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Deputy v. City of Seymour

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

September 30, 2014

ROBIN DEPUTY, Plaintiff,
CITY OF SEYMOUR, et al., Defendant.



Presently pending before the Court is Plaintiff Robin Deputy's Motion to Reconsider Order on Summary Judgment. [Filing No. 53.] Ms. Deputy's motion asks for relief from this Court's Final Judgment, [Filing No. 52], issued the day that the Court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants City of Seymour ("Seymour") and Police Chief William Abbott ("Chief Abbott") (collectively, "Defendants") on all of Ms. Deputy's claims, [Filing No. 51]. For the following reasons, the Court grants Ms. Deputy's pending motion to the extent that the Court addresses the arguments she raises, but denies the relief she requests. [Filing No. 53.]



Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) provides that "[a] motion to alter or amend a judgment must be filed no later than 28 days after the entry of the judgment." A Rule 59(e) motion "is not a fresh opportunity to present evidence that could have been presented earlier." Edgewood Manor Apartment Homes, LLC v. RSUI Indem. Co., 733 F.3d 761, 770 (7th Cir. 2013). Instead, to receive the requested relief, the moving party "must clearly establish (1) that the court committed a manifest error of law or fact, or (2) that newly discovered evidence precluded entry of judgment." Id.



In its summary judgment order, the Court detailed at length the events preceding Ms. Deputy's lawsuit against Defendants. [Filing No. 51 at 3-8.] With one exception addressed in the discussion, Ms. Deputy does not challenge the Court's summary. [Filing No. 53; Filing No. 54.] Below is a condensed version of the background set forth in the summary judgment order to provide context for the Court's rulings on the arguments Ms. Deputy presents in her motion.

Ms. Deputy worked as a dispatcher for the City of Seymour from March 2010 to August 2012. [Filing No. 36-1 at 4; Filing No. 36-3 at 4.] Dispatchers are members of the communications section and are responsible for all incoming emergency 911 calls within Seymour and for dispatching police and fire services. [Filing No. 36-1 at 1.] Two dispatchers are typically on duty at one time-one dispatcher handles incoming 911 emergency calls and the other dispatches for the police officers concerning traffic stops. [Filing No. 36-3 at 5.]

Dispatchers are offered two distinct opportunities for overtime hours. [Filing No. 36-3 at 5-6; Filing No. 43-2 at 41.] Through voluntary overtime, dispatchers can sign up to cover shifts for scheduled absences. [Filing No. 36-3 at 5-6.] In the event of unforeseen absences, dispatchers on the overtime call-out list are asked to take overtime to cover a vacant shift. [Filing No. 43-2 at 41; Filing No. 36-1 at 2.] All available dispatchers are on the call-out list, and the dispatcher currently on duty will call the other dispatchers in the order they are listed. [Filing No. 36-1 at 2.] If a dispatcher agrees to fill the vacancy, his or her name is moved to the bottom of the list. [Filing No. 36-1 at 2.] If no one accepts the overtime, then the dispatcher on duty has to call the other dispatchers again in the order they are listed. [Filing No. 36-3 at 6.] Someone usually accepts the overtime, [Filing No. 36-3 at 12], but on those rare occasions that no one does, it is permissible for a dispatcher to work alone, [Filing No. 36-3 at 13], or for a police officer to help cover the shift, [Filing No. 43-2 at 42-43].

On Saturday, August 25, 2012, Ms. Deputy had the day off. [Filing No. 36-3 at 6.] She consumed multiple alcoholic beverages throughout the day. [ See Filing No. 51 at 4 (citing designated evidence).] Around 8:20 p.m., a dispatcher who was scheduled to work the 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. shift called in sick. [Filing No. 36-1 at 3.] Calls were made to the nine dispatchers on the overtime call-out list, but there were no volunteers. [Filing No. 36-1 at 3; Filing No. 43-2 at 41.] Ms. Deputy's name was on the top of the overtime call-out list. [Filing No. 43-2 at 4.]

Sergeant Mike Cooper called Chief Abbott to inform him that no one had accepted the overtime, and Chief Abbott had Sergeant Cooper send an officer to Ms. Deputy's house to make contact with her. [Filing No. 43-2 at 4.] When Ms. Deputy returned home, Jennings County Sheriff's Deputy Officer Jones was in her driveway with his squad car lights flashing. [Filing No. 36-3 at 8.] Officer Jones told Ms. Deputy that the Seymour Police Department had requested that she call work. [Filing No. 36-3 at 8-9.] Officer Jones left Ms. Deputy's residence after she told him that she would make the call. [Filing No. 36-3 at 8-9.] Ms. Deputy spoke with Sergeant Cooper, who she admits ordered her to come to work. [Filing No. 36-3 at 9 ("Q He ordered you to come in to work? A Yes.").] Ms. Deputy responded, "Okay, well, I've been drinking." [Filing No. 36-3 at 9.] Sergeant Cooper replied that he would tell Chief Abbott. [Filing No. 36-3 at 9.]

Sergeant Cooper called Chief Abbott and told him that Ms. Deputy did not sound like she was under the influence of alcohol but that she was not coming in because she said she had been drinking. [Filing No. 36-1 at 3; Filing No. 43-2 at 5-6.] Chief Abbott told Sergeant Cooper to send the Jennings County Sheriff's Deputy, Officer Jones, back to Ms. Deputy's residence to offer her a portable breath test ("PBT") in order to determine her level of intoxication. [Filing No. 36-1 at 3.] No policy prevented Ms. Deputy from drinking while off duty or refusing overtime. [Filing No. 43-2 at 35-36.]

Officer Jones returned to Ms. Deputy's residence approximately ten to fifteen minutes later, and she walked out to the sidewalk to meet him with a wine cooler in hand. [Filing No. 36-3 at 9-10.] Officer Jones told Ms. Deputy that Chief Abbott had ordered her to take a PBT. [Filing No. 36-3 at 9.] Ms. Deputy refused to take the PBT. [Filing No. 36-3 at 9-10.] Officer Jones told her that he would tell his dispatch and that it would notify the Seymour Police Department. [Filing No. ...

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