Stucki et al v. City of Pocatello et al
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER Defendants City of Pocatello and Niko Gordon's Motion for Court to Decline Jurisdiction (Dkt. 73 ) is DENIED. Plaintiffs' Motion to Alert or Amend Judgment (Reconsideration) (Dkt. 74 ) is DENIED. Signed by Judge B. Lynn Winmill. (caused to be mailed to non Registered Participants at the addresses listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) by (jp)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF IDAHO
GINA STUCKI; MINOR CHILD 1, by
and through her mother GINA STUCKI;
and MINOR CHILD 2, by and through
her mother, GINA STUCKI,
Case No. 4:15-cv-00422
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND
CITY OF POCATELLO; BANNOCK
COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE;
BANNOCK COUNTY EMERGENCY
COMMUNICATIONS CENTER and
NIKO GORDON IV, individually and in
his official capacity as a police officer for
Pocatello Police Department,
The Court has before it Defendants City of Pocatello and Niko Gordon’s Motion
for Court to Decline Jurisdiction (Dkt. 73), and Plaintiffs’ Motion to Alter or Amend
Judgment (Reconsideration) (Dkt. 74).
Motion to Reconsider
A motion to reconsider an interlocutory ruling requires an analysis of two
important principles: (1) Error must be corrected; and (2) Judicial efficiency demands
forward progress. The former principle has led courts to hold that a denial of a motion to
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER - 1
dismiss or for summary judgment may be reconsidered at any time before final judgment.
Preaseau v. Prudential Insurance Co., 591 F.2d 74, 79-80 (9th Cir. 1979). While even
an interlocutory decision becomes the “law of the case,” it is not necessarily carved in
stone. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes concluded that the “law of the case” doctrine
“merely expresses the practice of courts generally to refuse to reopen what has been
decided, not a limit to their power.” Messinger v. Anderson, 225 U.S. 436, 444 (1912).
“The only sensible thing for a trial court to do is to set itself right as soon as possible
when convinced that the law of the case is erroneous. There is no need to await
reversal.” In re Airport Car Rental Antitrust Litigation, 521 F.Supp. 568, 572 (N.D.Cal.
The need to be right, however, must co-exist with the need for forward progress. A
court’s opinions “are not intended as mere first drafts, subject to revision and
reconsideration at a litigant's pleasure.” Quaker Alloy Casting Co. v. Gulfco Indus., Inc.,
123 F.R.D. 282, 288 (N.D.Ill.1988).
Reconsideration of a court’s prior ruling under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
59(e) is appropriate “if (1) the district court is presented with newly discovered evidence,
(2) the district court committed clear error or made an initial decision that was manifestly
unjust, or (3) there is an intervening change in controlling law.” S.E.C. v. Platforms
Wireless Int’l Corp., 617 F.3d 1072, 1100 (9th Cir. 2010) (citation omitted). If the
motion to reconsider does not fall within one of these three categories, it must be denied.
Here, Plaintiff suggests the Court committed clear error.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER - 2
The Court is often presented with motions to reconsider based upon an argument
that the Court committed clear error. Most of those motions simply restate arguments the
Court has already addressed, and ask the Court to rethink its decision. This is one of those
motions. The Court has already addressed Plaintiffs’ arguments in detail in its earlier
decision, and nothing in the motion to reconsider causes the Court to change its mind.
Accordingly, the Court will deny the motion.
Motion to Decline Supplemental Jurisdiction
Earlier, the Court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants on all of
Plaintiffs’ federal claims, but denied summary judgment on the state law claims. Dkt. 71.
The Court may decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction when it “has dismissed all
claims over which it has original jurisdiction.” 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c)(3). But whether to
exercise supplemental jurisdiction is “purely discretionary.” Carlsbad Technology, Inc. v.
HIF Bio, Inc., 129 S.Ct. 1862, 1866 (2009). The Court should consider economy,
convenience, fairness, and comity when determining whether to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction. Carnegie-Mellon Univ. v. Cohill, 484 U.S. 343, 351 (1988).
This case is a little more than two years old, but discovery is finally closed, and all
dispositive motions have been addressed. The Court is intimately familiar with the case
because the Court and its staff have addressed informal discovery disputes, and the Court
has granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss, granted in part and denied in
part a motion for summary judgment, and as explained above denied a motion for
reconsideration. The case is set for trial in just over three months on February 5, 2018.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER - 3
Declining supplemental jurisdiction under these circumstances, and sending the case to
state court would likely cause significant delay. The state court would need to learn what
this Court already knows about the case. Plus, it is unlikely the state court could set this
case for trial by February 5, 2018. Moreover, if Plaintiffs appeal the Court’s earlier order
dismissing the federal claims, it will be much more convenient, fair and economical to
address all the claims together. Accordingly, the Court will deny Defendants’ motion,
and exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims.
IT IS ORDERED:
Defendants City of Pocatello and Niko Gordon’s Motion for Court to Decline
Jurisdiction (Dkt. 73) is DENIED.
Plaintiffs’ Motion to Alert or Amend Judgment (Reconsideration) (Dkt. 74) is
DATED: November 13, 2017
B. Lynn Winmill
United States District Court
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER - 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?