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Taylor v. United States Office of Personnel Management

United States District Court, District of Hawaii

January 23, 2015

SCARLETT A. TAYLOR, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
UNITED STATES OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

SUSAN OKI MOLLWAY CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

I. INTRODUCTION.

Plaintiffs Scarlett A. Taylor and Chanel E. Taylor (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed a “Motion – Plaintiffs’ Objection to Order Granting the Federal Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss.” See ECF No. 51. The court has construed the document as a motion for reconsideration. See ECF No. 52.

This court dismissed claims against Defendants United States Office of Personnel Management (“OPM”); Katherine Archuleta, in her official capacity as OPM Management Director; Patrick E. McFarland, in his official capacity as OPM Inspector General; Timothy Watkins, in his official capacity as Counsel to the OPM Inspector General; Hickam Air Base OPM Office Supervisor; Cynthia Miike, in her official capacity as Hickam Air Base OPM Agent; and Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (“FEGLI”) (collectively, the “Federal Defendants”). See ECF No. 45. Dismissal was based on Plaintiffs’ failure to seek administrative resolution of their claims against the Federal Defendants prior to filing suit in this court. Plaintiffs’ motion for reconsideration is denied.[1]

II. STANDARD.

Plaintiffs seek reconsideration of an interlocutory order. That is, Plaintiffs seek reconsideration of an order that granted dismissal of some claims while leaving others for future adjudication. Accordingly, the reconsideration motion is governed by Local Rule 60.1, under which motions for reconsideration of interlocutory orders can be brought only upon the following grounds: (1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the discovery of new evidence not previously available; and (3) the need to correct clear or manifest error in law or fact in order to prevent manifest injustice. Wereb v. Maui Cnty., 830 F.Supp.2d 1026, 1031 (D. Haw. 2011). “Mere disagreement with a previous order is an insufficient basis for reconsideration.” White v. Sabatino, 424 F.Supp.2d 1271, 1274 (D. Haw. 2006). “Whether or not to grant reconsideration is committed to the sound discretion of the court.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).

Plaintiffs do not identify the basis for their motion for reconsideration, although it appears that Plaintiffs seek reconsideration to correct alleged errors in law or fact.

III. ANALYSIS.

Plaintiffs make a number of arguments as to why they believe reconsideration is warranted, but none is persuasive. The court addresses each of those arguments in turn.

Plaintiffs object to this court’s adjudication of the Federal Defendants’ motion to dismiss without a hearing. Under Local Rule 7.2(d), “the court, in its discretion, may decide all matters, including motions, petitions, and appeals, without a hearing.” No error results from the court’s exercise of its discretion under Local Rule 7.2(d) to decide motions without a hearing. Reconsideration, therefore, is not warranted on that basis.

Plaintiffs also argue that the hearing scheduled for January 5, 2015, was “summarily dismissed without notification to the Plaintiffs.” ECF No. 51, Page ID # 568. The court noted on December 30, 2014, however, that it would be deciding the Federal Defendants’ motion to dismiss on a nonhearing basis and that the hearing scheduled for January 5, 2015, would not be held. See ECF No. 44. This court’s order on January 2, 2015, granting the Federal Defendants’ motion to dismiss also explained that the motion was being decided on a nonhearing basis. See ECF No. 45, Page ID # 452. Under such circumstances, there is no support for Plaintiffs’ claim that they failed to receive notice that the January 5, 2015, hearing had been cancelled. Additionally, even assuming that Plaintiffs did not receive such notice, Plaintiffs do not demonstrate how that failure would entitle them to reconsideration.

Plaintiffs also object to this court’s issuance of its order granting the Federal Defendants’ motion to dismiss before receiving Plaintiffs’ motions objecting to the lack of a hearing and objecting to the Federal Defendants’ reply memorandum. See ECF No. 51, Page ID # 564. Those motions had not been received in the judge’s chambers before the order granting dismissal was filed, but the court noted shortly after receipt of the motions that both were denied. See ECF No. 48. Plaintiffs fail to show any error in this court’s denial of those motions.

With respect to Plaintiff’s motion objecting to the lack of a hearing, the court has already noted that Local Rule 7.2(d) specifically permits adjudication of motions on a nonhearing basis. With respect to Plaintiffs’ other motion, Plaintiffs were not entitled to file a written response to the Federal Defendants’ reply memorandum. Local Rule 7.4 provides for an opposition and for a reply and states, “No further or supplemental briefing shall be submitted without leave of court.” The court, therefore, was under no obligation to refrain from issuing its order until after it had received Plaintiffs’ objection to the Federal Defendants’ reply memorandum. Further, as this court noted in denying the motion objecting to the reply memorandum, the information contained in that motion does not demonstrate that Plaintiffs satisfied the statutory requirements necessary to pursue their claims against the Federal Defendants in this court. While Plaintiffs attached documents evidencing communication with various federal officials, none of those documents shows that Plaintiffs presented their tort claim against the Federal Defendants in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”).

Plaintiffs also seek reconsideration based on their belief that the order granting the Federal Defendants’ motion to dismiss was drafted by the Federal Defendants’ attorney, Edric Ching. Plaintiffs’ argument is wholly unsupported. The order granting the Federal Defendants’ motion to dismiss was drafted by this court in this court’s chambers and filed by this court. Edric Ching had no hand in ...


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