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Medoff v. County of Clark

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 19, 2018

MATT MEDOFF, Plaintiffs,
v.
COUNTY OF CLARK, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

         Presently before the court is defendants David Gibson, Elizabeth Gonzalez, Steve Grierson, and Ed May's (collectively, “the state defendants”) motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 9). Plaintiff Matt Medoff filed a response (ECF No. 16), to which the state defendants replied (ECF No. 23).

         Also before the court is defendant Clark County's motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 13). Plaintiff filed a response (ECF No. 16), to which Clark County replied (ECF No. 25).

         Also before the court is Clark County's stipulation for extension of time to file a reply in support of its motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 21).

         I. Introduction

         The instant action considers whether defendants afforded plaintiff adequate process under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment during employment termination proceedings.

         The Eighth Judicial District Court employed plaintiff as a post-probationary administrative deputy marshal. (ECF No. 1). On May 2, 2016, plaintiff “was involved [as a private citizen] in an off-duty incident [with the LVMPD].” Id. The complaint relates the incident to an alleged relationship between plaintiff and a female deputy district attorney. Id.

         On October 6, 2016, plaintiff received notice that his employer had placed him on administrative leave, pending termination, due to the incident. Id. The notice listed six grounds for termination:

1. That [plaintiff] refused to answer the door of the home he was staying in as a guest after LVMPD officers knocked and announced their presence;
2. [Plaintiff] was dishonest with LVMPD dispatchers when he claimed he did not know LVMPD was outside;
3. [Plaintiff] was dishonest to Internal Affairs when claiming that he was simply friends with a female Deputy District Attorney;
4. [Plaintiff] engaged in impropriety and/or the appearance of impropriety by being in a relationship beyond friendship with a female Deputy District Attorney;
5. [Plaintiff] engaged in conduct unbecoming an employee by arguing with 911 dispatchers, failing to contact responding LVMPD officers, and failing to disclose his relationship with the female Deputy District Attorney; and
6. [Plaintiff] neglected his duty by submitting a report regarding the events of May 2, 2016 which was incomplete and insufficient.

Id.

         On October 20, 2016, plaintiff attended a pretermination hearing in front of discovery commissioner Bonnie Bulla. Id. The purpose of the hearing was to determine whether defendants could terminate plaintiff for cause based on the May 2, 2016 incident. Id. Bulla determined that sufficient evidence supported discipline for violating the off duty incidents policy (by failing to make himself available to responding LVMPD officers) and for conduct unbecoming an employee (by not contacting responding LVMPD officers). Id. Bulla opined that these violations alone did not constitute a sufficient basis to terminate plaintiff's employment. Id.

         On November 2, 2016, defendant Grierson, the court executive officer, adopted the findings of the pretermination hearing. Id. On November 8, 2016, Grierson sent plaintiff an email stating that the court ...


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