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Young v. City of Mobile

United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division

October 29, 2014

JERONE YOUNG, Plaintiff,
CITY OF MOBILE, et al. Defendants.


KRISTI K. DuBOSE, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Defendant Samuel Jones' Motion for Summary Judgment, Defendant Michael Williams' Motion for Summary Judgment, and Defendant City of Mobile's Motion for Summary Judgment and supporting briefs (Docs. 85-86, 89-90, and 93-94), Plaintiff Jerone Young's Responses (Docs. 103-105), and the Defendants' replies (Docs. 106-108).

I. Procedural History

On November 27, 2013, Plaintiff Jerone Young ("Young") commenced this action by filing a complaint against the City of Mobile ("the City"), Police Chief Michael T. Williams ("Williams"), Mayor Samuel L. Jones ("Jones"), and Mayor Sandy Stimpson ("Stimpson"). (Doc. 1). The complaint alleged that the Defendants had violated his due process rights as well as the protections of the Equal Protection clause under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments made actionable by 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Counts One and Four), violated his due process rights under the Alabama Constitution of 1901, Article 1, § § 6, 13, and 22 (Count Two), and violated his liberty interest possessed in his good name and reputation (Count Three). (Doc. 1 at 6-13). Williams answered the complaint on December 30, 2013 (Doc. 18). Jones and the City answered the complaint on January 16,

2014 (Docs. 21 and 22). On January 16, 2014, Stimpson filed a motion to dismiss the complaint (Doc. 23) and an answer to the complaint. (Doc. 23). On February 5, 2014, Young filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss Stimpson. (Doc. 27). On February 6, 2014 Young's motion was granted and Stimpson was dismissed as a party. (Doc. 28).

On August 15, 2014, all Defendants moved for summary judgment on all claims (Docs. 85, 89, and 93). Young's responses and the Defendants' replies were timely filed, and the motions are now ripe for consideration.

II. Standard of Review

"The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." FED. R. CIV. P. 56(a) (Dec. 2010). Rule 56(c) provides as follows:

(1) Supporting Factual Positions. A party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support the assertion by:
(A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials; or
(B) showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.
(2) Objection That a Fact Is Not Supported by Admissible Evidence. A party may object that the material cited to support or dispute a fact cannot be presented in a form that would be admissible in evidence.
(3) Materials Not Cited. The court need consider only the cited materials, but it may consider other materials in the record.
(4) Affidavits or Declarations. An affidavit or declaration used to support or oppose a motion must be made on personal knowledge, set out facts that would be admissible in evidence, and show that the affiant or declarant is competent to testify on the matters stated. FED.R.CIV.P. Rule 56(c) (Dec. 2010). The party seeking summary judgment bears the "initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, ' which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Clark v. Coats & Clark, Inc. , 929 F.2d 604, 608 (11th Cir. 1991) (quoting Celotex Corp. v. Catrett , 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986)). If the nonmoving party fails to make "a sufficient showing on an essential element of her case with respect to which she has the burden of proof, " the moving party is entitled to summary judgment. Celotex , 477 U.S. at 323. "In reviewing whether the nonmoving party has met its burden, the court must stop short of weighing the evidence and making credibility determinations of the truth of the matter. Instead, the evidence of the non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Tipton v. Bergrohr GMBH-Siegen , 965 F.2d 994, 998-999 (11th Cir. 1992) (internal citations and quotations omitted).

III. Factual Background[1]

At all times relevant to this action, Plaintiff Jerone Young ("Young") has been a "classified merit system employee" of the Police Department of Defendant City of Mobile ("the City"). (Doc. 1 at 3). Young was employed by the Mobile Police Department as a building maintenance supervisor. (Doc. 105-1 at 31-32) In September 2011, he was charged with conduct unbecoming an employee and failure to be truthful during an investigation. (Id.)

On October 31, 2011, Young received a pre-disciplinary hearing notice from the City. (Doc. 105-1 at 30). The notice advised him of the charges against him and the hearing date on November 9, 2011. (Id.) A hearing took place on November 9, 2011 and in a letter dated November 10, 2011, Young was suspended ...

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