. Co. v. Elmore Dev. Co., 921 F.2d 1343, 1352 (6th Cir. 1991).

The trial judge's function is not to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter, but to determine whether there is a genuine factual issue for trial. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249-50. In so doing, the trial court does not have a duty to search the entire record to establish that there is no material issue of fact. Karnes, 912 F. Supp. at 283. See also Street v. J.C. Bradford & Co., 886 F.2d 1472, 1479-80 (6th Cir. 1989); Frito-Lay, Inc. v. Willoughby, 863 F.2d 1029, 1034 (D.C. Cir. 1988). The inquiry is whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249-50.

If, after an appropriate time for discovery, the opposing party is unable to demonstrate a prima facie case, summary judgment is warranted. Street, 886 F.2d at 1478 (citing Celotex and Anderson). "Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no 'genuine issue for trial.'" Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).

While we granted Cross-Claimant Miller's motion for reconsideration, we find that the reasoning contained in our previous Order granting summary judgment remains unchanged by Cross-Claimant's arguments. Accordingly, for the reasons which follow, Defendants ...


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