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Rose v. Davis

July 10, 2006

KENNETH ROSE, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ERIC DAVIS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Susan J. Dlott District Judge

ORDER DENYING MOTIONS TO RECONSIDER

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' Second Motion to Reconsider Ruling on Summary Judgment (doc. #51) and Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration incorporated into their Opposition to Plaintiffs' Second Motion for Reconsideration (doc. #53). For the reasons that follow, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs' Second Motion to Reconsider Ruling on Summary Judgment (doc. #51). The Court also DENIES Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration (doc. #53). Finally, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs' alternative request in their Second Motion for Reconsideration to delay ruling on that Motion until Plaintiffs have conducted limited additional discovery (doc. #53).

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On March 24, 2006 Plaintiffs filed their first Motion For Judge Dlott to Reconsider Magistrate Judge Hogan's Report and Recommendation ("First Motion to Reconsider") (doc. # 42). Judge Hogan's Report and Recommendation ("R&R") includes both a complete factual background and procedural history of this case through the R&R's issuance on March 28, 2005. (See doc. # 34.) Since then, both Plaintiffs and Defendant Police Officers Eric Davis and Jeffery Battison have filed objections to the R&R, (docs. ## 35, 36), and this Court has entered 1) an Order denying those objections and adopting the R&R (doc. # 38); and 2) an Order denying Plaintiffs' First Motion to Reconsider (doc. #44)*fn1 .

II. THE PARTIES' MOTIONS

A. Plaintiffs' Motion for Limited Additional Discovery

Plaintiffs request that, if this Court does not believe it appropriate to grant their Second Motion for Reconsideration at this time, the Court delay ruling on the motion until Plaintiffs take further discovery from Defendants. Plaintiffs request the opportunity to take further discovery under Rule 56(f). Specifically, Plaintiffs request the opportunity to depose Officer Battison and Officer Davis before trial.

At a discovery conference with the Court on July 5, 2006, the parties informed the Court that they had agreed that Plaintiffs depose both Officers before trial. The Court also ordered that Defendants provide the usual pre-deposition discovery to Plaintiffs. At the conference, the Court also informed the parties that it intended to deny Plaintiffs' Second Motion for Reconsideration in an opinion to follow. Having already determined that both Plaintiffs' Second Motion to Reconsider and Defendants' Motion to Reconsider should be denied, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs request to delay ruling on that motion until those depositions are taken.

B. The Parties' Motions to Reconsider Based on New Evidence

In Plaintiffs' Second Motion to Reconsider, Plaintiffs moved for reconsideration under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b), or in the alternative, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). (See doc. #51 at 3 n.1.) In turn, in their opposition, Defendants also move for reconsideration of that portion of the Court's Order denying summary judgment to Defendants.

1. Rule 54(b): Legal Standard

Rule 54(b) provides that in cases involving multiple claims or parties, "the court may direct the entry of a final judgment as to one or more but fewer than all of the claims or parties only upon an express determination that there is no just reason for delay and upon an express direction for the entry of judgment." Rule 54(b) further provides that where a court has not so entered a final judgment, "any order or other form of decision, however designated, which adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties . . . is subject to revision at any time before the entry of judgment adjudicating all the claims and the rights and liabilities of all the parties." Here, the Court issued summary judgment to Defendants on all of Plaintiff Seibert's claims and some of Plaintiff Rose's claims, but did not direct the entry of final judgment. Plaintiffs argue that Rule 54(b) thus permits revision on this Court's order granting the partial summary judgment.

Some federal courts have found that district courts have authority under Rule 54(b) to reconsider interlocutory orders resolving only a portion of a case with multiple parties or multiple claims. Rodriguez v. Tennessee Laborers Health & Welfare Fund, No. 02-5601, 2004 WL 237651, at **8 (6th Cir. Feb. 6, 2004). The Sixth Circuit has approved of this method in at least one published opinion. See id. "Traditionally, courts will find justification for reconsidering interlocutory orders [under Rule 54(b)] when there is: (1) an intervening change ...


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