APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MAINE. Hon. George Z. Singal, U.S. District Judge.
Vacated and remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. Costs to appellant.
David Glasser for appellant.
Frederick F. Costlow, with whom Heidi J. Hart and Richardson, Whitman, Large & Badger were on brief, for appellee.
Before Howard, Chief Judge, Lipez and Barron, Circuit Judges.
LIPEZ, Circuit Judge.
Prior to being laid off, Alan Clukey served as a police dispatcher for the Town of Camden (" the Town" ) for thirty-one years. The sole issue on appeal, the second one in this case, is whether the collective bargaining agreement governing Clukey's employment contained an unambiguous condition precedent requiring Clukey to submit his address and phone number to the Town after his layoff in order to assert his recall rights.
Because we conclude that the pertinent contract provision is ambiguous, we vacate the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Town and remand for further proceedings.
A. Factual Background
Alan Clukey was an employee of the Camden police department from 1976 until he was laid off in June 2007, at which time he was the department's most senior dispatcher. The collective bargaining agreement (" the CBA" ) between the police union and the Town permitted the layoff of dispatchers " for any reason" and provided for recall of qualified employees based on seniority.
The CBA's recall provision, Article 19, Section 3, states, in pertinent part:
The affected employee has recall rights for twelve (12) months from the date of such layoff. The affected employee shall file in writing his or her mailing address and telephone number, if any, with the Town Manager at his/her office and shall be obligated, as a condition of his/her recall rights for said twelve (12) month period, to continue to inform the Town Manager in writing of any change thereafter.
It is undisputed that Clukey did not " file in writing" his address or phone number with the Town Manager after his layoff, but it is also undisputed that the Town had that information in its employment records. During the twelve-month period after Clukey was laid off on June 30, 2007, vacancies opened in the Camden Police Department for a parking enforcement officer and an administrative position, both of which Clukey was qualified to fill. However, the Town neither recalled Clukey to employment nor notified him that he was not being selected for the positions.
B. Procedural Background
1. The Lawsuit
In 2012, Clukey and his wife, Dera Clukey, brought this lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the Town had deprived him, without due process of law, of his property interest in his right to be recalled. The Town moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that Clukey did not have a constitutionally protected property interest in his asserted recall right. The magistrate judge held that Clukey had a property interest in his right to be recalled, but ultimately ruled that our decision in Ramirez v. Arlequin,447 F.3d 19 (1st Cir. 2006), compelled the conclusion ...