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Villanueva v. City of Scottsbluff

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

February 20, 2015

Tamara Villanueva, Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
City of Scottsbluff; Alex Moreno, individually and in his official capacity as Chief of Police, Defendants - Appellees

Submitted November 13, 2014

Page 508

Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Nebraska - Lincoln.

For Tamara Villanueva, Plaintiff - Appellant: Abby Osborn, Joy Shiffermiller, Shiffermiller Law Office P.C. L.L.O., Lincoln, NE.

For City of Scottsbluff, Defendant - Appellee: Howard Paul Olsen Jr., Simmons & Olsen, Scottsbluff, NE; Jerry Lee Pigsley, Harding & Shultz, Lincoln, NE.

For Alex Moreno, Individually and in his official capacity as Chief of Police, Defendant - Appellee: Wayne Eugene Griffin, Schneider & Griffin, North Platte, NE; Jerry Lee Pigsley, Harding & Shultz, Lincoln, NE.

Before RILEY, Chief Judge, BEAM and GRUENDER, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 509

RILEY, Chief Judge.

After ending her brief affair with Scottsbluff Police Chief Alex Moreno, Tamara Villanueva filed suit against Moreno and the City of Scottsbluff (Scottsbluff) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged violations of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and also state tort law. The district court[1] granted summary judgment in the defendants' favor on the § 1983 claims and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law tort claim. Villanueva timely appealed, and we affirm.[2]

I. BACKGROUND

In late 2008, Moreno and Villanueva began a watch group for Villanueva's neighborhood. Villanueva was the group's contact person to the police department, and as the contact person, she regularly communicated with Moreno about problems in the neighborhood. In August 2010, Villanueva expressed to Moreno tat she might be the wrong person to lead the neighborhood watch because she had been in an abusive marriage and her ex-husband, Alvaro Villanueva, had assaulted her the previous day. Although Moreno did not file a formal written report or take any official action against Alvaro, the next day Moreno did speak with Alvaro about the incident. On other occasions, Scottsbluff police officers would neither arrest Alvaro nor generate formal written reports after Villanueva complained about domestic disputes. Officers did arrest Alvaro in August 2011 for violating a protection order.

After the August 2010 conversation, Moreno began what Villanueva describes as a " primping process." He spent more time alone with ...


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