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Hathaway v. Idaho Pacific Corp.

United States District Court, D. Idaho

December 8, 2017

ROSS HATHAWAY, Plaintiff,
v.
IDAHO PACIFIC CORPORATION, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER ON MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

          David C. Nye U.S. District Court Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         This Court issued a Memorandum Decision and Order on October 23, 2017, that did three things:

(1) granted Hathaway's “Motion in Limine to Exclude Margaret Johnson as a Witness, or in the Alternative, Prohibit Defendant from Re-Opening Discovery”;
(2) granted Hathaway's “Motion in Limine Regarding Hearsay Evidence and Unauthenticated Statements Made by Margaret Johnson and Linda Bair”; and
(3) denied Idaho Pacific Corporation's “Motion for Leave to Take De Bene Esse Deposition of Unavailable Witness Margaret Johnson, or, in the Alternative, Motion to Reopen Discovery for Limited Purpose of Deposing Margaret Johnson”.

         On November 3, 2017, Idaho Pacific Corporation (“IPC”) filed a Motion for Reconsideration, a Memorandum in Support, and a Declaration of Bradley J. Williams. In those documents, IPC asks the Court to reconsider its decision because the Johnson and Bair statements are not hearsay but rather admissible evidence and the discovery sanctions imposed in the decision are too harsh and unfair in that they remove IPC's primary defense to Hathaway's claims. IPC asks the Court to permit the audio recording and transcript of Johnson's interview with IPC management to be introduced as evidence at trial. On November 21, 2017, Hathaway filed his Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration. Hathaway argues that IPC has raised nothing new in the motion for reconsideration and that the Court should stand by its original decision.

         On December 5, 2017, IPC filed its Reply Brief. Trial is set to begin on December 11, 2017. Having reviewed the record and briefs, the Court finds that the facts and legal arguments are adequately presented. Accordingly, in the interest of avoiding further delay, and because the Court finds that the decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral argument, the Court will decide the motion without oral argument. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1(d)(2)(ii).

         BACKGROUND

         Both the factual background and the procedural background are set forth in the Memorandum Decision and Order filed on October 23, 2017, and will not be repeated herein. Any corrections or modifications to those backgrounds will be discussed below.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         While IPC does not state what rule it moves for reconsideration under, because it moves for reconsideration prior to a trial taking place, the appropriate avenues for reconsideration are Rules 59(e) or 60(b). See, School Dist. No. 1J, Multnomah County, OR v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1262 (9th Cir. 1993).[1] Under Rule 59(e), reconsideration is appropriate if the district court (1) is presented with newly discovered evidence, (2) committed clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust; or (3) if there is an intervening change in controlling law. Id. at 1263. Rule 60(b) provides for reconsideration only upon a showing of (1) mistake, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence; (3) fraud; (4) a void judgment; (5) a satisfied or discharged judgment; (6) extraordinary circumstances which would justify relief. Id. at 1264. These rules offer an “extraordinary remedy, to be used sparingly in the interests of finality and conservation of judicial resources.” Kona Enterprises, Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000). The grant or denial of a motion for reconsideration is a matter within the district court's discretion. Id. at 883.

         IPC's motion for reconsideration most likely falls within the realm of Rule 59(e) as IPC makes arguments regarding an expanded factual record and also argues that reconsideration is ...


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