from the District Court of the First Judicial District of the
State of Idaho, Bonner County. Barbara A. Buchanan, District
court's order is affirmed.
McMillan, Wallace, for appellant. James McMillan argued.
Lawrence G. Wasden, Idaho Attorney General, Boise, for
respondents. Douglas A. Werth argued.
appeal involves a negligence action brought against the
Department of Labor for the alleged improper handling of an
unemployment claim. Dale Johnson filed a claim for
unemployment benefits which was denied. Johnson appealed the
determination to the Appeals Bureau of the Idaho Department
of Labor, but the appeal was denied after a hearing. Johnson
again appealed the determination to the Industrial
Commission, but, while the appeal was pending, Johnson
learned that his hearing's recording was lost. The
Industrial Commission remanded the case to the Appeals Bureau
for a new hearing. Ultimately, after two additional hearings
and a second appeal to the Industrial Commission, Johnson won
his claim for benefits with the Commission finding that
Johnson was eligible for benefits. Johnson subsequently filed
suit against the Department of Labor for unnecessary delays
and other alleged improprieties in the handling of his claim.
The district court dismissed the case for failure to file a
notice of tort claim pursuant to the Idaho Tort Claims Act
and then denied Johnson's post-judgment motions. We
affirm the judgment of the district court.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Johnson maintained roller coasters for Silverwood, Inc. Among
rising contentions and a dispute with Silverwood's new
director of construction and maintenance, Johnson resigned
his position on June 8, 2015. He subsequently applied for
unemployment benefits, but his claim was denied. Johnson
challenged the denial with the Appeals Bureau of the Idaho
Department of Labor, and a hearing was held on August 5,
hearing examiner denied Johnson's appeal, determining
that Johnson was not entitled to benefits. Johnson appealed
to the Idaho Industrial Commission. While the appeal was
pending, Johnson was notified that the recording of his
hearing was lost. While Johnson claims he submitted his own
recording and transcript of the hearing (as recorded by his
wife), that copy was rejected because it was not official.
Because of the lost recording, the Commission remanded the
case back to the Department of Labor for another hearing.
After two additional hearings, both before the Appeals
Bureau, Johnson lost his claim again and appealed for a
second time to the Idaho Industrial Commission. On this
second appeal the Commission reversed the Department of
Labor's determination on April 29, 2016, finding that
Johnson was eligible for unemployment benefits because he had
good cause to quit his employment. Four months later, on
August 25, 2016, Johnson filed a notice of tort claim with
the Idaho Secretary of State.
March 20, 2017, several months after filing his notice of
tort claim, Johnson filed a complaint against the Department
of Labor, alleging negligence and requesting damages
exceeding $10, 000 for the unnecessary delay of his
unemployment benefits. The Department of Labor subsequently
filed a motion to dismiss the complaint with prejudice for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction because Johnson failed to
timely file a notice of tort claim as required by the Idaho
Tort Claims Act (ITCA). The district court granted the
Department of Labor's motion pursuant to Idaho Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) motion and dismissed Johnson's
claim with prejudice on September 14, 2017.
filed a motion for reconsideration and a motion to allow
additional discovery, both of which were denied on November
15, 2017. Johnson then filed a motion for additional findings
of fact and conclusions of law pursuant to Idaho Rule of
Civil Procedure 52(b) and a motion to aside the judgment
pursuant to Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6). In his
supporting memorandum, Johnson also asked for the judgment to
be altered or amended pursuant to Rule 59(e). The district
court denied these motions on February 13, 2018, explaining
that the Rule 52(b) and 59(e) motions were untimely and
"that the Rule 60(b)(6) motion is improper to the extent
that the plaintiff is trying to re-litigate the substance of
his negligence claim and challenge the findings of fact and
conclusions of law made by this Court in its original"
decision. The district court also awarded attorney fees to
the Department of Labor after finding that Johnson's
second set of post-judgment motions were untimely and without
then appealed the district court's September 14, 2017
order, November 15, 2017 order, and February 13, 2018 order
in a single notice of appeal. Prior to oral argument, this
Court dismissed the portions of Johnson's appeal related
to the 2017 orders because they were not timely appealed. The
only issues addressed here are related to the order dated
February 13, 2018, because it was the only decision Johnson
STANDARD OF REVIEW
district court's decision to grant or deny motions under
both Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure 60(b) and 59(e) is within
the discretion of the trial court. Pandrea v.
Barrett, 160 Idaho 165, 171, 369 P.3d 943, 949 (2016);
Eby v. State, 148 Idaho 731, 734, 228 P.3d 998, 1001
(2010). Thus, we review the district court's
determinations for an abuse of discretion. Pandrea,
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