Mensah v. Michigan Department of Corrections et al
ORDER Denying 25 Motion for Rehearing Or Reconsideration. Signed by District Judge Victoria A. Roberts. (LVer)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
CASE NUMBER: 10-13233
District Judge Victoria. A. Roberts
Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub
PATRICIA L. CARUSO, et al,
This matter is before the Court on Defendants’ Motion and Amended Brief for
Rehearing or Reconsideration, or, Alternatively, for Amended or Additional Findings
(Doc. 25). On September 12, 2011, the Court issued an Order adopting in part the
Report and Recommendation (R&R) of Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub (Doc. 21).
The Court dismissed all claims the Magistrate recommended for dismissal, as well as
Plaintiff’s claims based on violation of the Michigan Constitution. All other claims will
proceed to trial. Defendants ask the Court to reconsider its decision to allow the § 1981
claims against defendants Wolfenberger and Haas in their individual capacities to
proceed to trial.
Defendants’ motion is DENIED.
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Courts generally will not grant motions for reconsideration “that merely present
the same issues ruled upon by the court, either expressly or by reasonable implication.”
E.D. Mich. L.R. 7.1(g)(3), Wesco Distrib., Inc. v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., No. 09-13014,
2010 WL 4822897, at *1 (E.D. Mich. 2010) (“A motion for reconsideration  ‘is not
properly used as a vehicle to re-hash old arguments or to advance positions that could
have been argued earlier but were not.’”). “The Court will grant a motion for
reconsideration if the moving party shows: (1) a ‘palpable defect,’ (2) that misled the
Court and the parties, and (3) that correcting the defect will result in a different
disposition of the case.” Smith v. Mount Pleasant Pub. Sch., 298 F.Supp.2d 636, 637
(E.D. Mich 2003) (citing E.D. Mich. L.R. 7.1(g)(3)). A palpable defect is an error “which
is obvious, clear, unmistakable, manifest, or plain.”
Defendants object to the Court’s conclusion that Michigan law may recognize an
implied contract in a public employment context. This implied contract forms the basis
of Plaintiff’s § 1981 claim that defendants Wolfenbarger and Hass interfered with
Plaintiff’s contractual rights. In their Motion for Reconsideration, Defendants state that
their “research has revealed that Congress did not intend for § 1981 to apply to state
employees at all.” Defendants also provide the Court with Michigan Civil Service Rules,
arguing that these rules belie Plaintiff’s claim of a contractual employment right.
Defendants’ motion presents the same issues already ruled upon by the Court.
Defendants now argue that the Supreme Court case Jett v. Dallas Ind. Sch. Dist., 491
U.S. 701, 731 (1989), precludes the use of § 1981 in damages actions against state
The Court, however, has already ruled upon Defendants § 1981 arguments.
Defendants did not cite Jett in their Motion for Summary Judgment or in their objections
to the R&R. A motion for reconsideration is not the proper vehicle to present recently
discovered relevant case law that could have been presented to the Court earlier.
Wesco Distrib., 2010 WL4822897 at *1.
Defendants also attach the Michigan Civil Service Rules in support of their
argument that Plaintiff, as a civil service employee, had no contractual employment
right. Again, the Court has already ruled upon this issue. See pp. 7-9 of the Court’s
September 12, 2011, Order. It is unclear why Defendants did not make this argument
or attach this document in either their Motion for Summary Judgment or their Objections
to the R&R. In addition, Defendants fail to show how the Michigan Civil Service Rules
demonstrate a palpable defect in the Court’s prior ruling.
Defendants motion is DENIED.
/s/ Victoria A. Roberts
Victoria A. Roberts
United States District Judge
Dated: October 6, 2011
The undersigned certifies that a copy of this
document was served on the attorneys of
record by electronic means or U.S. Mail on
October 6, 2011.
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