257 P.3d 1226 (Idaho 2011), 37901, Hoffer v. City of Boise

Docket Nº37901.
Citation257 P.3d 1226, 151 Idaho 400
Opinion JudgeW. JONES, Justice.
Party NameRandy HOFFER, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. CITY OF BOISE, Defendant-Respondent.
AttorneyLaw Offices of Jacob Deaton, PLLC, Eagle, for appellant. Jacob Deaton argued. Boise City Attorney, Boise, for respondent. Scott Muir argued.
Judge PanelChief Justice EISMANN, Justices BURDICK, J. JONES and HORTON concur.
Case DateJuly 11, 2011
CourtSupreme Court of Idaho

Page 1226

257 P.3d 1226 (Idaho 2011)

151 Idaho 400

Randy HOFFER, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

CITY OF BOISE, Defendant-Respondent.

No. 37901.

Supreme Court of Idaho, Boise

July 11, 2011

Page 1227

[151 Idaho 401] Law Offices of Jacob Deaton, PLLC, Eagle, for appellant. Jacob Deaton argued.

Boise City Attorney, Boise, for respondent. Scott Muir argued.

W. JONES, Justice.

I. NATURE OF THE CASE

Randy Hoffer challenges the district court's dismissal of three of his five tort claims against the City of Boise (the City). The district court dismissed Hoffer's claims of tortious interference with contract and defamation against the City because it held as a matter of law that under the Idaho Tort Claims Act (ITCA) and this Court's holding in Sprague v. City of Burley, 109 Idaho 656, 710 P.2d 566 (1985), a governmental entity cannot be held liable for the torts of its employees when a complainant alleges malice and/or criminal intent. We affirm the decision of the district court on the alternative ground that I.C. § 6-904(3) as a matter of law exempts government entities from liability for the intentional torts at issue here.

II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On appeal, Hoffer only challenges the district court's ruling on the City's motion to dismiss Hoffer's complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted brought under I.R.C.P. 12(b)(6). Therefore, the facts are presented here as Hoffer alleged them in his complaint. Hoffer owned a trailer park located at 5631 West Overland Road in Boise, Idaho. On September 15 and 18, 2006, the City issued notices to Hoffer that required him to make electrical improvements to his trailer park because of fire safety concerns. When Hoffer failed to do so, the City, through its agents or employees, posted notices around the trailer park threatening to disconnect electrical service to the trailer park. Hoffer alleges that the City, through its agents or employees, made false statements to the Idaho Statesman newspaper regarding Hoffer's compliance with the City requirements. On November 3, 2006, the City terminated electrical service to the park.

Hoffer filed a complaint against the City, alleging (1) tortious interference with contract (for his lease contracts with his tenants); (2) tortious interference with contract (for his sale contracts with prospective buyers of the trailer park); (3) negligence; (4) intentional infliction of emotional distress; and (5) defamation. The City answered and subsequently brought a motion to dismiss the complaint, arguing that because Hoffer had alleged that the City employees acted with malice and/or criminal intent, under I.C. § 6-904(3) and Sprague the City could not be subject to liability. The district court granted the motion to dismiss with respect to the two tortious interference with contract counts as well as the defamation count, and denied the motion as to the other two counts.

The City filed a motion to reconsider that the district court treated as a motion for summary judgment on the remaining claims. The district court granted summary judgment on the remaining claims. Judgment was entered in favor of the City on June 12, 2009, and Hoffer's complaint was dismissed in its entirety with prejudice. Hoffer timely appealed from the judgment. The Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's decision in an unpublished opinion. Hoffer petitioned for, and was granted, review from this Court. Hoffer does not argue on appeal that the summary judgment was improperly granted, but rather limits his arguments to the claims dismissed by the grant of the motion to dismiss.

III. ISSUE ON APPEAL

1. Whether the district court properly dismissed Hoffer's claims for tortious

Page 1228

[151 Idaho 402] interference with contract and defamation under the ITCA.

2. Whether either party is entitled to attorney fees on appeal.

IV. STANDARD OF REVIEW

" When a case comes before this Court on a petition for review from a Court of Appeals decision, serious consideration is given to the views of the Court of Appeals, but this Court reviews the decision of the lower court directly." Kelly v. State, 149 Idaho 517, 521, 236 P.3d 1277, 1281 (2010). " [A] district court's dismissal of a complaint under I.R.C.P. 12(b)(6) shall be reviewed de novo." Taylor v. McNichols, 149 Idaho 826, 832, 243 P.3d 642, 648 (2010). The Court on appeal must determine " whether the non-movant has alleged sufficient facts in support of his claim, which if true, would entitle him to relief." Orrock v. Appleton, 147 Idaho 613, 618, 213 P.3d 398, 403 (2009) (quoting Rincover v. Dep't of Fin., 128 Idaho 653, 656, 917 P.2d 1293, 1296 (1996)). The Court must " draw[ ] all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party." Taylor v. Maile, 142 Idaho 253, 257, 127 P.3d 156, 160 (2005) (citation omitted). " After drawing all inferences in favor of the non-moving party, the Court then examines whether a claim for relief has been stated." Id. The interpretation of a statute is a question of law subject to free review by this Court. Kimbrough v. Idaho Bd. of Tax Appeals, 150 Idaho 417, 420, 247 P.3d 644, 647 (2011).

