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Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County v. Teamsters Local 533

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 18, 2017

REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION OF WASHOE COUNTY, Plaintiff,
v.
TEAMSTERS LOCAL 533, and DOES I-X, inclusive, Defendant.

          ORDER

          MIRANDA M. DU UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. SUMMARY

         Plaintiff Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (“RTC” or “Plaintiff”) seeks declaratory relief regarding its plan to activate the audio portion of a recording system already installed on its buses, which are operated by members of Defendant Teamsters Local 533 (“the Union” or “Defendant”). Before the Court is RTC's Motion for Summary Judgment (“Plaintiff's Motion”) (ECF No. 26) and the Union's Motion for Summary Judgment (“Defendant's Motion”) (ECF No. 28).[1] The Court has reviewed RTC's response and reply (ECF Nos. 31, 33) and the Union's response and reply (ECF Nos. 32, 34) as well as all accompanying exhibits.

         For the reasons discussed below, Plaintiff's Motion is granted and Defendant's Motion is denied.

         II. BACKGROUND

         RTC initiated this action on December 1, 2014, in the Second Judicial District Court for Washoe County. (ECF No. 26 at 1; ECF No. 28 at 6.) The case was removed on December 22, 2014. (ECF No. 1.) In their Complaint, RTC asks that this Court enter a declaratory judgment finding that activation of the audio component of Mobile View does not violate NRS § 200.640 or § 200.650 or the Union Contract. (ECF No. 1-2 at 5-6.) The facts in this case are not at issue.

         RTC has the exclusive right to operate a system of public transportation in Washoe County. (ECF No. 1-2 at 2; ECF No. 26 at 2.) RTC contracted with MV Transportation, Inc. (“MV”) to operate RTC's assets, including public buses. (ECF No. 1-2 at 2; ECF No. 26 at 2; ECF No. 28 at 9.) The Union represents the drivers of RTC buses. (ECF No. 26 at 2; ECF No. 28 at 6.) MV and the Union entered into a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA” or “Agreement”), which governs drivers and other employees who operate RTC's buses. (ECF No. 26 at 2; ECF No. 28 at 9.) Each RTC bus is equipped with two audio-video recording systems: DriveCam[2] and Mobile View. (ECF No. 26 at 2; ECF No. 28 at 10.) At the front of each bus is a notice posted in both English and Spanish informing individuals that “this vehicle may be equipped with audio and video surveillance.” (ECF No. 26 at 2.)

         At issue here is activation and use of the audio component of Mobile View. Mobile View is a system of 6 to 12 cameras placed on each RTC bus. (ECF No. 26 at 3.) It continuously records video, which is stored for up to 7 days after which the video is recorded over. (ECF No. 26 at 3.) A recording can be retrieved at any time prior to being recorded over. (ECF No. 26 at 3.) The Mobile View system also has a camera that has a microphone, which is placed at the front of the bus near the fare box. (ECF No. 26 at 3.) This microphone is capable of recording audio of conversations around the driver as well as noises that can be heard by the bus driver. (ECF No. 26 at 3.) The microphone is currently not enabled on RTC buses.

         On March 21, 2014, MV provided notice to its bus drivers that the audio component of Mobile View would be activated. (ECF No. 26 at 4.) The notice stated that activation of the microphone of Mobile View would be effective as of April 21, 2014. (ECF No. 26 at 4.) On April 1, the President of the Union, Gary Watson, notified MV that the Union objected to activation of the microphone and audio recording. (ECF No. 26 at 4; ECF No. 28 at 11.) As a result of the Union's objection and threat of criminal penalties, RTC decided to defer implementation of the audio recording and to seek declaratory judgment in this action. (ECF No. 26 at 4.)

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         “The purpose of summary judgment is to avoid unnecessary trials when there is no dispute as to the facts before the court.” Nw. Motorcycle Ass'n v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., 18 F.3d 1468, 1471 (9th Cir. 1994). Summary judgment is appropriate when the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show “there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 (1986). An issue is “genuine” if there is a sufficient evidentiary basis on which a reasonable fact-finder could find for the nonmoving party and a dispute is “material” if it could affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248-49 (1986). Where reasonable minds could differ on the material facts at issue, however, summary judgment is not appropriate. See id. at 250-51. “The amount of evidence necessary to raise a genuine issue of material fact is enough ‘to require a jury or judge to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial.'” Aydin Corp. v. Loral Corp., 718 F.2d 897, 902 (9th Cir. 1983) (quoting First Nat'l Bank v. Cities Service Co., 391 U.S. 253, 288-89 (1968)). In evaluating a summary judgment motion, a court views all facts and /// draws all inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Kaiser Cement Corp. v. Fishbach & Moore, Inc., 793 F.2d 1100, 1103 (9th Cir. 1986).

         The moving party bears the burden of showing that there are no genuine issues of material fact. Zoslaw v. MCA Distrib. Corp., 693 F.2d 870, 883 (9th Cir. 1982). “In order to carry its burden of production, the moving party must either produce evidence negating an essential element of the nonmoving party's claim or defense or show that the nonmoving party does not have enough evidence of an essential element to carry its ultimate burden of persuasion at trial.” Nissan Fire & Marine Ins. Co., Ltd v. Fritz Cos., Inc., 210 F.3d 1099, 1102 (9th Cir. 2000). Once the moving party satisfies Rule 56's requirements, the burden shifts to the party resisting the motion to “set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256. The nonmoving party “may not rely on denials in the pleadings but must produce specific evidence, through affidavits or admissible discovery material, to show that the dispute exists, ” Bhan v. NME Hosps., Inc., 929 F.2d 1404, 1409 (9th Cir. 1991), and “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Orr v. Bank of Am., NT & SA, 285 F.3d 764, 783 (9th Cir. 2002) (internal citations omitted). “The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the plaintiff's position will be insufficient.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.

         Further, “when parties submit cross-motions for summary judgment, ‘[e]ach motion must be considered on its own merits.'” Fair Hous. Council of Riverside Cty., Inc. v. Riverside Two, 249 F.3d 1132, 1136 (9th Cir. 2001) (quoting William W. Schwarzer, et al., The Analysis and Decision of Summary Judgment Motions, 139 F.R.D. 441, 499 (Feb. 1992) (additional citations omitted)). “In fulfilling its duty to review each cross-motion separately, the court must review the evidence submitted in support of each cross-motion.” Id.

         IV. DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff's Motion argues that activating the audio component of the recording system does not violate NRS §§ 200.640 or 200.650 and that it is not a mandatory subject of collective bargaining pursuant to the CBA. By contrast, Defendant's Motion argues the exact opposite on each point raised by Plaintiff and raises the additional argument that activating the audio component is a mandatory subject of bargaining under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). The Court agrees with Plaintiff that ...


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