849 P.2d 212 (Mont. 1993), 92-384, Minnie v. City of Roundup

Docket Nº:92-384.
Citation:849 P.2d 212, 257 Mont. 429
Opinion Judge:[8] CHIEF JUSTICE TURNAGE DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.
Party Name:Joan MINNIE and Kenneth Minnie, Plaintiffs and Appellants, v. The CITY OF ROUNDUP, Montana, and Vicki Knudsen, Defendants and Respondents.
Attorney:[7] For Plaintiffs and Appellants: Kevin M. Funyak, Billings. For Defendants and Respondents: Mark D. Parker, Parker Law Firm, Billings.
Case Date:March 30, 1993
Court:Supreme Court of Montana
 
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Page 212

849 P.2d 212 (Mont. 1993)

257 Mont. 429

Joan MINNIE and Kenneth Minnie, Plaintiffs and Appellants,

v.

The CITY OF ROUNDUP, Montana, and Vicki Knudsen, Defendants

and Respondents.

No. 92-384.

Supreme Court of Montana.

March 30, 1993

Submitted on Briefs Jan. 28, 1993.

APPEAL FROM: District Court of the Fourteenth Judicial District, In and for the County of Musselshell, The Honorable Roy C. Rodeghiero, Judge presiding.

Page 213

Kevin M. Funyak, Billings, for plaintiffs and appellants.

Mark D. Parker, Parker Law Firm, Billings, for defendants and respondents.

TURNAGE, Chief Justice.

Joan and Kenneth Minnie (the Minnies) appeal an order granting summary judgment in favor of the City of Roundup, Montana (Roundup) entered in the District Court for the Fourteenth Judicial District, Musselshell County. This appeal involves only that portion of the District Court's summary judgment order pertaining to the Minnies' 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 civil rights claim. We reverse the District Court in part.

Although the Minnies raise two issues for our consideration, because of our holding, we address only one. We restate that issue as:

Did the District Court apply the correct standard to Roundup's motion for summary judgment?

In 1979 Joan Minnie (Minnie) was hired as the City Clerk for Roundup. Prior to that time, Minnie had been the City Water Clerk for Roundup. In July 1990 Minnie was terminated by Roundup as the City Clerk. After her termination, the Minnies filed a complaint against Roundup and thirteen individuals alleging they were liable for wrongful termination.

The Minnies' complaint alleged that Roundup and the other thirteen named defendants were liable for Joan Minnie's wrongful termination under Sec. 39-2-901, MCA, et seq. Additionally, the complaint alleged: breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; negligent infliction of emotional distress; intentional infliction of emotional distress; loss of consortium; and violation of the Open Meeting Act, Sec. 2-3-203, MCA. Furthermore, Joan Minnie alleged violation of her constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983.

In September 1991 both Roundup and Vicki Knudsen (Knudsen), the City Attorney, moved the District Court for summary judgment as to all claims against them. After a hearing on the motion, the District Court granted summary judgment in favor of...

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