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Kramer v. Southern Oregon University

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Medford Division

March 13, 2015

RONALD H. KRAMER, Plaintiff,
v.
SOUTHERN OREGON UNIVERSITY, a public university; OREGON UNIVERSITY SYSTEM; a public university system, MARY CULLINAN; GEORGE PERNSTEINER, Defendants.

OPINION & ORDER

OWEN M. PANNER, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration (#130) and Defendants' Amended Motion for Extension of Time to File Dispositive Motions (#138). Both Motions are DENIED.

Background

On December 1, 2014, I issued an Order (#129) granting Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment in part. The background facts of this case have been fully set forth in my previous Order (#129) and will not be reproduced here. Defendants promptly filed a notice of interlocutory appeal of that Order (#132). That appeal remains pending before the Ninth Circuit. Before issuing my December 1, 2014 Order, I struck the trial date and all associated dates and deadlines (#128). No new trial date has been set.

Legal Standards

I. Motion for Reconsideration

A party may seek reconsideration of a ruling under Rules 59(e) or 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 59(e) "permits a district court to reconsider and amend a previous order." Kona Enters., Inc. v. Estate of Bishop , 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000). This rule, however, "offers an extraordinary remedy, to be used sparingly in the interests of finality and conservation of judicial resources." Id . "Under Rule 59(e), a motion for reconsideration should not be granted, absent highly unusual circumstances, unless the district court is presented with newly discovered evidence, committed clear error, or if there is an intervening change in the controlling law." 389 Orange St. Partners v. Arnold , 179 F.3d 656, 665 (9th Cir. 1999) (citation omitted).

"Rule 60(b) provides for extraordinary relief and may be invoked only upon a showing of exceptional circumstances." Engleson v. Burlington N.R. Co. , 972 F.2d 1038, 1044 (9th Cir. 1992) (citation and quotation marks omitted). Under Rule 60, a court may grant reconsideration based on: 1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; 2) newly discovered evidence which by due diligence could not have been discovered before the court's decision; 3) fraud by the adverse party; 4) the judgment is void; 5) the judgment has been satisfied; or 6) any other ieason justifying relief. Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b).

II. Motion for Extension of Time

District courts enjoy "broad discretion in supervising the pretrial phase of litigation." Zivkovi v. S. Cal. Edison Co. , 302 F.3d 1080, 1087 (9th Cir. 2002) (citation and quotation marks omitted). A scheduling order "may be modified only for good cause and with the judge's consent." Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b) (4).

Discussion

I. Motion for Reconsideration

Defendants in this case moved for summary judgment on Plaintiff's blacklisting claim, arguing that blacklisting did not exist as a cause of action in Oregon. This Court had previously rejected that argument (##25, 42) and I stood by those prior rulings in my December 1, 2014 Order. Nevertheless, I granted summary judgment on the blacklisting claim on factual grounds, ruling that there was no evidence in the record that Defendants acted with malicious intent to injure Plaintiff. Plaintiff contends that this was an improper grant of sua sponte summary judgment and clear error.

Courts may grant summary judgment sua sponte if the party against whom judgment is entered "had a full and fair opportunity to develop and present facts and legal arguments in support of its position." Portsmouth Square Inc. v. S'holders Protective Comm. , 770 F.2d 866, 869 (9th Cir. 1985). "A litigant is entitled to reasonable notice that the sufficiency of his or her claim will be at issue." Id .; see also Osborne v. Cnty of Riverside, 323 F.Appx. 613, 614 (9th Cir. 2009). Notice need not be explicit, although explicit notice is preferred. Portsmouth , 770 F.2d ...


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