Jones v. Southern Pan Services
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER that Jones has failed to demonstrate new facts, an intervening change in the law, or a manifest injustice. Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that his 44 Motion to Vacate is DENIED. It is further ORDERED that the stay of execution on the pending bill of costs is LIFTED. The clerk of the court is DIRECTED to tax costs against Jones. Signed by Honorable Judge Mark E. Fuller on 5/25/2011. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Appeals Checklist)(jg, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR
THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
SOUTHERN PAN SERVICES,
CASE NO. 2:09-cv-1063-MEF
(WO-DO NOT PUBLISH)
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Marquette Jones (“Jones”) sued his former employer Southern Pan
Services (“Southern Pan”) for discriminatory discharge and discriminatory compensation
based on race. The Court granted Southern Pan’s motion for summary judgment, finding
that Jones, a black male, could not establish that he was as qualified as the Hispanic
workers that Southern Pan retained. This cause is now before the Court on the Plaintiff’s
Motion to Vacate (Doc. # 44) this Court’s order granting the defendant Southern Pan
Services’s motion for summary judgment. Alternatively, Jones moves for reconsideration
of the Court’s decision. For the following reasons, Jones’s Motion to Vacate is due to be
I. LEGAL STANDARD
The District Court has substantial discretion in ruling on a motion for
reconsideration. Groover v. Michelin N. Am., Inc., 90 F. Supp. 2d 1236, 1256 (M.D. Ala.
2000). Reconsideration of a previous order is an “extraordinary remedy to be employed
sparingly.” Id. Courts have recognized only three grounds for reconsideration: 1) an
intervening change in controlling law; 2) the availability of new evidence; and 3) the need
to correct clear error or manifest injustice. Id. Merely expressing disagreement with the
Court’s opinion is not enough to justify relief. Pres. Endangered Areas of Cobb’s
History, Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Eng’rs, 916 F. Supp. 1557, 1560 (N.D. Ga. 1995) (A
motion for reconsideration is not “an opportunity for the moving party and their counsel
to instruct the court on how the court ‘could have done it better’ the first time.”).
Because Jones does not allege either that new facts have arisen or that an
intervening change in the law occurred, his motion to vacate must be based on the
argument that the Court’s decision was a manifest injustice. See Groover, 90 F. Supp. 2d
at 1256. First, Jones argues that the Court abused its discretion by denying his Motion to
Supplement his evidentiary submissions in response to the defendant’s motion for
summary judgment. Second, Jones argues that the Court incorrectly decided whether
Jones was as qualified as the Hispanic workers Southern Pan retained when that question
should have been left to a jury. Third, Jones argues that he could establish a prima facie
claim for discriminatory compensation, and therefore the Court’s dismissal of this claim
Jones also complains about the way in which the Court crafted the “factual
background” portion of it’s memorandum opinion and order. Jones seems to contend that
the Court erred by constructing its own version of the facts instead of merely cutting and
A. Motion to Supplement Jones’s Evidentiary Submissions
Jones argues first that this Court abused its discretion in denying the Plaintiff’s
Motion to Supplement his evidentiary submissions. After responding to the motion for
summary judgment, Jones moved this court to supplement his response with the affidavit
of Jones’s former supervisor at Southern Pan. (Doc. # 29). However, Jones’s motion did
not provide any explanation for why he did not or could not locate the witness until after
the response deadline had passed. Accordingly, this Court denied Jones’s motion to
On his motion to vacate, Jones still does not provide any reason why the witness
could not be located before the response deadline. Jones should have known the identity
of the witness, as the witness was reportedly his supervisor. Jones may have been
displeased with the Court’s ruling on his motion to supplement, but he presents no
grounds for reversing it. A motion for reconsideration is not “an opportunity for the
moving party and their counsel to instruct the court on how the court ‘could have done it
better’ the first time.” Cobb’s History, Inc., 916 F. Supp. at 1560.
B. Jones’s Ability to Establish Pretext
This Court granted Southern Pan summary judgment because Jones failed to
demonstrate that he was as qualified as the Hispanic workers that Southern Pan retained.
pasting the recitation of the facts as found in Jones’s brief. While the Court must draw all
factual inferences in the non-movant’s favor, those inferences should be drawn based on
the evidence presented, and not the narrative contained in the plaintiff’s brief.
In other words, Jones could not demonstrate that Southern Pan’s proffered reason for
dismissing him was pretextual. In the instant motion, Jones vehemently argues that his
deposition qualifies as evidence just as much as Southern Pan’s submitted evidence. The
Court does not dispute that Jones’s deposition is evidence. However, Jones admits in his
deposition that he never discussed work experience or background with any of the
Hispanic men Southern Pan retained. (Doc. # 27 Ex. 1 at 127). Therefore, his conclusion
that he was as qualified as the Hispanic men is pure conjecture. While Jones’s deposition
is evidence, it certainly is not evidence which demonstrates pretext.
Jones also argues that the Hispanic employees’s applications demonstrate a lack of
specialized skills, and therefore demonstrates pretext. However, the applications included
no place to describe or list employment skills, and provided applicants with only limited
ability to explain employment history. Jones calls this “making excuses” about the
evidence. But his criticism of the Court’s decision does not demonstrate the kind of
“manifest injustice” that a motion for reconsideration is meant to address. Jones is merely
attempting to get a second bite at the apple because he is dissatisfied with the Court’s
ruling on summary judgment. Accordingly, his motion for reconsideration is due to be
C. Jones’s Claim for Discriminatory Compensation
Jones’s claim that he can establish a claim for discriminatory compensation is
dependent on his ability to demonstrate that he was as qualified as the Hispanic workers
Southern Pan retained. As explained above, he cannot do so. Accordingly, this portion
of his motion is also due to be denied.
Jones has failed to demonstrate new facts, an intervening change in the law, or a
manifest injustice. Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that his Motion to Vacate is
DENIED. It is further ORDERED that the stay of execution on the pending bill of costs
is LIFTED. The clerk of the court is DIRECTED to tax costs against Jones.
Done this the 25 of May, 2011.
/s/ Mark E. Fuller
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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