Martinez v. Palmer
MEMORADUM DECISION AND ORDER - Respondents Motion to Amend (Dkt. 28 ) is DENIED. Signed by Judge David C. Nye. (caused to be mailed to non Registered Participants at the addresses listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) by (lm)
Case 4:21-cv-00520-DCN Document 67 Filed 05/09/22 Page 1 of 5
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF IDAHO
LAURA HERNÁNDEZ MARTÍNEZ,
Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico
RALPH EDWARD PALMER, Salmon,
Lemhi County, Idaho, United States,
Case No. 4:21-cv-00520-DCN
MEMORADUM DECISION AND
Pending before the Court is Respondent Ralph Edward Palmer’s “Motion for Relief
from Judgment or Order Based on Clerical Mistake or Mistake Arising from Oversight or
Admission or Excusable Neglect” (“Motion to Amend”). Dkt. 28. Having fully reviewed
the record, the Court finds that the facts and legal arguments are adequately presented.
Accordingly, in the interest of avoiding delay, and because the Court conclusively finds
that the decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral argument, the Court
decides the pending motion on the record and without oral argument. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ.
For the reasons stated below, Respondent’s Motion to Amend is DENIED.
The factual background of this case is well known to the parties and to the Court,
and will not be repeated here. The instant motion concerns the Court’s March 7, 2022 Order
granting Petitioner’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction (“PI Order”). Dkt. 25. In the PI
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER - 1
Case 4:21-cv-00520-DCN Document 67 Filed 05/09/22 Page 2 of 5
Order, the Court stated the Children, M.E.P.H. and L.P.P.H. (the “Children”), involved in
this Hague Convention return action started school in Salmon, Idaho, on April 3, 2022. In
his Motion to Amend, Respondent moves the Court for an Order “clarifying the record to
reflect that the Children were in fact enrolled in school in Salmon, Idaho, on May 3, 2022,
rather than April as reflected in a number of pleadings filed herein.” Dkt. 28, at 1. Petitioner
opposes the Motion to Amend. Dkt. 47. Respondent did not file a reply brief and the time
for doing so has now passed.
III. LEGAL STANDARD
Respondent brings his motion pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60. Dkt.
28-1, ¶ 1. Rule 60(b) provides for reconsideration upon a showing of: (1) mistake, surprise,
or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence; (3) fraud; (4) a void judgment; (5) a
satisfied or discharged judgment; or (6) other “extraordinary circumstances” which would
justify relief. Fuller v. M.G. Jewelry, 950 F.2d 1437, 1442 (9th Cir. 1991) (citations
omitted). A motion for reconsideration is not a vehicle to reargue the motion or to present
evidence which should have been raised before. United States v. Westlands Water Dist.,
134 F. Supp. 2d 1111, 1130–31 (E.D. Cal. 2001). The moving party bears the burden of
establishing grounds for relief. Id.
When opposing Petitioner’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction, Respondent argued
he realized that he could not return the Children to Mexico once he received notice, on
approximately April 9, 2021, that the Federal Collegiate Court in Mexico had purportedly
prohibited the Children from travelling internationally. In the PI Order, the Court found
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER - 2
Case 4:21-cv-00520-DCN Document 67 Filed 05/09/22 Page 3 of 5
this representation was disingenuous for several reasons, one being that Respondent
enrolled the Children in school in Idaho on April 3, 2021—roughly six days before he
received notice of the Federal Collegiate Court’s Order on April 9, 2022. Dkt. 25, at 15.
The Court obtained the April 3, 2021 enrollment date from a letter Respondent’s
counsel submitted to the United States Department of State. Dkt. 11-14, at 4. Petitioner
also cited the April 3, 2021 enrollment date in her Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Dkt.
11-1, at 12. Respondent thus could have raised the error in his response to Petitioner’s
Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Respondent offers no explanation for his failure to do
so, making reconsideration to correct the enrollment date inappropriate. Tableau Software,
Inc. v. Any Aspect KFT, 2008 WL 5429819, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 12, 2008) (denying
reconsideration of summary judgment order where defendant could have raised factual
discrepancy in its opposition to plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment). “Rule 60(b)(1)
is not intended to allow a party to reargue an issue previously addressed if the motion
merely advances . . . supporting facts which were available for presentation at the time of
the original argument.” Carr Huml Investors, LLC v. Arizona, 2008 WL 11440680, at *2
(D. Ariz. Jan. 24, 2008).
Further, the apparent misstatement in the enrollment date is ultimately irrelevant.
In his Motion to Amend, Respondent suggests the Children were actually enrolled in school
in Idaho on May 3, 2021, and asserts he “wants to make sure the Court has a clear
understanding that the Children were enrolled in school only after an Order was entered
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER - 3
Case 4:21-cv-00520-DCN Document 67 Filed 05/09/22 Page 4 of 5
out of the Mexican Courts precluding their travel back to Mexico.” 1 Dkt. 28, at 1.
Regardless of whether the Children were enrolled in school in Idaho on April 3, 2021, or
May 3, 2021, the question before the Court—both when it considered the Motion for
Preliminary Injunction and when it makes a decision on the Petition—is whether the
Children have been wrongfully retained in Idaho since April 11, 2021. Although there are
numerous other issues the Court may need to consider, none of these issues involve the
date the Children were enrolled in school in Idaho.
Reconsideration is an “extraordinary remedy, to be used sparingly in the interests
of finality and conservation of judicial resources.” Kona Enterprises, Inv. v. Estate of
Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000). Here, the “mistake” of which Respondent
complains could have been corrected before the Court issued the PI Order and, in any event,
is immaterial to either the PI Order or the ultimate resolution of the Petition. Dkt. 28, at 1.
Rule 60(b) relief is not warranted where, as here, the factual error of which Respondent
complains is inconsequential. Carr Huml, 2008 WL 11440680, at *5; Tableau Software,
2008 WL 5429819, at *2 (denying reconsideration where “mistake” at issue had no bearing
on the court’s ruling); Kinney v. Cuellar, 2018 WL 3207973, at *2 (N.D. Cal. June 29,
The Court also found Respondent’s claim that he only retained the Children in Idaho because the Federal
Collegiate Court required him to do so was disingenuous for a number of other reasons, none of which had
anything to do with the date the Children were enrolled in school in Idaho. Dkt. 25, at 15–17. While the
Court’s conclusion regarding the ultimate effect of the Federal Collegiate Court’s Order may change
depending on the testimony of the parties’ Mexican law experts at the upcoming evidentiary hearing, the
date the Children were enrolled in school in Idaho is irrelevant to this determination.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER - 4
Case 4:21-cv-00520-DCN Document 67 Filed 05/09/22 Page 5 of 5
2018) (denying Motion to Alter where “inconsistencies and false statements” were
immaterial to the court’s ruling).
Now, therefore, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
1. Respondent’s Motion to Amend (Dkt. 28) is DENIED.
May 09, 2022
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER - 5
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?