Martin v. Litton Loan Servicing LP

Filing 225

ORDER signed by District Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. on 5/18/2017 DENYING Plaintiff's 223 Motion for Reconsideration. This matter is CONFIRMED for trial on Monday, 5/22/2017, at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom 7. (Zignago, K.)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 RENEE L. MARTIN, 12 13 No. 2:12-cv-00970-MCE-CKD Plaintiffs, v. ORDER 14 15 16 LITTON LOAN SERVICING LP, et al., Defendants. 17 18 Presently before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration (ECF No. 223) 19 of the Court's prior Order (ECF No. 221) denying Plaintiff's Motion for an Extension of 20 Time and New Trial Date (ECF No. 218), which Defendant opposes (ECF No. 224). For 21 the following reasons, that Motion is DENIED. 22 A motion for reconsideration is properly brought pursuant to either Federal Rule of 23 Civil Procedure 59(e) or Rule 60(b). Taylor v. Knapp, 871 F.2d 803, 805 (9th Cir. 1989). 24 A motion for reconsideration is treated as a Rule 59(e) motion if filed within twenty-eight 25 days of entry of judgment, but as a Rule 60(b) motion if filed more than twenty-eight days 26 after judgment. See Am. Ironworks & Erectors, Inc. v. N. Am. Constr. Corp., 248 F.3d 27 892, 898-99 (9th Cir. 2001). A motion may be construed as a Rule 59 motion even 28 though it is not labeled as such, or not labeled at all. Taylor, 871 F.2d at 805. 1 1 2 Since this motion is was timely filed, the Court will treat it as a Rule 59(e) motion. A court should be loath to revisit its own decisions unless extraordinary 3 circumstances show that its prior decision was clearly erroneous or would work a 4 manifest injustice. Christianson v. Colt Indus. Operating Corp., 486 U.S. 800, 817 5 (1988). This principle is embodied in the law of the case doctrine, under which “a court 6 is generally precluded from reconsidering an issue that has already been decided by the 7 same court, or a higher court in the identical case.” United States v. Alexander, 106 8 F.3d 874, 876 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting Thomas v. Bible, 983 F.2d 152, 154 (9th Cir. 9 1993)). Nonetheless, in certain limited circumstances, a court has discretion to 10 11 reconsider its prior decisions. While Rule 59(e) permits a district court to reconsider and amend a previous 12 order, “the rule offers an ‘extraordinary remedy, to be used sparingly in the interests of 13 finality and conservation of judicial resources.’” Kona Enter., Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 14 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000) (quoting 12 James William Moore, et al., Moore's 15 Federal Practice § 59.30(4) (3d ed. 2000)). Indeed, a district court should not grant a 16 motion for reconsideration “absent highly unusual circumstances, unless the district court 17 is presented with newly discovered evidence, committed clear error, or if there is an 18 intervening change in the controlling law.” 389 Orange St. Partners v. Arnold, 179 F.3d 19 656, 665 (9th Cir. 1999) (citing School Dist. No. 1J v. AcandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 20 (9th Cir. 1993)). Mere dissatisfaction with the court's order, or belief that the court is 21 wrong in its decision, is not grounds for relief under Rule 59(e). Twentieth Century-Fox 22 Film Corp. v. Dunnahoo, 637 F.2d 1338, 1341 (9th Cir. 1981). 23 Additionally, Local Rule 230(j) requires a party filing a motion for reconsideration 24 to show the “new or different facts or circumstances claimed to exist which did not exist 25 or were not shown upon such prior motion, or what other grounds exist for the motion.” 26 Finally, motions for relief from judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e) are addressed to the 27 sound discretion of the district court. Turner v. Burlington N. Santa Fe R.R., 338 F.3d 28 1058, 1063 (9th Cir. 2003). 2 1 In order to succeed, a party making a motion for reconsideration pursuant to Rule 2 59(e) must “set forth facts or law of a strongly convincing nature to induce the court to 3 reverse its prior decision.” Pritchen v. McEwen, No. 1:10-cv-02008-JLT HC, 2011 WL 4 2115647, at *1 (E.D. Cal. May 27, 2011) (citing Kern-Tulare Water Dist. v. City of 5 Bakersfield, 634 F. Supp. 656, 665 (E.D. Cal. 1986), aff'd in part and rev'd in part on 6 other grounds, 828 F.2d 514 (9th Cir. 1987)). A motion for reconsideration should not be 7 used to raise arguments or present evidence for the first time when the arguments or 8 evidence could reasonably have been raised earlier in the litigation. 389 Orange St. 9 Partners, 179 F.3d at 665. 10 Furthermore, “courts avoid considering Rule 59(e) motions where the grounds for 11 amendment are restricted to either repetitive contentions of matters which were before 12 the court on its prior consideration or contentions which might have been raised prior to 13 the challenged judgment.” Costello v. United States, 765 F. Supp. 1003, 1009 (C.D. Cal. 14 1991); see also Taylor, 871 F.2d at 805. This position stems from the district courts' 15 “concerns for preserving dwindling resources and promoting judicial efficiency.” 16 Costello, 765 F. Supp. at 1009 (internal citations omitted). Rule 59(e) and motions for 17 reconsideration are therefore not intended to “give an unhappy litigant one additional 18 change to sway the judge.” Frito-Lay of P.R., Inc. v. Canas, 92 F.R.D. 384, 390 (D.P.R. 19 1981) (quoting Durkin v. Taylor, 444 F. Supp. 226, 233 (N.D. Ohio 1967)). 20 Plaintiff offers insufficient justification to warrant reconsideration of this Court’s 21 prior order. Instead, she rehashes her prior arguments with a bit more detail, vaguely 22 elaborating on her medical condition and the opinions she’s received indicating she will 23 require surgery.1 Plaintiff still has not explained to the Court, however, how she 24 exercised the requisite due diligence in seeking through her prior motion to modify the 25 Court’s scheduling order. Nor has she explained how her medical condition has 26 changed since the Court’s prior order or how it prevents her from preparing for trial. 27 28 1 The Court is cognizant that Plaintiff was in a car accident at the beginning of this month as well, but absent substantiated information as to how that accident interferes with Plaintiff’s ability to prepare for trial, it has no bearing on the Court’s decision. 3 1 To the contrary, it appears from Plaintiff’s papers that she has been advised for weeks 2 that “immediate surgery” may be necessary, but nothing has yet been scheduled. 3 Moreover, this action is five years old, has been set for trial on the current date for 4 months, and only small discrete issues remain to be tried. Given the age of this case 5 and Plaintiff’s ability to file multiple motions and trial documents over the last few 6 months, it is apparent to the Court that Plaintiff is not only intimately familiar with the 7 remaining claims, but is also more than capable of participating in a one-day bench trial. 8 In sum, Plaintiff has failed to show “strongly convincing” facts warrant reconsideration. 9 Accordingly, for the reasons just stated and those articulated in Defendant’s Opposition, 10 Plaintiff’s Motion (ECF No. 223) is DENIED. This matter is CONFIRMED for trial on 11 Monday, May 22, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom 7. 12 13 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: May 18, 2017 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?