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Henry v. Adventist Health Castle Medical Center

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

April 24, 2019

DAVID E. HENRY, M.D., Plaintiff,
v.
ADVENTIST HEALTH CASTLE MEDICAL CENTER and ALAN CHEUNG, M.D., Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AND MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT, ECF NO. 73

          JILL A. OTAKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the Court is Plaintiff David E. Henry, M.D.'s (“Plaintiff”) Motion for Reconsideration of Order Granting Motion for Summary Judgment and/or Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint, ECF No. 73. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion for Reconsideration and Motion for Leave to Amend the Complaint are DENIED.

         II. BACKGROUND

         The Order Granting Motion for Summary Judgment (“the Order”) set forth the background in this action, see Henry v. Adventist Health Castle Med. Ctr., 2019 WL 346701, at *1 (D. Haw. Jan. 28, 2019), and the Court assumes a familiarity with it.

         Plaintiff filed the Complaint pro se on February 2, 2018, alleging one count of racial discrimination and one count of retaliation for engaging in protected activities. ECF No. 1. On September 10, 2018, Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 37, and a Concise Statement of Facts in support of the Motion, ECF No. 38. On October 11, 2018, Plaintiff filed his Opposition, ECF No. 40, and his Responsive Concise Statement of Facts, ECF No. 41, pro se.[1]

         On November 29, 2018, the day before the hearing on the Motion for Summary Judgment was originally scheduled, Plaintiff, through his local counsel John Winnicki and Dennis King, filed a Motion to Continue the hearing and simultaneously filed an Application for Robert Meals to Appear Pro Hac Vice. ECF Nos. 52, 54. Plaintiff asserted that he retained Winnicki and King as local counsel the day before, but that he had previously retained Robert Meals (who had edited his prior pleadings), an attorney licensed and based on the mainland, to assist him in this case. ECF No. 52 at PageID #1068. Plaintiff requested a continuance of sixty days to allow Meals to appear on his behalf at the hearing. Id. On November 30, 2018, a hearing was held on the Motion to Continue. ECF No. 59. The Court granted in part and denied in part the Motion to Continue and set the hearing on the Motion for Summary Judgment for December 14, 2018. Id. Ultimately, Meals withdrew his Application to appear pro hac vice, ECF No. 63, and Winnicki and King appeared on behalf of Plaintiff at the hearing. ECF No. 65.

         On January 28, 2019, the Court issued the Order, ECF No. 70, and Judgment was entered, ECF No. 71. On February 20, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Reconsideration of the Order, with which he submitted a new Declaration. ECF Nos. 73, 73-1. Defendant filed a Memorandum in Opposition on March 6, 2019, ECF No. 75, and Plaintiff filed his Reply on March 20, 2019, ECF No. 76.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Motion for Reconsideration

         Plaintiff seeks reconsideration of the Order primarily on the basis that: (1) “the Court . . . misconstrued the underlying facts regarding the conditions under which Plaintiff performed services as a surgeon for Defendant”; and (2) when the law is applied to the facts (as clarified by Plaintiff), the Court should find an employment relationship for the purposes of Title VII. ECF No. 73 at Page ID #1178-79. The Court is unpersuaded.

         Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 59 and 60 govern case-dispositive orders like the Order.[2] See Local Rule 60.1 (“Motions seeking reconsideration of case-dispositive orders shall be governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 59 or 60, as applicable.”); see also Adon Constr. Inc., et al. v. Renesola Am. Inc., et al., 2019 WL 1441597, at *1 n.1 (D. Haw. Apr. 1, 2019). “The denial of a motion for reconsideration under Rule 59(e) is construed as a denial of relief under Rule 60(b).” McDowell v. Calderon, 197 F.3d 1253, 1255 n.3 (9th Cir. 1999) (en banc) (per curiam); see also Fuller v. M.G. Jewelry, 950 F.2d 1437, 1441 (9th Cir. 1991).

         Rule 59(e) provides that “[a] motion to alter or amend a judgment must be filed no later than 28 days after the entry of the judgment.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). Such amendment is “an extraordinary remedy which should be used sparingly.” McDowell, 197 F.3d at 1255 n.1 (citation omitted); see also Kona Enters., Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000). Indeed, there are only a few bases for amending a judgment:

In general, there are four basic grounds upon which a Rule 59(e) motion may be granted: (1) if such motion is necessary to correct manifest errors of law or fact upon which the judgment rests; (2) if such motion is necessary to present newly discovered or previously unavailable evidence; (3) if such motion is necessary to prevent manifest injustice; or (4) if the amendment is justified by an intervening change in controlling law.

Allstate Ins. Co. v. Herron, 634 F.3d 1101, 1111 (9th Cir. 2011) (citing McDowell, 197 F.3d at 1255 n.1). Although “[a] court considering a Rule 59(e) motion is not limited merely to these four situations, ” id., “[a] Rule 59(e) motion may not be used to raise arguments or present evidence for the first time when they could reasonably have been raised earlier in the litigation.” Kona Enters., Inc., 229 F.3d at 890.

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) provides the following grounds for ...


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