United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
PATRICK J. HANNA, JUDGE
A. DOUGHTY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Relief from
Judgment. [Doc. No. 36]. The motion is fully briefed, and the
Court is prepared to rule.
filed this suit on February 15, 2016, asserting claims for
discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in violation of
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §
2000e, et seq.; 42 U.S.C. § 1981; the Civil
Service Reform Act, 5 U.S.C. § 7703(b)(2); and the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. § 621,
response, on June 6, 2016, Defendants filed a Motion to
Compel Arbitration, to Stay Proceedings, and for an Award of
Reasonable Attorney's Fees on grounds that Plaintiff was
required to submit her claim to arbitration in accordance
with an arbitration agreement. [Doc. No. 11]. On January 24,
2017, oral arguments were held before Magistrate Judge
Patrick Hanna. On February 6, 2017, Magistrate Judge Hanna
issued a Report and Recommendations suggesting that the
Defendants' Motion to Compel Arbitration and Stay
Proceedings be granted in part and denied in part. [Doc. No.
21]. Magistrate Judge Hanna concluded that that the lawsuit
should be stayed and that Plaintiff should be ordered to
submit her claims to arbitration, but that Defendants were
not entitled to attorney's fees and costs.
response, on February 16, 2017, Defendants filed an Objection
to the Report and Recommendations contesting the denial of
attorney's fees and costs. [Doc. No. 22]. Plaintiff did
not respond. Consequently, on March 9, 2017, Judge James
entered a Memorandum Ruling and a Judgment adopting in part
and declining to adopt in part Magistrate Judge Hanna's
Report and Recommendations. [Doc. Nos. 23 & 24].
Specifically, the March 9, 2017 Judgment adopted the
recommendation that the lawsuit be stayed and that Plaintiff
be ordered to submit her claims to arbitration, but declined
to adopt the recommendation that Defendants not be awarded
attorney's fees and costs. Again, Plaintiff did not
respond. Thus, on March 30, 2017, Defendants' legal
counsel filed a Motion for Bill of Costs, seeking
attorney's fees in the amount of $13, 302.00 and costs.
[Doc. No. 25]. Once again, Plaintiff did not respond.
4, 2017, Judge James entered Judgment against Plaintiff,
awarding Defendants attorney's fees, but in the reduced
amount of $10, 095.00. [Doc. No. 27].
filed a pro se letter motion on August 9, 2017,
[Doc. No. 29], which the Court construed as a request for an
extension of time in which to secure and retain counsel,
inasmuch as the proceedings had been stayed pending
arbitration. On August 21, 2017, the Court ordered that the
stay of proceedings be lifted for the limited purpose of
allowing Plaintiff to enroll counsel, and ordered Plaintiff
to either enroll counsel or give notice of her intent to
proceed pro se, no later than September 18, 2017.
new counsel filed a motion to enroll on September 18, 2017.
[Doc. No. 33]. However, the pending Motion for Relief from
Judgment was not filed until March 20, 2018. [Doc. No. 36].
requests relief from the March 9, 2017 Judgment pursuant to
Fed. R. Civ.P. 60(b)(6), and relief from the May 4, 2017
Judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1), and
alternatively, Rule 60(b)(6).
Rule 60(b), a court may relieve a party from a final
judgment, order or proceeding for the following reasons:
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable
diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for
a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic),
misrepresentation, or misconduct ...