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Paul Peters v. Roberts Markel

October 31, 2012

PAUL PETERS,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROBERTS MARKEL, PC; BENTWATER YACHT AND COUNTRY CLUB, LTD.; BRADY ORTEGO; AND DOES I THROUGH X, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Susan Oki Mollway Chief United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING BENTWATER'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION;

ORDER DENYING PETERS'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

I. INTRODUCTION.

On June 13, 2012, this court filed an amended order granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants on almost all of the alleged Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") violations, retaining only an FDCPA claim arising out of a letter of May 12, 2011, from the law firm of Roberts Markel. The court continued the hearing on other issues raised in the motions that were then before the court. See ECF No. 131.

On August 24, 2012, Plaintiff Paul Peters settled his claims against the law firm of Roberts Markel, PC, and Brady Ortego, Esq. See ECF No. 191. This settlement disposed of the only FDCPA claim remaining in the case.

On September 12, 2012, the court severed Peters's FDCPA claims from the case and ordered that a final judgment be entered with respect to the FDCPA claims the court had ruled on. The court then ordered the remaining state-law claims transferred to a federal court in Texas. The court stated that the factual bases of those remaining state-law claims were distinguishable from the bases of the FDCPA claims such that it made sense for a court in Texas to apply Texas law to the state-law claims. The severance of the FDCPA claims was ordered to allow Peters to take an appeal to the Ninth Circuit of this court's grant of summary judgment to Defendant Bentwater Yacht and Country Club on the FDCPA claims. See ECF No. 200.

On September 18, 2012, Peters filed a motion seeking reconsideration of the order of September 12, 2012. See ECF No. 206. That motion is denied.

On September 19, 2012, Bentwater filed a motion seeking reconsideration of a single sentence in the order of September 12, 2012. See ECF No. 205. That motion is granted.

II. RECONSIDERATION STANDARD.

The parties seek reconsideration of a judgment and an order. To the extent a final judgment was entered in favor of Bentwater on the FDCPA claims, reconsideration may be sought under Rule 59(e) or 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See White v. Sabatino, 424 F. Supp. 2d 1271, 1274 (D. Haw. 2006). However, to the extent state-law claims were transferred to a court in Texas, the order was interlocutory in nature such that reconsideration may be sought under Local Rule 60.1.

In the Ninth Circuit, a successful motion for reconsideration under Rule 59(e) must accomplish two goals. First, it must demonstrate some reason why the court should reconsider its prior decision. Second, a motion for reconsideration must set forth facts or law of a strongly convincing nature to induce the court to reverse its prior decision. White, 424 F. Supp. 2d at 1274; Na Mamo O 'Aha 'Ino v. Galiher, 60 F. Supp. 2d 1058, 1059 (D. Haw. 1999). Courts have established three grounds justifying reconsideration under Rule 59(e): (1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence; and (3) the need to correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice. Mustafa v. Clark County Sch. Dist., 157 F.3d 1169, 1178-79 (9th Cir. 1998); Sch. Dist.

No. 1J, Multnomah Cnty., Or. v. AcandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993); Galiher, 60 F. Supp. 2d at 1059. The District of Hawaii has implemented these standards with respect to motions for reconsideration of interlocutory orders in Local Rule 60.1. White, 424 F. Supp. 2d at 1274. It appears that reconsideration is sought under the third prong--the need to correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice. To the extent reconsideration is sought based on Rule 60, it appears to be based on "mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect" or "any other reason that justifies relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(1) and (6).

Motions brought under Rule 59(e) and 60(b) are committed to the discretion of the trial court. United States v. Hernandez, 2012 WL ...


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