Freeman v. Rochester Psychiatric Center et al
DECISION AND ORDER denying 225 Motion to Vacate the September 20, 2017 Decision and Order and the Judgment (Docket No. 225) is denied. Plaintiffs request to amend his complaint is also denied. (Copy of Decision and Order sent by first class mail to Plaintiff.) Signed by Hon. Michael A. Telesca on 3/9/18. (JMC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
DECISION AND ORDER
ROCHESTER PSYCHIATRIC CENTER,
(“plaintiff”)commenced the instant action against his employer,
defendant Rochester Psychiatric Center (“defendant”), alleging
discrimination and retaliation pursuant to Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq.
Following the completion of
fact discovery, the parties cross-moved for summary judgment and on
September 20, 2017, the Court entered a Decision and Order (the
“September 20th Decision and Order”) granting defendant’s motion,
denying plaintiff’s motion, and ordering the Clerk of the Court to
enter judgment in favor of defendant and close the case.
September 21, 2017. Docket No. 224 (the “Judgment”).
On October 19, 2017, plaintiff filed the instant motion,
seeking vacatur of the September 20th Decision and Order and the
Docket No. 225.
motion is denied.
For the reasons set forth below, the
Plaintiff brings the instant motion pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6), which provides that “[o]n motion and
representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for
. . . any other reason that justifies relief.”
In support of his
motion, plaintiff contends that: (1) the Court made a “grave error
appearing at Docket No. 219 rather than Docket No. 209; (2) the
Court was required to deem plaintiff’s statement of material facts
in support of his cross-motion for summary judgment admitted
pursuant to Local Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a)(2); (3) the Court
improperly concluded that he had failed to produce competent
evidence of discriminatory intent by defendant; and (4) the Court
made various other factual errors in the September 20th Decision and
Plaintiff’s arguments are insufficient to support his
entitlement to relief under Rule 60(b)(6).
A party seeking relief pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6) is required
“to show extraordinary circumstances justifying the reopening of a
Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545 U.S. 524, 535 (2005)
(internal quotation omitted); see also Intellectual Prop. Watch v.
United States Trade Representative, 205 F. Supp. 3d 334, 352
(S.D.N.Y. 2016) (“[Rule 60(b)(6) motions] are disfavored and should
only be granted upon a showing of extraordinary circumstances, or
extreme hardship.”) (internal quotation omitted).
motion falls far short of this standard.
With respect to plaintiff’s first argument, a review of the
September 20th Decision and Order shows that the Court did make a
plaintiff’s cross-motion for summary judgment as appearing at
Docket No. 219 instead of Docket No. 209.
However, at other places
in the September 20th Decision and Order, including most importantly
in the conclusion, the Court clearly identified plaintiff’s crossmotion as appearing at Docket No. 209.
See Docket No. 223 at 28.
This inadvertent typographical error, while unfortunate, had no
impact whatsoever on the Court’s consideration or determination of
the parties’ competing motions, and plainly does not constitute an
“extraordinary circumstance” warranting vacatur of the Judgment.
Turning to the issue of defendant’s failure to file a response
to plaintiff’s statement of material facts pursuant to Local Rule
of Civil Procedure 56(a)(2), the Court notes as an initial matter
that it has “the inherent power to decide when a departure from its
discretion “extends to every Local Rule regardless of whether a
particular Local Rule specifically grants the judge the power to
deviate from the Rule.” Somlyo v. J. Lu-Rob Enterprises, Inc., 932
F.2d 1043, 1048 (2d Cir. 1991); see also Wight v. BankAmerica
discretion to excuse non-compliance with Local Rules).
permissive, rather than mandatory; the rule states that “[e]ach
numbered paragraph in the moving party’s statement of material
facts may be deemed admitted for purposes of the motion unless it
paragraph in the opposing statement.”
56(a)(2) (emphasis added).
W.D.N.Y. Local R. Civ. P.
Accordingly, where an opposing party
fails to comply with Local Rule 56(a)(2), the Court will only deem
admitted those portions of the statement of material facts that are
“supported by admissible evidence and . . . not controverted by the
Brooks v. Piecuch, 245 F. Supp. 3d 431, 434 (W.D.N.Y.
In this case, for the reasons discussed at length in the
September 20th Decision and Order, the Court did not find that
plaintiff’s statement of material facts was supported by admissible
Moreover, the Court had full discretion to excuse
defendant’s non-compliance with Local Rule 56(a)(2).
As such, the
Court did not commit an error, and plaintiff is not entitled to
relief on this basis.
Plaintiff’s remaining arguments are based on nothing more than
his disagreement with the Court’s assessment of the evidence of
“Mere disagreement with the [the Court’s] underlying
judgment does not present extraordinary circumstances or extreme
Green v. Phillips, 374 F. App’x 86, 89 (2d Cir. 2010);
see also United Airlines, Inc. v. Brien, 588 F.3d 158, 177 (2d Cir.
2009) (“The agency’s grounds for the Rule 60(b)(6) motion - which
essentially boil down to a claim that the decision was wrong - are
conclusions in detail in the September 20th Decision and Order.
Plaintiff’s disagreement with those conclusions is not a basis for
relief under Rule 60(b)(6).
Finally, the Court notes that plaintiff has included in his
motion to vacate a request that he be permitted to amend his
That request is denied.
“[O]nce judgment is entered
the filing of an amended complaint is not permissible until the
judgment is set aside or vacated pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) or
60(b).” Nat’l Petrochemical Co. of Iran v. M/T Stolt Sheaf, 930
F.2d 240, 244–45 (2d Cir. 1991) (internal quotation omitted).
determined that there is no basis to set aside or vacate the
Judgment. Therefore, “it would be contradictory to entertain a
motion to amend the complaint.”
For the reasons set forth above, plaintiff’s motion to vacate
the September 20, 2017 Decision and Order and the Judgment (Docket
No. 225) is denied.
Plaintiff’s request to amend his complaint is
ALL OF THE ABOVE IS SO ORDERED.
S/Michael A. Telesca
MICHAEL A. TELESCA
United States District Judge
March 9, 2018
Rochester, New York
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