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Oester v. Datan

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Eugene Division

September 9, 2014

Dale E. Oester, Plaintiff,
v.
Gil Datan, Coos County, a political subdivision of the State of Oregon, and Gayla Marie Fannin, Defendant.

ORDER

THOMAS M. COFFIN, Magistrate Judge.

This action arises out of the arrest and prosecution of plaintiff Dale E. Oester for the crimes of Burglary and Theft by Coos County Sheriff's Deputy Gil Datan. The stated grounds for the arrest was information provided to Datan by the plaintiff's former wife, Gayla Fannin, and admissions provided by plaintiff himself.

This action has been brought against Coos County, Deputy Datan, and Gayla Fannin. Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint asserts two Claims for Relief, a First Claim for Relief entitled "42 U.S.C. §1983, " and a Second Claim for Relief entitled "Oregon Common Law Claims"

Plaintiff's § 1983 claims are also broken down into two counts. The first count is against all defendants and is entitled "First Amendment." This count asserts that plaintiff was arrested, not because he had committed a crime, but because he had exercised free speech.

The second count is against all defendants, and entitled "4th Amendment." This second count contends that plaintiffs arrest was made without probable cause.

Presently before the court are defendants' motions (#42, #47) for summary judgment.

Legal Standard

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 allows the granting of summary judgment:

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). There must be no genuine issue of material fact. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc. , 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986).

The movant has the initial burden of establishing that no genuine issue of material fact exists or that a material fact essential to the nonmovant's claim is missing. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett , 477 U.S. 317, 322-24 (1986). Once the movant has met its burden, the burden shifts to the nonmovant to produce specific evidence to establish a genuine issue of material fact or to establish the existence of all facts material to the claim. Id .; see also, Bhan v. NME Hosp., Inc. , 929 F.2d 1404, 1409 (9th Cir. 1991); Nissan Fire & Marine Ins. Co., Ltd., v. Fritz Cos., Inc. , 210 F.3d 1099, 1105 (9th Cir. 2000). In order to meet this burden, the nonmovant "may not rely merely on allegations or denials in its own pleading, " but must instead "set out specific facts showing a genuine issue of fact for trial." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e).

Material facts which preclude entry of summary judgment are those which, under applicable substantive law, may affect the outcome of the case. Anderson , 477 U.S. at 248. Factual disputes are genuine if they "properly can be resolved only by a finder of fact because they may reasonably be resolved in favor of either party." Id . On the other hand, if, after the court has drawn all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmovant, "the evidence is merely colorable, or is not significantly probative, " summary judgment may be granted. Id.

Background Facts

Plaintiff and his former wife, co-defendant Gayla Fannin, entered into a Divorce Agreement. As part of their Divorce Agreement, Fanin was awarded the marital residence. While Fannin was away from her residence, plaintiff came on the property and removed several items of personal property.

Upon her return, Fannin called Coos County and Deputy Gil Datan was dispatched to Fannin's home. Fannin explained the situation of plaintiff coming onto her property. Datan later observed that some of the items ...


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