United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER ON MOTION
C. WILKINSON, JR UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Quinton O'Neal, filed a Motion for New Trial and in the
Alternative Motion for Relief From a Judgment or Order,
seeking reconsideration under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) or 60(b) of
the final judgment dismissing with prejudice all of his
claims against his former employer, defendant, Cargill, Inc.
Record Doc. No. 36. The judgment was based on two orders: (1)
on April 12, 2016, the court granted in part Cargill's
motion to dismiss (which was converted to a motion for
summary judgment) and dismissed the claims of race
discrimination, retaliation and hostile work environment
brought by O'Neal, an African-American, under Title VII
and the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law, Record Doc.
No. 15; and (2) on December 21, 2016, the court denied
plaintiff's motion to continue the trial date and granted
Cargill's unopposed motion for summary judgment,
dismissing O'Neal's remaining claims of race
discrimination, retaliation and hostile work environment
brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Record Doc. No. 33.
filed a timely memorandum in opposition to O'Neal's
motion for new trial. Record Doc. No. 38. Plaintiff received
leave to file a reply memorandum. Record Doc. Nos. 40, 41,
42. Having considered the complaint, the record, the
arguments of the parties and the applicable law, IT IS
ORDERED that plaintiff's motion is DENIED, for the
filed this action on December 31, 2015. A scheduling order
was entered on April 6, 2016, setting a discovery deadline of
December 12, 2016; a final pretrial conference on January 10,
2017; and a trial date of January 23, 2017. All pretrial
motions were required to be filed and served in sufficient
time to permit notice of submission no later than December
21, 2016. Record Doc. No. 14.
filed a timely summary judgment motion on December 2, 2016
and noticed it for submission on December 21, 2016. Under
Local Rule 7.5, plaintiff's opposition memorandum was due
no later than December 13, 2016. He never filed an opposition
or sought an extension of time to do so.
three days after the opposition deadline, plaintiff moved on
December 16, 2016 to continue the trial date and extend the
already expired discovery deadline. Record Doc. No. 25.
Because he did not include a supporting memorandum and a
notice of submission as required by Local Rules 7.2 and 7.4,
the Clerk marked the motion deficient, advised
plaintiff's counsel that the deficiency must be cured
within seven days, and terminated the motion pending
correction of the deficiency.
December 20, 2016, Cargill received leave to file a
supplemental memorandum in support of its summary judgment
motion. Record Doc. Nos. 28, 31, 32. Cargill noted that
O'Neal had not filed an opposition, that the deadline to
do so had passed seven days earlier and that O'Neal had
not requested an extension of time to file an opposition.
Cargill stated that it opposed plaintiff's motion to
continue and would file an opposition memorandum if he cured
the deficiency and filed his motion properly.
December 21, 2016, the court ordered the Clerk to remove the
deficiency and file O'Neal's motion to continue the
trial. The court found that it did not need any memorandum in
opposition to the motion and denied the motion because
plaintiff had failed to show good cause to amend the
court's scheduling order. Since O'Neal also sought
more time to take discovery, the court construed the motion
as also having been filed under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(d). However,
plaintiff presented no affidavits, declarations or specific
facts, as required by Rule 56(d), to show that he needed more
discovery in order to oppose defendant's summary judgment
motion. The court therefore denied O'Neal's motion on
that additional basis. Record Doc. No. 33.
same order, the court granted defendant's unopposed
summary judgment motion, finding that Cargill's statement
of undisputed material facts was uncontroverted, the
well-supported facts therein were deemed admitted and the
competent summary judgment evidence established that (1)
defendant had terminated O'Neal's employment for
legitimate, non-discriminatory, non-retaliatory reasons and
(2) there was no evidence of a racially hostile work
environment. Id. The court entered judgment
dismissing all of plaintiff's claims with prejudice the
same day. Record Doc. No. 34.
Rule 59(e) Standards
motion for new trial and in the alternative motion for relief
from a judgment or order, O'Neal seeks reconsideration
under Rule 59(e) or 60(b) of the court's denial of his
motion to continue and grant of summary judgment to Cargill
on his Section 1981 claims. Plaintiff filed his motion on the
same day that judgment was entered. The court considers the
motion under Rule 59(e), which 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). The court does not consider the motion
under Rule 60(b), which applies to motions filed
after the Rule 59(e) deadline has passed.
Steward v. City of New Orleans, 537 F. App'x
552, 554 (5th Cir. 2013); Harrington v. Runyon, 98
F.3d 1337, 1996 WL 556754, at *1 (5th Cir. 1996). Because
O'Neal's motion fails to meet the Rule 59(e)
standards, it would also fail under the stricter standards of
Rule 60(b), if that rule applied. Steward, 537 F.
App'x at 554; see In re Edwards, No. 17-10066,
2017 WL 367985, at *3 (5th Cir. Jan. 25, 2017), cert.
denied sub nom. Edwards v. Davis, No. 16-7710, 2017 WL
374855 (U.S. Jan. 26, 2017) (citing Gonzalez v.
Crosby, 545 U.S. 524, 535 (2005)) (“To succeed on
a Rule 60(b) motion, the movant must show: (1) that the
motion be made within a reasonable time; and (2)
extraordinary circumstances exist that justify the
reopening of a final judgment.”) (emphasis added).
courts have broad discretion in deciding such motions.
Johnson v. Diversicare Afton Oaks, LLC, 597 F.3d
673, 677 (5th Cir. 2010); McGillivray v. Countrywide Home
Loans, Inc., 360 F. App'x 533, 537 (5th Cir. 2010)