401 P.3d 148 (Idaho 2017), 44447, Hammer v. Ribi

Docket Nº:44447
Citation:401 P.3d 148
Opinion Judge:HORTON, Justice.
Party Name:SHARON R. HAMMER, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. NILS RIBI, Defendant-Respondent
Attorney:James R. Donoval, Eagle, for appellant. Naylor & Hales, P.C., Boise, for respondent. Kirtlan Naylor argued.
Judge Panel:HORTON, Justice. Chief Justice BURDICK, Justices EISMANN, JONES, and Justice Pro Tem TROUT, CONCUR. Chief Justice BURDICK, Justices EISMANN, JONES, and Justice Pro Tem TROUT, CONCUR.
Case Date:August 25, 2017
Court:Supreme Court of Idaho
 
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Page 148

401 P.3d 148 (Idaho 2017)

SHARON R. HAMMER, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

NILS RIBI, Defendant-Respondent

44447

Supreme Court of Idaho

August 25, 2017

2017 Opinion No. 95

Page 149

Appeal from the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Blaine County. Hon. Robert J. Elgee, District Judge.

Hammer v. City of Sun Valley, (D. Idaho, June 17, 2014)

The judgment of the district court is vacated and the case is remanded for further proceedings.

James R. Donoval, Eagle, for appellant.

Naylor & Hales, P.C., Boise, for respondent. Kirtlan Naylor argued.

HORTON, Justice. Chief Justice BURDICK, Justices EISMANN, JONES, and Justice Pro Tem TROUT, CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 150

HORTON, Justice.

Sharon Hammer appeals from the district court's order dismissing her complaint. Hammer's action against Nils Ribi alleges that he assaulted her during a city council meeting on September 15, 2011. The district court granted Ribi's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The district court denied Hammer's motion to require Ribi to undergo a mental examination and ruled that Hammer failed to plead facts which would show that Ribi was not immune from suit under the Idaho Tort Claims Act (ITCA). We vacate the judgment dismissing Hammer's lawsuit and remand for further proceedings.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

This litigation arises from events occurring during a city council meeting on September 15, 2011. Hammer was employed as City Administrator for Sun Valley, and Ribi was a member of the city council. Hammer's complaint alleges that, during a break in the meeting, Hammer left the council chambers to copy some documents. Ribi followed Hammer and demanded that she make certain changes to budget documents. Hammer refused to make the changes and told Ribi that she had to speak with the Mayor before she could make any changes. Ribi then raised his arms and told Hammer, " No! You will not talk to the Mayor!" Hammer was afraid that Ribi was going to hit her, and she stepped back and said, " Whoa!"

Hammer's complaint alleged that Ribi had committed a civil assault. Hammer's action was originally brought in federal court. In July of 2015, the federal court declined to continue to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the civil assault claim. Hammer

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then filed this case in state court. In the state court proceedings, Hammer filed a motion pursuant to I.R.C.P. 35, seeking an order requiring Ribi to undergo a mental examination.

Ribi moved to dismiss the complaint. Hammer responded with a motion to amend her complaint. Following a hearing, the district court granted Ribi's motion to dismiss the complaint for failing to properly plead facts that would support a claim of civil assault but granted Hammer leave to amend her complaint. The court then denied Hammer's motion for a mental examination. Hammer filed a motion to reconsider which the district court denied without hearing.

On May 20, 2016, Hammer filed her amended complaint. Ribi filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint under Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), again arguing that Hammer had failed to plead facts necessary to support a finding of civil assault. Ribi also claimed that he was immune from the lawsuit under the ITCA. The district court granted the motion to dismiss. The district court assumed, without deciding, that Hammer had properly pleaded the elements of civil assault but held that Hammer had failed to plead sufficient facts to show that Ribi was not immune under the ITCA. Hammer timely appealed.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

" When this Court reviews an order dismissing an action pursuant to I.R.C.P. 12(b)(6), we apply the same standard of review we apply to a motion for summary judgment." Losser v. Bradstreet, 145 Idaho 670, 672-73, 183 P.3d 758, 760-61 (2008). " A 12(b)(6) motion looks only at the pleadings to determine whether a claim for relief has been stated." Young v. City of Ketchum, 137 Idaho 102, 104, 44 P.3d 1157, 1159 (2001). " [O]n review of a dismissal this Court determines whether the non-movant has alleged sufficient facts in support of his claim, which if true, would entitle him to relief." Idaho Wool Growers Ass'n, Inc. v. State, 154 Idaho 716, 720, 302 P.3d 341, 345 (2012) (internal quotations and citations omitted). " In doing so, the Court draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party." Id.

" The decision to order psychological testing is within the discretion of the trial court." Navarro v. Yonkers, 144 Idaho 882, 887, 173 P.3d 1141, 1146 (2007). " A trial court acts within its discretion when it (1) recognizes the decision as one of discretion, (2) acts within the outer limits of that discretion and (3) reaches its...

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