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Mitchell v. Winco Foods LLC

United States District Court, D. Idaho

November 13, 2017

GLORIA MITCHELL, Plaintiff,
v.
WINCO FOODS, LLC, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          B. LYNN WINMILL, CHIEF JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         The Court has before it Mitchell's Motion to Reconsider Memorandum Decision and Order of March 7, 2017 Dismissing the Case (Dkt. 30).

         BACKGROUND

         Mitchell applied for a job at Winco in April 2015 using Winco's online application. The online application provided her with an FCRA disclosure informing her that WinCo would conduct a background check in connection with her application for employment.

         Mitchell alleges that she was presented another form entitled “Authorization for Background Check” at the same time she reviewed the disclosure. She was subsequently hired by Winco, but she alleges, on behalf of herself and a class, that the disclosure violated the FCRA because Winco failed to provide a “stand-alone” disclosure regarding the background check.

         Winco filed a motion to dismiss the claims based upon lack of standing. The Court granted that motion after interpreting and applying the Supreme Court's recent decision on FCRA standing, Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540 (2016). Mitchell now asks the Court to reconsider its decision.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         A motion to reconsider an interlocutory ruling requires an analysis of two important principles: (1) Error must be corrected; and (2) Judicial efficiency demands forward progress. The former principle has led courts to hold that a denial of a motion to dismiss or for summary judgment may be reconsidered at any time before final judgment. Preaseau v. Prudential Insurance Co., 591 F.2d 74, 79-80 (9th Cir. 1979). While even an interlocutory decision becomes the “law of the case, ” it is not necessarily carved in stone. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes concluded that the “law of the case” doctrine “merely expresses the practice of courts generally to refuse to reopen what has been decided, not a limit to their power.” Messinger v. Anderson, 225 U.S. 436, 444 (1912). “The only sensible thing for a trial court to do is to set itself right as soon as possible when convinced that the law of the case is erroneous. There is no need to await reversal.” In re Airport Car Rental Antitrust Litigation, 521 F.Supp. 568, 572 (N.D.Cal. 1981)(Schwartzer, J.).

         The need to be right, however, must co-exist with the need for forward progress. A court's opinions “are not intended as mere first drafts, subject to revision and reconsideration at a litigant's pleasure.” Quaker Alloy Casting Co. v. Gulfco Indus., Inc., 123 F.R.D. 282, 288 (N.D.Ill.1988).

         Reconsideration of a court's prior ruling under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) is appropriate “if (1) the district court is presented with newly discovered evidence, (2) the district court committed clear error or made an initial decision that was manifestly unjust, or (3) there is an intervening change in controlling law.” S.E.C. v. Platforms Wireless Int'l Corp., 617 F.3d 1072, 1100 (9th Cir. 2010) (citation omitted). If the motion to reconsider does not fall within one of these three categories, it must be denied. Here, Plaintiff suggests the Court committed clear error.

         The Court is often presented with motions to reconsider based upon an argument that the Court committed clear error. Most of those motions simply restate arguments the Court has already addressed, and ask the Court to rethink its decision. This is one of those motions. The Court has already addressed Plaintiff's arguments in its earlier decision and nothing in the motion to reconsider causes the Court to change its mind. Accordingly, the Court will deny the motion.

         ANALYSIS

         Mitchell argues that Syed v. M-I, LLC,846 F.3d 492 (9th Cir. 2017) is an intervening change in controlling law. Syed is similar to this case in that it addresses the FCsRA's requirement that an FCRA disclosure regarding a background check be a stand- alone disclosure. The majority of the opinion focuses on whether defendant M-I violated the FCRA by including a liability waiver on the same document as its FCRA disclosure. The Ninth Circuit specifically noted that “[n]either the Supreme Court nor any circuit court of appeals has addressed whether a prospective employer may satisfy 15 U.S.C. ...


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