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Kamdem-Ouaffo v. Idahoan Foods LLC

United States District Court, D. Idaho

February 12, 2018



          B. Lynn Winmill Chief U.S. District Court Judge.


         The Court has before it Plaintiff's Motion for Additional Findings and for Amendments of Findings Pursuant to Rule 52(b) or Alternatively Rule 60(b) Motion for Reconsideration. The Motion is fully briefed and the Court finds these matters appropriate for decision without oral argument. For the reasons explained below, the Court will DENY the motion.


         Plaintiff Ricky Kamdem-Ouaffo (“Plaintiff”) was employed by Defendant Idahoan Foods, LLC (“Defendant” or “Idahoan Foods” or “the Company”) as a Senior Food Scientist from December 2012 until his termination on July 11, 2014. See Compl. ¶¶ 31, 49-51, Dkt. 1-1. On September 2, 2014, he filed a Charge of Discrimination with the Idaho Human Rights Commission (IHRC) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), alleging that his termination was based on race and national origin discrimination. Id. ¶ 138.

         The EEOC issued Plaintiff a “Notice of Right to Sue” in May 2015, and Plaintiff filed suit asserting claims for employment discrimination, wrongful termination, breach of contract, and infliction of emotional distress arising from his termination. Additionally, Plaintiff contended that Defendant's subsequent refusal to rehire him for other positions within the Company was unlawful retaliation in response to his complaints of race discrimination filed with the IHRC and EEOC. Id. ¶¶ 145-47.

         On May 2, 2016, Defendant moved for summary judgment on all counts. See Def.'s Br. at 1, Dkt. 27. This Court granted Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and entered Judgment in favor of the Defendant on March 20, 2017. See Mem. Decision and Order at 1, Dkt. 33; Judgment, Dkt 34. Plaintiff then moved for this Court to reconsider the judgment.[1] See Pl.'s Br. at 1, Dkt. 38; see also Pl.'s Reply at 6, Dkt. 40.


         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) is not intended to provide litigants with a “second bite at the apple.” Weeks v. Bayer, 246 F.3d 1231, 1236 (9th Cir. 2001). Instead, reconsideration of a final judgment under Rule 59(e) is an “extraordinary remedy, to be used sparingly in the interests of finality and conservation of judicial resources.” Carroll v. Nakatani, 342 F.3d 934, 945 (9th Cir. 2003). A losing party cannot use a post judgment motion to reconsider as a means of litigating old matters or presenting arguments that could have been raised before the entry of judgment. School Dist. No. 1J, Multnomah County, Or. v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993).

         As a result, there are four limited grounds upon which a motion to alter or amend judgment may be granted: (1) the motion is necessary to correct manifest errors of law or fact; (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 the law. Turner v. Burlington North. Santa Fe R.R. Co., 338 F.3d 1058, 1063 (9th Cir. 2003) (citation omitted).

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) provides that the Court may reconsider a final judgment or order based on: “(1) mistake, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence; (3) fraud; (4) a void judgment; (5) a satisfied or discharged judgment; or (6) extraordinary circumstances which would justify relief.” School Dist. No. 1J, 5 F.3d at 1263. This Rule must be used sparingly as an equitable remedy to prevent manifest injustice and is to be utilized only where extraordinary circumstances prevented a party from taking timely action to prevent or correct an erroneous judgment. See Lal v. California, 610 F.3d 518, 524 (9th Cir. 2010). The moving party bears the burden of providing the existence of fraud, misconduct, or any other ground for relief. Atchison, T & S.F. Ry. Co. v. Barrett, 246 F.2d 846, 849 (9th Cir. 1957).


         After reviewing the Order granting Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 30) and the parties' briefing on the issue, the Court finds that Plaintiff has not carried his burden under Rule 59(e) or Rule 60(b), and thus will deny his motion for reconsideration. Plaintiff's only argument in support of reconsideration is that the Court failed to properly consider evidence submitted by the Plaintiff in support of his Brief in Opposition to Summary Judgment. Specifically, Plaintiff contends that Exhibit 24, which purports to be a printout of his email spam box, is admissible evidence that creates a genuine issue of fact sufficient to preclude summary judgment. See Pl.'s Br. at 4, Dkt. 38.

         In ruling in favor of Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, the Court properly declined to consider Exhibit 24 after determining that it was inadmissible. See Mem. Decision and Order at 23, Dkt. 33 (citing Beyene v. Coleman Sec. Servs., Inc., 854 F.2d 1179, 1181-82 (9th Cir. 1988) (“It is well settled that only admissible evidence may be considered by the trial court in ruling on a motion for summary judgment.”). The Court held that the document lacked any direct or circumstantial indices that it was what it purported to be: evidence of confirmation emails received after applying for open employment positions with Defendant's company. Mem. Decision and Order at 23, Dkt. 33. Thus, because the Plaintiff failed ...

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