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Frankel v. Aramark Services Inc.

United States District Court, D. Arizona

October 9, 2018

Ivy Frankel, Plaintiff,
v.
Aramark Services Incorporated, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          JAMES A. TEILBORG SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Pending before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion to Set Aside Judgment (Doc. 86) and Plaintiff's Motion for Miscellaneous Relief (Doc. 89). Also pending before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Strike Plaintiff's Motion to Set Aside Judgment (“Motion to Strike”) (Doc. 87). The Court now rules on the motions.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On July 16, 2018, the Clerk of Court entered a Judgment (Doc. 83) in favor of Defendants, pursuant to the Court's Summary Judgment Order (Doc. 82). On August 7, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion couched as a motion to re-open the case that is effectively a Motion to Set Aside Judgment. (Doc. 86).[1] On August 8, 2018, Defendants filed a Motion to Strike (Doc. 87) Plaintiff's motion as untimely under District of Arizona Local Rule Civil (“Local Rule”) 7.2(g). LRCiv 7.2(g). Plaintiff later filed a separate Motion for Miscellaneous Relief (Doc. 89) on August 14, 2018.

         II. DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STRIKE (Doc. 87)

         Defendants move to strike Plaintiff's Motion to Set Aside Judgment (Doc. 86) by construing the filing as an untimely motion for reconsideration. (Doc. 87 at 1). Local Rule 7.2(g) provides that, “[a]bsent good cause shown, any motion for reconsideration shall be filed no later than fourteen (14) days after the date of the filing of the Order that is the subject of the motion.” LRCiv 7.2(g). However, having construed Plaintiff's filing as a Motion to Set Aside Judgment (Doc. 86), the Court will apply the timelines standard provided by Rule 59(e).

         Under Rule 59(e), “[a] motion to alter or amend a judgment must be filed no later than 28 days after the entry of the judgment.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). Plaintiff filed the pending Motion (Doc. 86) on August 7, 2018 after the Clerk of Court entered Judgment (Doc. 83) on July 16, 2018; approximately 22 days later. In accordance with the 28-day time period provided by Rule 59(e), the Court deems Plaintiff's Motion to Set Aside Judgment (Doc. 86) to be timely. See Id. Accordingly, Defendants' Motion to Strike (Doc. 87) is denied.

         III. PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO SET ASIDE JUDGMENT (Doc. 86)

         Because Defendants' Motion to Strike (Doc. 87) is denied, the Court next turns to the merits of Plaintiff's Motion to Set Aside Judgment (Doc. 86).

         A. Legal Standard

         The Ninth Circuit recognizes four grounds for relief under Rule 59(e): “(1) the motion is necessary to correct manifest errors of law or fact upon which the judgment is based; (2) the moving party presents newly discovered or previously unavailable evidence; (3) the motion is necessary to prevent manifest injustice; or (4) there is an intervening change in controlling law.” Konarski v. Rankin, No. CV-13-0999-TUC-DCB, 2015 WL 10793428, at *2 (D. Ariz. Oct. 21, 2015), aff'd, 710 Fed.Appx. 289 (9th Cir. 2018) (citing Turner v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe R. Co., 338 F.3d 1058, 1063 (9th Cir. 2003)).

         “Rule 59(e) motions may not be used to reexamine the initial decision or raise arguments that were available to the party prior to the entry of judgment.” Reyes v. City of Phoenix, No. CV-17-04741-PHX-JAT, 2018 WL 4377161, at *3 (D. Ariz. Sept. 14, 2018). “Motions for reconsideration cannot be used merely because a plaintiff disagrees with the Court's decision.” Id. “Furthermore, a Rule 59(e) motion offers an ‘extraordinary remedy' to be used ‘sparingly in the interests of finality and conservation of judicial resources.'” Id. (quoting Kona Enters., Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000)). Despite construing the pleadings of pro se litigants liberally, “pro se litigants in the ordinary civil case should not be treated more favorably than parties with attorneys of record.” Jacobsen v. Filler, 790 F.2d 1362, 1364 (9th Cir. 1986).

         B. Analysis

         Here, Plaintiff's Rule 59(e) motion is timely, but fails to satisfy the Rule's standards for relief. First, Plaintiff does not allege, nor does the Court find, any manifest errors of law or fact upon which the judgment is based. (See generally Doc. 86). Second, Plaintiff does not present any newly discovered or previously unavailable evidence. (Id.). Rather, Plaintiff reiterates the arguments raised in her Response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 69) regarding Defendants' failure to provide information regarding the alleged incident. (Compare Doc. 69 at 3 (“Despite requests for production, Defendant [sic] was unable to produce any [requested information]”) with Doc. 86 at 1-2 (“Defendant[s] refused to provide information . . . Defendants refused to provide any reports”)). As the Court reasoned in its Summary Judgment Order (Doc. 82), Plaintiff “bears the burden of producing affirmative evidence that would support a jury verdict . ...


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