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Adrian v. County of Storey

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 21, 2018

COUNTY OF STOREY, a political subdivision of the State of Nevada, and GERALD ANTINORO, Sheriff of Storey County, and DOES 1-10, inclusive, Defendants.



         I. SUMMARY

         Before the Court is Defendants County of Storey and Sheriff Gerald Antinoro's Motion for Summary Judgment (“Motion”). (ECF No. 22.) The Court has reviewed Plaintiff Vanessa Adrian's response (ECF No. 23) and Defendants' reply (ECF No. 26), as well as Defendants' supplement to their Motion (ECF No. 29). The Court construes Defendants' Motion as a partial motion for summary judgment because it does not address all of Plaintiff's claims. So construed, the Court grants Defendants' Motion for the reasons discussed below.


         The following facts come from Plaintiff's Complaint (ECF No. 1-1) unless noted otherwise.

         Plaintiff, a woman, is a former peace officer for the Storey County Sheriff's Office. While the Complaint could have more clearly articulated her claims, the Complaint does allege that “Storey County has discriminated against [Plaintiff] based on her gender in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, subjected her to harassment and sexual harassment, and retaliated against her for her complaints of harassment and discrimination.” (ECF No. 1-1 at 12.) Thus, liberally construed, the Complaint alleges three claims under Title VII-hostile work environment, disparate treatment, and retaliation. Defendants' Motion seeks summary judgment as to two claims of these claims-hostile work environment and disparate treatment.[1] (See ECF No. 22.)

         A. Hostile Work Environment

         Plaintiff alleges that she endured a hostile work environment due to her colleagues' unwelcome remarks based on her gender, some of which were overtly sexual. In total, Plaintiff alleges five episodes of harassment occurring between the summer of 2007 and April 11, 2012. The first instance of alleged harassment occurred in the summer of 2007 when Anthony Dosen, an investigator sergeant, was taking a urine sample from a male inmate and asked Plaintiff, “Do you want to hold it [the inmate's penis] for him?” (ECF No. 1-1 at 4.) The second occurred in October 2009 when Lance Andres, a colleague who trained alongside Plaintiff to be a detention officer, made unspecified comments about her stature and gender. The third occurred in 2010 when Anthony Francone, a shift corporal, remarked, “If I ever do leave my wife, you are plan B.” (Id.) The fourth occurred in September 2011 when Andres was training Plaintiff to be a patrol officer. Andres allegedly addressed Plaintiff as “woman” and made the following remarks to her: “Geez, you are driving all over the place, woman;” “You have a small frame;” “Your voice is too soft. You need to be more aggressive;” and “We need to work on your officer safety because you are so small.” (Id. at 5.) The fifth occurred on April 11, 2012, when Andres commented during a remedial training session, “Hey sweetie, your keepers are undone.” (Id. at 8.) Plaintiff's Complaint does not include allegations of any physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature occurring after April 11, 2012.

         B. Disparate Treatment

         The Complaint appears to allege two discrete acts of disparate treatment: her termination and the temporary revocation of her driving privileges. (See ECF No. 1-1 at 12; ECF No. 22 at 11-12.)

         Plaintiff's driving privileges were revoked on June 14, 2012. Sheriff Antinoro informed Plaintiff that her driving privileges were revoked because she failed to demonstrate the ability to operate a patrol vehicle under conditions that could arise in the line of duty. (ECF No. 22-1 at 74.) Plaintiff contends that her driving privileges were actually revoked on the basis of her sex. Plaintiff's driving privileges were reinstated around August 8, 2012.

         Plaintiff was terminated effective October 24, 2012. (ECF No. 22-1 at 78.) Plaintiff received a letter stating that she was terminated for violating several policies in connection with the escape of an inmate. (See Id. at 77-78.) Plaintiff contends that she was actually fired because of her sex.


         Summary judgment is appropriate when 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 moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). An issue is genuine “if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party, ” and a dispute is material if ...

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