Shoemaker v. County of Los Angeles, No. B081963

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtMASTERSON; SPENCER, P.J., and ORTEGA
Citation37 Cal.App.4th 618,43 Cal.Rptr.2d 774
Parties, 102 Ed. Law Rep. 259, 95 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 6237, 95 Daily Journal D.A.R. 10,583 William C. SHOEMAKER, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES et al., Defendants and Appellants.
Decision Date04 August 1995
Docket NumberNo. B081963

Page 774

43 Cal.Rptr.2d 774
37 Cal.App.4th 618, 102 Ed. Law Rep. 259,
95 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 6237,
95 Daily Journal D.A.R. 10,583
William C. SHOEMAKER, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES et al., Defendants and Appellants.
No. B081963.
Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 1, California.
Aug. 4, 1995.

Review Denied Nov. 16, 1995.

Page 776

[37 Cal.App.4th 621] Joseph H. Duff, DeWitt W. Clinton, County Counsel, Stephen R. Morris, Principal Deputy County Counsel, Law Offices of Hausman and Sosa, Jeffrey M. Hausman and Larry D. Stratton, Encino, for defendants and appellants.

Rees Lloyd, Glendale, for plaintiff and respondent.

MASTERSON, Associate Justice.

Plaintiff William C. Shoemaker, M.D., was removed from the administrative positions he held with the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (the "University") and the Los Angeles County Martin Luther King, Jr./Drew Medical Center (the "Medical Center"). Upon Shoemaker's application, the trial court issued a mandatory preliminary injunction reinstating him to those positions pending trial. Defendants appeal from the order granting the injunction. We conclude that the court abused its discretion in issuing the injunction.

BACKGROUND

The evidence before the trial court on Shoemaker's application for a preliminary injunction established the following.

The University is a California public benefit corporation that operates as a private institution of higher learning. Its board of directors has adopted bylaws giving the president of the University broad authority over academic and administrative affairs. The bylaws provide in part that the president "shall be responsible for all administrative areas" and "shall have full power of appointment, direction and supervision of the Faculty."

The University is affiliated with the Medical Center as a result of several contractual arrangements. The Medical Center, a county hospital, is operated by the County of Los Angeles through the department of health services.

The University has a department of emergency medicine, which conducts a residency training program at the Medical Center. As part of this program, residents from the University help staff the Medical Center's emergency medicine services department. The residency program receives academic accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (the "Accreditation Council" or "Council"). Periodically, the academic, research, and clinical aspects of the residency program are reviewed during [37 Cal.App.4th 622] a site visit by the Accreditation Council's

Page 777

Residency Review Committee (the "Review Committee"). 1

Plaintiff Shoemaker was, and still is, a University faculty member, with an academic appointment as a professor of surgery. Further, he was, and still is, employed by Los Angeles County at the Medical Center as a civil service employee, classified as a physician specialist. His principal area of service at the Medical Center has been in the department of surgery, where he has distinguished himself as a trauma surgeon and critical care specialist.

In or about 1989, the University and the Medical Center commenced a search for someone to head their respective departments of emergency medicine. In soliciting job candidates, the Medical Center used a bulletin to describe its available position as follows: "The position involves a dual appointment by the Medical Center and the [University] as Chief of Emergency Medicine Services and Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine, respectively. As Chief of Emergency Medicine Services [at the Medical Center], the appointee will be responsible for organization and management of the Emergency Medicine Services Department and will report to the Medical Director of the medical center regarding clinical matters.... As Chairman of the [University's] Department of Emergency Medicine, the appointee will be responsible for academic and research activities pertaining to emergency medicine and will report to the Dean of the medical school." (Italics added.)

In January 1991, Shoemaker was appointed to fill the vacant administrative positions: he became the chairman of the University's department of emergency medicine and the chief of the Medical Center's emergency medicine services department.

In 1993, the Review Committee evaluated the University/Medical Center residency program in emergency medicine. By letter dated November 24, 1993, the Accreditation Council announced its intention to withdraw accreditation of the program, effective June 30, 1995. The Council gave program officials until January 4, 1994, to respond to the proposed loss of accreditation. If officials did not timely respond, the proposed loss of accreditation would become final. In explaining its position, the Council stated in part: "The leadership of the emergency department has inadequate qualifications by training, certification, and experience as an emergency medicine educator. The current Chairman of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Shoemaker, is a [37 Cal.App.4th 623] board certified surgeon with limited emergency medicine practice experience. He is recognized as a researcher in surgery and critical care who belongs to no emergency medicine organizations and has very limited practice in the emergency department (12 clinical hours per week). His background, although excellent in his field, is not in emergency medicine and he does not practice as a career-dedicated emergency physician. The [Review Committee] cannot consider this individual equivalently qualified in emergency medicine.... This situation is unacceptable."

In a letter of December 17, 1993, the president of the University informed Shoemaker that he would be replaced as chairman of the University's department of emergency medicine: "On many occasions you have volunteered your willingness to step aside as Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at [the University] if conditions warranted it. As I have discussed with you in recent private conversations, that time has now come.... I have determined that your tenure as Chairman will conclude on January 3, 1994. A search for a permanent director will ensue in short order." A similar letter, dated December 23, 1993, from the acting medical director (and approved by the director of health services) notified Shoemaker that effective January 3, 1994, he would no longer serve as chief of the Medical Center's emergency medicine services department. 2

Page 778

Although Shoemaker was removed from his administrative positions at the University and the Medical Center, he retained his status as a professor of surgery (with the University) and as a physician specialist (with the Medical Center). His compensation, benefits, classification, and grade at the Medical Center remained the same. His salary at the University decreased because he was no longer the chair of a department.

