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Appeal in White Police Officer's Civil Rights Suit Against Department For Racial Remarks

By FindLaw Staff on July 16, 2010 5:25 PM

Plus, Landlord-Tenant Matter

Thompson v. City of Monrovia, B216252, concerned a white police officer's suit against a police department for harassment and hostile work environment arising from offensive remarks and behavior directed at an African American colleague.  In affirming the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the department, the court held that there is no material factual dispute as to plaintiff's claim of retaliation, that there is no material factual dispute as to plaintiff's claim of harassment or of a hostile work environment, and that there is no material factual dispute as to plaintiff's claim for failure to investigate harassment and retaliation.

People ex rel. City of Santa Monica v. Gabriel, B214828, concerned the City of Santa Monica's civil action against a landlord, claiming that he sexually harassed a tenant, entered tenants' units without permission, and rented uninhabitable space as living quarters.  In affirming the trial court's judgment for the most part, the court held that defendant's challenge to the admission of evidence of prior acts is rejected as waived, and that sexual harassment can be a business practice as defendant's harassment of his tenant was made possible by the parties' commercial relationship and occurred only during business-related encounters.  However, the award of attorney's fees was improper as plaintiff sued only under the UCL, which does not authorize an award of attorney fees.

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