Crossroads Residents Organized for Stable and Secure ResiDencieS (CROSSRDS) et al v. MSP Crossroads Apartments LLC et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER overruling [135, 137] Plaintiff Claire Jean Lee's Objections to Magistrate Judge Katherine M. Menendez's Second Amended Pretrial Scheduling Order 130 ; overruling 138 Plaintiff Claire Jean Lee's Objection to Judge Menendez's May 8, 2017 Order 132 . The Second Amended Pretrial Scheduling Order 130 and the May 8, 2017 Order 132 are AFFIRMED (Written Opinion). Signed by Judge Ann D. Montgomery on 06/06/2017. (TLU)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
Linda Lee Soderstrom, Maria Johnson,
Craig Goodwin, Jurline Bryant, Norma
Ziegler, and Julio Stalin de Tourniel, on
behalf of themselves and others similarly
Claire Jean Lee, individually, and
Civil No. 16-233 ADM/KMM
HOME Line, a Minnesota nonprofit
MSP Crossroads Apartments LLC, a
Minnesota corporation, and Soderberg
Apartment Specialists (SAS), a Minnesota
Kristen G. Marttila, Esq., Charles N. Nauen, Esq., and Kate M. Baxter-Kauf, Esq., Lockridge
Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P., Minneapolis, MN; and Timothy L. Thompson, Esq., John D. Cann,
Esq., and Lael Robertson, Esq., Housing Justice Center, Saint Paul, MN, on behalf of Class
Claire Jean Lee, pro se.
This matter is before the undersigned United States District Judge on Plaintiff Claire Jean
Lee’s (“Lee”) Objections [Docket Nos. 135, 137] to Magistrate Judge Katherine M. Menendez’s
Second Amended Pretrial Scheduling Order [Docket No. 130] and Lee’s Objection [Docket No.
138] to Judge Menendez’s May 8, 2017 Order [Docket No. 132]. For the reasons set forth
below, Lee’s Objections are overruled.
A. Standard of Review
The standard of review applicable to an appeal of a magistrate judge’s order on a
nondispositive issue is extremely deferential. Reko v. Creative Promotions, Inc., 70 F. Supp. 2d
1005, 1007 (D. Minn. 1999). The district court must affirm an order by a magistrate judge
unless it is “clearly erroneous or contrary to law.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a). “A finding is ‘clearly
erroneous’ when, although there is evidence to support it, the reviewing court on the entire
evidence is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.”
Chakales v. Comm’r of Internal Revenue, 79 F.3d 726, 728 (8th Cir.1996). “A decision is
‘contrary to the law’ when it ‘fails to apply or misapplies relevant statutes, case law or rules of
procedure.’” Knutson v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minn., 254 F.R.D. 553, 556 (D. Minn.
2008) (quoting Transamerica Life Ins. Co. v. Lincoln Nat’l Life Ins. Co., 592 F. Supp. 2d 1087,
1093 (N.D. Iowa 2008)).
B. Objections to Second Amended Pretrial Scheduling Order
Lee argues the deadlines in the Second Amended Pretrial Scheduling Order are unfair to
her for numerous reasons. She requests that each date in the scheduling order be lengthened “by
at least 3 months and preferably 6 months.” Obj. [Docket No. 137] at 2.1
A district court possesses the inherent power “to manage its docket and courtroom with a
view toward the efficient and expedient resolution of cases.” Dietz v. Bouldin, 136 S. Ct. 1885,
Lee also suggests that Class Counsel should be sanctioned “for essentially lying to and
misleading the court.” Obj. [Docket No. 137] at 2. These allegations are entirely without merit
and bear no further discussion. Lee’s allegations that Judge Menendez has not treated her
respectfully are also without merit. The record shows that Judge Menendez has devoted
considerable time and attention to Lee’s many grievances.
1892 (2016); see also Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936). The Second Amended
Pretrial Scheduling Order is a fair and reasonable exercise of this power and is neither clearly
erroneous nor contrary to law. The Objections to the Second Amended Pretrial Scheduling
Order are overruled.
C. Objection to May 8 Order
Lee also objects to the May 8 Order in which Judge Menendez denied Lee’s requests to:
(1) reconsider the January 11, 2017 Order [Docket No. 82] permitting counsel to withdraw from
representing Lee on her non-class claims;2 and (2) void or vacate the First Amended Complaint
[Docket No. 110] and related Stipulation [Docket No. 106] between Class Plaintiffs and
“Motions for reconsideration serve a limited function: to correct manifest errors of law
or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.” Hagerman v. Yukon Energy Corp., 839 F.2d
407, 414 (8th Cir. 1988) (quoting Rothwell Cotton Co. v. Rosenthal & Co., 827 F.2d 246, 251
(7th Cir.), as amended, 835 F.2d 710 (7th Cir. 1987)).
The Court agrees with Judge Menendez’s well-reasoned conclusion that Lee’s challenge
to the decision allowing Interim Class Counsel to withdraw fails to satisfy the stringent standard
governing motions for reconsideration. Lee will not be allowed to relitigate the already
thoroughly litigated issue of withdrawal of counsel.
Judge Menendez also correctly concluded that Lee’s request to vacate the First Amended
Lee also filed an Objection [Docket No. 91] to the January 11 Order. On March 13,
2017, this Court overruled the Objection and affirmed the Order permitting Interim Class
Counsel to withdraw from representing Lee on her individual claims. See Mem. Op. & Order
[Docket No. 98].
Complaint equates to a motion to reconsider the March 27, 2017 Order [Docket No. 109]
permitting the filing of the First Amended Complaint. Lee’s request for reconsideration of this
issue was properly denied due to the absence of “manifest errors of law or fact” or “newly
discovered evidence.” Hagerman, 839 F.2d at 414.
The May 8 Order is neither clearly erroneous nor contrary to law, and Lee’s Objection to
the May 8 Order is overruled.
Based upon the foregoing, and all of the files, records and proceedings herein, IT IS
HEREBY ORDERED that:
Claire Jean Lee’s Objections [Docket Nos. 135, 137] to Magistrate Judge
Katherine M. Menendez’s Second Amended Pretrial Scheduling Order [Docket
No. 130] are OVERRULED.
The Second Amended Pretrial Scheduling Order [Docket No. 130] is
Claire Jean Lee’s Objection [Docket No. 138] to Judge Menendez’s May 8, 2017
Order [Docket No. 132] is OVERRULED.
The May 8, 2017 Order [Docket No. 132] is AFFIRMED.
BY THE COURT:
s/Ann D. Montgomery
ANN D. MONTGOMERY
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: June 6, 2017.
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