On January 14, 1994, in a memorandum addressed to all faculty and staff, the University president announced that "Range Hutson, M.D. has been appointed as the Interim Chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine, effective January 21, 1994.... The national search for a permanent chairman has begun and should be completed within the next six months.... [W]e want to express our appreciation for the many contributions that William Shoemaker, M.D. has made to the department and Medical Center."

On January 3, 1994, Shoemaker filed a verified complaint and an application for a temporary restraining order seeking to prevent his removal from his administrative positions. The court denied the restraining order and issued an order to show cause ("OSC") why a preliminary injunction should [37 Cal.App.4th 624] not issue. The question framed by the OSC (as subsequently amended) was whether Shoemaker could be removed from his administrative posts without being accorded "the due process rights provided by constitutional and statutory law, and the Civil Service Rules of Los Angeles County."

Before the hearing on the preliminary injunction, Shoemaker applied a second time for a temporary restraining order, which the court denied. On January 21, 1994, Shoemaker filed a verified, first amended complaint alleging various causes of action against the University, its president, the County of Los Angeles, the department of health services, and its director. 3

On January 31, 1994, the court granted plaintiff's application for a preliminary injunction, ordering defendants to: (1) refrain from removing Shoemaker as chairman of the University's department of emergency medicine and chief of the Medical Center's emergency medicine services department unless and until they provided him with due process and complied with civil service rules; (2) refrain from appointing a replacement for Shoemaker unless and until he was properly removed from his positions; and (3) rescind all orders removing Shoemaker from his administrative posts.

Defendants timely appealed from the order granting the injunction. Thereafter, we issued a writ of supersedeas staying enforcement of the preliminary injunction so as to preserve the status quo pending appeal. (Code Civ.Proc., § 923.)

DISCUSSION

"The law is well settled that the decision to grant a preliminary injunction rests in the sound discretion of the trial court." (IT Corp. v. County of Imperial (1983) 35 Cal.3d 63, 69, 196 Cal.Rptr. 715, 672 P.2d 121, citations omitted.) "A trial court will be found to have abused its discretion only when it has ' "exceeded the bounds of reason or contravened the uncontradicted evidence." ' (Ibid.) "Further, the burden rests with the party challenging the [trial court's ruling on the application for an] injunction to make a clear showing of an abuse of discretion." (Ibid., citations omitted.)

"[T]rial courts should evaluate two interrelated factors when deciding whether or not to issue a preliminary injunction. The first is the likelihood that the...

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76 practice notes
  • Oiye v. Fox
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • December 11, 2012
    ...in this case merits heightened appellate scrutiny because it is a mandatory injunction. Shoemaker v. County of Los Angeles (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 618, 43 Cal.Rptr.2d 774 stated at page 625, 43 Cal.Rptr.2d 774: “ ‘Where, as here, the preliminary injunction mandates an affirmative [211 Cal.App......
  • People ex rel. Herrera v. Stender
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • January 16, 2013
    ...reverse. (Carsten v. City of Del Mar (1992) 8 Cal.App.4th 1642, 1649, 11 Cal.Rptr.2d 252.)” (Shoemaker v. County of Los Angeles (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 618, 624–625, 43 Cal.Rptr.2d 774 ( Shoemaker ).) On appeal, we do not reweigh conflicting evidence or assess the credibility of witnesses; we......
  • Midway Venture LLC v. Cnty. of San Diego, D078375
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • January 22, 2021
    ...trial court abused its discretion based on the record before it at the time of the ruling." ( Shoemaker v. County of Los Angeles (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 618, 625-626, 43 Cal.Rptr.2d 774.)IIThe Scope of the Injunction and Due Process The State and County parties first argue that the preliminar......
  • People ex rel. Herrera v. Stender, A131625
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • March 20, 2013
    ...reverse. (Carsten v. City of Del Mar (1992) 8 Cal.App.4th 1642, 1649, 11 Cal.Rptr.2d 252.)” (Shoemaker v. County of Los Angeles (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 618, 624–625, 43 Cal.Rptr.2d 774 ( Shoemaker ).) On appeal, we do not reweigh conflicting evidence or assess the credibility of witnesses; we......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
75 cases
  • Oiye v. Fox
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • December 11, 2012
    ...in this case merits heightened appellate scrutiny because it is a mandatory injunction. Shoemaker v. County of Los Angeles (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 618, 43 Cal.Rptr.2d 774 stated at page 625, 43 Cal.Rptr.2d 774: “ ‘Where, as here, the preliminary injunction mandates an affirmative [211 Cal.App......
  • People ex rel. Herrera v. Stender
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • January 16, 2013
    ...reverse. (Carsten v. City of Del Mar (1992) 8 Cal.App.4th 1642, 1649, 11 Cal.Rptr.2d 252.)” (Shoemaker v. County of Los Angeles (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 618, 624–625, 43 Cal.Rptr.2d 774 ( Shoemaker ).) On appeal, we do not reweigh conflicting evidence or assess the credibility of witnesses; we......
  • Midway Venture LLC v. Cnty. of San Diego, D078375
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • January 22, 2021
    ...trial court abused its discretion based on the record before it at the time of the ruling." ( Shoemaker v. County of Los Angeles (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 618, 625-626, 43 Cal.Rptr.2d 774.)IIThe Scope of the Injunction and Due Process The State and County parties first argue that the preliminar......
  • People ex rel. Herrera v. Stender, A131625
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • March 20, 2013
    ...reverse. (Carsten v. City of Del Mar (1992) 8 Cal.App.4th 1642, 1649, 11 Cal.Rptr.2d 252.)” (Shoemaker v. County of Los Angeles (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 618, 624–625, 43 Cal.Rptr.2d 774 ( Shoemaker ).) On appeal, we do not reweigh conflicting evidence or assess the credibility of witnesses; we......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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