Faye Wright, James H. Viers, Carroll Dean Rasnick,plaintiffs-appellants,andlarry M. Deel, James Scott Moore, K.b. Baker, Peggy Johnson,kim Sutherland, Plaintiffs, v. Avery Phipps, Individually, and in His Capacity As Sheriffof Dickenson County, Va, Burl Shortt, Jim Sutherland, Joetate, Jim Robinson, Larry Nowlin, Individually, and in Theircapacities As Members of the Board of Supervisors Ofdickenson County, Va, Henry Vanover, Individually, and Inhis Capacity As Commissioner of Revenue of Dickenson County,va, Paul Moore, Individually, and in His Capacity Astreasurer of Dickenson County, Va, Defendants-appellees.roger L. Elkins, Wanda Moore, Plaintiffs-appellants,andmary Hicks, Sue Rose, Jackie Hill, Gary Lyles, Smiddyharrison, Keith Woods, Johnny Eldridge, Eugene Mullins, Gregchildress, Charles Breeding, Joey O'quinn, Leroy Yates,russell Goins, Carolyn Mullins, Harold Willis, Freddy Boyd,dennis Turner, Tim Edwards, Mickey Blansett, Plaintiffs, v. Ira Sullivan, Avery Phipps, Individually, and in Hiscapacity As Sheriff of Dickenson County, Va, Ralph Vanover,individually, and in His Capacity As Commissioner of Revenueof Dickenson County, Va, Burl Shortt, Jim Sutherland, Joetate, Jim Robinson, Individually, and in Their Capacities Asmembers of the Board of Supervisors of Dickenson County, Va,defendants-appellees,andhenry Vanover, Individually, and in His Capacity Ascommissioner of Revenue of Dickenson County, Va,paul Moore, Individually, and in Hiscapacity As Treasurer Ofdickenson County,va, Defendants.sue Rose, Leroy Yates, Plaintiffs-appellants,andmary Hicks, Jackie Hill, Gary Lyles, Smiddy Harrison, Keithwoods, Johnny Eldridge, Eugene Mullins, Greg Childress,charles Breeding, Joey O'quinn, Russell Goins, Roger L.elkins, Wanda Moore, Carolyn Mullins, Harold Willis, Freddyboyd, Dennis Turner, Tim Edwards, Mickey Blansett, Plaintiffs, v. Avery Phipps, Burl Shortt, Jim Sutherland, Ira Sullivan, Joetate, Jim Robinson, Individually, and in Their Capacities Asmembers of the Board of Supervisors of Dickenson County, Va,ralph Vanover, Individually, and in His Capacity Ascommissioner of Revenue of Dickenson County, Va, Defendants-appellees, 935 F.2d 268 (4th Cir. 1991)Annotate this Case
Appeals from the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, at Big Stone Gap. Glen M. Williams, Senior District Judge. (CA-88-58-B, CA-88-59-B)
Susan Debra Oglebay, Damascus, Va. (Argued), for appellants; Robert Galumbeck, Tazewell, Va., Nancyjean Bradford, Bradford & Associates, P.C., Abingdon, Va., on brief.
Terry Gene Kilgore, Gate City, Va. (Argued), for appellees; Henry S. Keuling-Stout, Keuling-Stout & Bradshaw, Big Stone Gap, Va., Johnny Mack Farmer, Wolfe & Farmer, Norton, Va., Donald Gregory Baker, Clintwood, Va., on brief.
AFFIRMED IN PART AND DISMISSED IN PART.
Before WILKINSON, Circuit Judge, BUTZNER, Senior Circuit Judge, and TERRENCE WILLIAM BOYLE, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina, sitting by designation.
In this appeal, seven former employees of Dickenson County, Virginia, allege that they were impermissibly discharged from their jobs for politically motivated reasons.
The 1987 elections in Dickenson County produced a shift in control of the sheriff's office and Board of Supervisors ("Board") from Democratic to Republican officials. Following the elections, a number of county employees were discharged. Certain of these employees then brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the newly elected sheriff and members of the Board, contending that they were fired in retaliation for their membership in the Democratic party.
The district court set the cases of some plaintiffs for trial and granted summary judgment against other plaintiffs. Summary judgment was entered against, among others, former Board employees Carroll Dean Rasnick, James Viers, and Faye Wright. Wright served as a secretary and Rasnick and Viers were courthouse custodians. Summary judgment was also entered against former sheriff's department employees Roger Elkins, Leroy Yates, Sue Rose, and Wanda Moore.
All seven of these employees have attempted to appeal from the district court's judgment by filing briefs with this court. Rule 54(b) certification, however, had been granted only for the three Board employees, not for the sheriff's department employees. Therefore, the appeals of Elkins, Yates, Rose, and Moore are premature and we do not pass on the merits of their claims. As to Wright, Viers, and Rasnick, we agree for the reasons stated by the district court that they were discharged for legitimate and sufficient reasons independent of political considerations. See Mt. Healthy Bd. of Ed. v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274 (1977).
For the foregoing reasons, the judgment of the district court in case No. 90-2643 is affirmed, and those appeals which are premature are dismissed.
AFFIRMED IN PART AND DISMISSED IN PART.