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Lamb v. Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 36

Supreme Court of Nebraska

March 25, 2016

THOMAS LAMB, APPELLANT,
v.
FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE LODGE NO. 36 AND MICHAEL ROBINSON, WASHINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF, AN INDIVIDUAL, APPELLEES

Page 389

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 390

Appeal from the District Court for Washington County: JOHN E. SAMSON, Judge.

Thomas M. White, C. Thomas White, and Amy S. Jorgensen, of White & Jorgensen, for appellant.

Michael P. Dowd, of Dowd, Howard & Corrigan, L.L.C., for appellee Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 36.

Charles W. Campbell, of Angle, Murphy & Campbell, P.C., L.L.O., for appellee Michael Robinson.

HEAVICAN, C.J., WRIGHT, CONNOLLY, CASSEL, and STACY, JJ. MILLER-LERMAN, J., participating on briefs.

OPINION

Page 391

[293 Neb. 140] Heavican, C.J.

I. INTRODUCTION

Thomas Lamb filed suit against the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 36 (Lodge No. 36) and Michael Robinson, Washington County Sheriff, alleging breach of contract and intentional interference with a business relationship. The district court dismissed Lamb's suit. Lamb appeals. We affirm.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Lamb was employed as a captain in the Washington County, Nebraska, sheriff's office. Lamb was a member of Lodge No. 36, a labor union representing employees of the Washington County sheriff's office. Lodge No. 36 and Washington County entered into a labor agreement on June 28, 2005. Robinson is the sheriff of Washington County.

On April 4, 2013, Robinson informed Lamb that he was under investigation. The reason for this investigation is not in our record. Robinson appointed two sergeants within his office to conduct the investigation into Lamb. Lamb maintained that as officers holding a lesser rank, the appointed officers were not permitted by the labor contract to investigate him; despite this, Lamb was questioned in connection with the investigation. Lamb also requested, from Lodge No. 36, representation during the questioning, but alleged that he did not receive it.

On April 13, 2013, apparently at the instigation of the investigating officers, Robinson took over the investigation into Lamb. On April 19, Lamb's employment was terminated.

On September 2, 2014, Lamb filed suit against Lodge No. 36 and Robinson. He subsequently filed an amended complaint. That complaint sets forth two causes of action.

The first, against Lodge No. 36, alleges breach of contract. Lamb alleges that Lodge No. 36's refusal to provide representation after he requested it was a breach of the labor contract and of Lodge No. 36's duty of fair representation. Lamb further alleges that there was no grievance procedure set forth in [293 Neb. 141] the labor contract for grievance against Lodge No. 36 and that therefore, he had no obligation to file one.

The second cause of action is against Robinson for tortious interference with a business relationship. Lamb alleges that Robinson obstructed Lodge No. 36's ability to fulfill its duty of fair ...


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