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Summary Judgment Motion Filed With Amended Complaint Premature

A California federal court denied sheriff's deputies summary judgment in their action alleging discriminatory employment practices. The court agreed with Defendants that the motion was premature.

In October 2006, the San Francisco Sheriff's Department (SFSD) instituted a policy requiring that only female personnel could be assigned to female housing units in the jail. "Pursuant to the October 2006 policy, only female guards staff the female pods, and only male guards staff the male pods."

Several male and female guards brought federal suit alleging that they have suffered employment discrimination due to the SFSD gender-based staffing policy.

On October 17, 2008, Plaintiffs filed their first amended complaint and simultaneously moved for partial summary judgment. Defendants opposed summary judgment and moved to dismiss the motion as premature under FRCP 56(f).

The district court agreed "with defendants that plaintiffs cannot move for summary judgment… before defendants have even answered plaintiffs’ amended complaint."

Finding that "the current record is not sufficiently developed to allow the Court to address the merits of plaintiff's summary judgment arguments," the court denied Plaintiffs motion "without prejudice to consideration on a fully developed factual record," and denied Defendants' motions as moot. See: Ambat v. City and County of San Francisco, 693 F.Supp.2d 1130 (2010).

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Related legal case

Ambat v. City and County of San Francisco