United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER RE PLAINTIFF'S
MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (DKT. 68)
HONORABLE RONALD E. BUSH, CHIEF U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration of Court's
Order Re Plaintiff's Second Through Eighteenth Causes of
Action (Dkt. 68), seeking reconsideration of this Court's
Memorandum Decision and Order Re Defendant's Renewed
Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 63) dismissing those
claims. Having reviewed the briefing and supporting filings,
and otherwise being fully advised, the Court enters the
following Decision and Order:
Jun Yu (“Yu”) is a Chinese national who
matriculated into the Doctoral Clinical Psychology Program at
Defendant Idaho State University (“ISU”) in 2008.
First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 14-16 (Dkt. 41). By mid-2012,
all that remained for Yu to complete the requirements of the
program was a successful clinical internship. Id.
¶ 75, 161. Yu coordinated with ISU and the prestigious
Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism (“CCCA”) in
Cleveland, Ohio to develop a customized internship that would
allow him to fulfill his final graduation requirement.
Id. ¶ 87. He started the internship, which was
designed to last for at least twelve months, on January 2,
2013. Id. ¶¶ 107, 108 (Dkt. 41).
not complete the internship, as he was dismissed from the
CCCA in approximately April of 2013. Id. ¶ 130.
In May of 2013, ISU told Yu that the graduate faculty of the
Psychology Department had voted to dismiss him from its
doctoral program. Id. ¶ 6, 136. After various
unsuccessful voluntary appeals, Yu received a letter from
ISU's Graduate School Dean dated October 2, 2013 that
denied Yu's final appeal and stated that his dismissal
was effective immediately. Id. ¶¶ 7-10;
see also Pl.'s Resp. Exhibit PR1-8 (Dkt. 56-12)
initiated this action on September 16, 2015 by filing his
Complaint against ISU, alleging liability for violations of
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, deprivations of his
constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and
negligent infliction of emotional distress. Compl.
¶¶ 170-181 (Dkt. 1). On March 29, 2017, he filed an
Amended Complaint, expanding his § 1983 claim to include
allegations that ISU denied both his procedural due process
rights (Count Two) and his substantive due process rights
(Count Four). First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 354-359, 363-367
(Dkt. 41). He also added counts related to promissory
estoppel and claims arising in contract law, bringing a total
number of eighteen claims. Id. ¶¶ 368-435.
the Complaint and the First Amended Complaint name ISU and
“John/Jane Does I through X, whose true identities are
presently unknown” as defendants. Compl. (Dkt. 1);
First Am. Compl. (Dkt. 41). Yu did not timely move to amend
to substitute any Doe defendants or join additional
defendants, and the deadline to do so has passed. Second Am.
Case Mgmt. Order 1 (Dkt. 29). Further, Yu did not name as a
defendant any individuals associated with ISU, whether acting
in an official capacity or not.
moved for summary judgment, seeking dismissal of all eighteen
claims. As relevant here, ISU argued that ISU is immune from
suit under the Eleventh Amendment for counts two through
eighteen. This Court agreed with ISU, granted in part
ISU's motion for summary judgment, and dismissed Yu's
second through eighteenth claims. (Dkt. 63.) Yu now moves for
reconsideration of that decision. (Dkt. 68.) For the reasons
below, the Court denies Yu's motion.
motion for reconsideration of summary judgment may be granted
where: (1) the motion is necessary to correct manifest errors
of fact or law; (2) the moving party presents newly
discovered evidence; (3) reconsideration is necessary to
prevent manifest injustice; or (4) there is an intervening
change in the law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e); see also Turner v.
Burlington N. Santa Fe R. Co., 338 F.3d 1058, 1063 (9th
Cir. 2003); and 389 Orange St. Partners v. Arnold,
179 F.3d 656, 661 (9th Cir. 1999).
moves the Court to reconsider its Memorandum Decision and
Order granting ISU partial summary judgment by dismissing
claims two through eighteen of Yu's operative complaint.
(Dkt. 68.) He contends both that there is an intervening
change in the law and that reconsideration is necessary to
prevent manifest injustice. Mem. ISO Mot. for Recons. 3 (Dkt.
68-1). He bases his argument on a recent ruling in Duffin
v. Idaho State University, No. 4:16-CV-00209-BLW. In
that case, Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill issued
an order on December 21, 2017 concluding ISU had waived its
Eleventh Amendment immunity. 2017 WL 6543873
(“Duffin” or “Duffin
MDO”). Judge Winmill quoted precedent holding that
“[a] state may waive its sovereign immunity through
conduct that is incompatible with an intent to preserve that
immunity” and that “state defendants engaged in
conduct ‘incompatible with' an intent to preserve
sovereign immunity when they raised a sovereign immunity
defense only belatedly, after extensive proceedings on the
merits.” Duffin MDO at *2 (quoting Johnson
v. Rancho Santiago Cmty. Coll. Dist., 623 F.3d 1011,
1021 (9th Cir. 2010)). Yu argues that the same reasoning
applies to this case. Plf.'s Mem. ISO Mot. for
Reconsideration 4 (Dkt. 68-1).
Court disagrees. A comparison of the facts between the cases
is illustrative. In Duffin, Plaintiff Orin Duffin
sued ISU on May 20, 2016, alleging he suffered religious
discrimination and other wrongs in 2014 and 2015.
Duffin MDO at *1. Based upon stipulated deadlines, a
case management order was entered setting January 30, 2017 as
the dispositive motion deadline. Id. By further
stipulation, that deadline was extended to July 14, 2017.
Id. The parties filed cross-motions for summary
judgment on the deadline. Id. ISU “raised
sovereign immunity in [its] motion for summary
judgment.” Id. at *3. In declining to apply
sovereign immunity, Judge Winmill noted that ISU's
summary judgment motion was delayed by stipulation and thus
was filed more than two years after the events in question.
Id. Accordingly, Judge Winmill found that
Duffin's claims were likely barred in state court by
Idaho's two-year statute of limitations for personal
injury actions. Id. (citing I.C. § 5-219(4)).
Judge Winmill also found no discovery was necessary on the
issue of Eleventh Amendment immunity, so ISU could have moved
to apply the defense earlier. Id. Ultimately he
concluded that ISU's delay in moving for sovereign
immunity “was a tactical attempt to deny Duffin his day
in Court, ” which, if permitted, “would fly in
the face of the Rule 1 admonition that the Court construe and
apply the rules and procedures in a manner that secures the
just, speedy and inexpensive resolution of all
case, Yu seeks redress from ISU's final act dismissing
him from its Graduate School on October 2, 2013. First Am.
Compl. ¶ 10 (Dkt. 41); MDO Re Def.'s Renewed Mot.
for Summ. J. 10 (Dkt. 63). Yu filed his complaint on
September 16, 2015 (Dkt. 1). ISU first raised an Eleventh
Amendment immunity defense in its answer on October 8, 2015
(Dkt. 6 p. 7).Although initially set to be completed by
August 3, 2016 (Dkt. 15), factual discovery was extended by
stipulation to September 2, 2016. (Dkts. 19, 29, 31 (orders);
Dkts. 18, 25, 30 ...