United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill, Chief U.S. District Court Judge
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Recusal (Dkt.
104) and Plaintiff's “Motions and Objections”
(Dkt. 107). Also pending before the Court is Defendants'
Motion for Attorneys' Fees (Dkt. 106). For the reasons
stated below, the Court will deny the motions.
filed her Complaint on April 5, 2016 alleging that Defendants
engaged in a conspiracy to deprive her of equal protection
and due process after judgment was entered against her in a
series of state court lawsuits. In January of 2017, the Court
dismissed plaintiff's complaint in its entirety. See
Jan. 19, 2017 Mem. Decision & Order, Dkt. 83. The
Court allowed plaintiff a chance to amend some of her claims,
but stated that if Plaintiff failed to file an amended
complaint within 30 days, her complaint would be dismissed
with prejudice. Id. at 47.
did not file an amended complaint. Instead, she filed a
motion asking the Court to set aside the January 2017
decision in its entirety. See Motion, Dkt. 84.
Within that motion, Plaintiff also asked the undersigned
judge to recuse himself “based upon bias and errors in
facts, errors in law and fabrication of facts within the [the
January 19, 2017 decision], under 28 USC 455(a) and
(b)(1).” Id. at 3. The Court construed the
motion as one for reconsideration, and denied it on the
grounds that the Plaintiff had simply restated arguments
addressed in its January 2017 decision. See August 29,
2017 Mem. Decision and Order, Dkt. 100. The Court also
denied Plaintiff's motion to disqualify the undersigned
judge on the grounds that Plaintiff failed to demonstrate
that the standards governing recusal in 28 U.S.C. §
455(a) and (b)(1) had been met. Id.
the Court entered judgment in the case, Plaintiff filed a
second Motion for Recusal of the undersigned judge. (Dkt.
104). Defendants filed a motion for attorneys' fees on
September 12, 2017. On September 25, 2017, Plaintiff filed
“Motions and Objections, ” seeking to renew all
motions filed during the proceedings in this case, objecting
to Defendants' motion for fees, and seeking Rule 11
sanctions. (Dkt. 107).
Motion for Reconsideration
Rule of Civil Procedure 59 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).
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
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,
Multnomah Cnty, Or., 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).
Motion for Fees
to 42 U.S.C § 1988, a “prevailing plaintiff should
ordinarily recover an attorney's fee unless special
circumstances would render such an award unjust.”
Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 429 (1983).
Courts do not ordinarily award attorney's fees to
prevailing defendants, since routine awards would have an
overly deterrent effect on civil rights plaintiffs and would
discourage the vigorous private enforcement of the civil
rights laws. Christiansburg Garment Co. v. Equal
Emp't Opportunity Comm'n,434 U.S. 412, 422
(1978). However, “a district court may, in its
discretion, award attorney's fees to a prevailing
defendant . . . upon a finding that the plaintiff's
action was frivolous, unreasonable, or without
foundation.” Id. at 421. ...