V. ANALYSIS

A. We Affirm the District Court's Dismissal of Hoffer's Claims on the Alternative Basis that I.C. § 6-904(3) Exempts Governmental Entities From Liability for the Torts...

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25 practice notes
  • 320 P.3d 1224 (Idaho 2014), 40502, Teurlings v. Larson
    • United States
    • Idaho United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 10 de Fevereiro de 2014
    ...if the employee is within the scope of his or her employment at the time of the negligent act or occurrence. See Hoffer v. City of Boise, 151 Idaho 400, 402-03, 257 P.3d 1226, 1228-29 (2011). Thus, for immunity to apply under I.C. § 6-904(4), National Guard members must be " engaged in......
  • Bates v. 3B Detention Center, 050216 IDDC, 4:14-cv-359-BLW
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 9th Circuit District of Idaho
    • 2 de Maio de 2016
    ...liability for the torts it lists, whether or not there has been an allegation of malice or criminal intent.” Hoffer v. City of Boise, 257 P.3d 1226, 1228 (Id.Sup.Ct. 2011). In essence, the court read the prefatory language as if parentheses had been inserted around the phrase dealing with t......
  • 451 P.3d 17 (Idaho 2019), 46272, Raymond v. Idaho State Police
    • United States
    • Idaho United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 18 de Outubro de 2019
    ...Idaho Wool Growers Ass’n, Inc. v. State, 154 Idaho 716, 720, 302 P.3d 341, 345 (2012) (quoting Hoffer v. City of Boise, 151 Idaho 400, 402, 257 P.3d 1226, 1228 (2011)). "A 12(b)(6) motion looks only at the pleadings to determine whether a claim for relief has b......
  • Hill v. County of Benewah, 030420 IDDC, 2:18-cv-00320-DCN
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 9th Circuit District of Idaho
    • 4 de Março de 2020
    ...from the aforementioned torts, “if there is no allegation of malice and/or criminal intent.” Hoffer v. City of Boise, 257 P.3d 1226, 1229 (Idaho 2011). There are no allegations in Hill's Complaint or Response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, and there is ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
25 cases
  • 320 P.3d 1224 (Idaho 2014), 40502, Teurlings v. Larson
    • United States
    • Idaho United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 10 de Fevereiro de 2014
    ...if the employee is within the scope of his or her employment at the time of the negligent act or occurrence. See Hoffer v. City of Boise, 151 Idaho 400, 402-03, 257 P.3d 1226, 1228-29 (2011). Thus, for immunity to apply under I.C. § 6-904(4), National Guard members must be " engaged in......
  • Bates v. 3B Detention Center, 050216 IDDC, 4:14-cv-359-BLW
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 9th Circuit District of Idaho
    • 2 de Maio de 2016
    ...liability for the torts it lists, whether or not there has been an allegation of malice or criminal intent.” Hoffer v. City of Boise, 257 P.3d 1226, 1228 (Id.Sup.Ct. 2011). In essence, the court read the prefatory language as if parentheses had been inserted around the phrase dealing with t......
  • 451 P.3d 17 (Idaho 2019), 46272, Raymond v. Idaho State Police
    • United States
    • Idaho United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • 18 de Outubro de 2019
    ...Idaho Wool Growers Ass’n, Inc. v. State, 154 Idaho 716, 720, 302 P.3d 341, 345 (2012) (quoting Hoffer v. City of Boise, 151 Idaho 400, 402, 257 P.3d 1226, 1228 (2011)). "A 12(b)(6) motion looks only at the pleadings to determine whether a claim for relief has b......
  • Hill v. County of Benewah, 030420 IDDC, 2:18-cv-00320-DCN
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 9th Circuit District of Idaho
    • 4 de Março de 2020
    ...from the aforementioned torts, “if there is no allegation of malice and/or criminal intent.” Hoffer v. City of Boise, 257 P.3d 1226, 1229 (Idaho 2011). There are no allegations in Hill's Complaint or Response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, and there is ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results