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Campbell v. Washington County Public Library

October 25, 2006

LEE ANN CAMPBELL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WASHINGTON COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Kemp

OPINION AND ORDER

This matter is before the Court on plaintiff Lee Ann Campbell's motion for reconsideration. For the following reasons, the motion for reconsideration will be denied.

I.

On September 8, 2006, this Court issued an Opinion and Order denying Ms. Campbell's motion for partial summary judgment and granting the summary judgment motion of defendants Washington County Public Library Board of Trustees, Larry Nash White, Kathryn Piekarski, and Doug Unsold (collectively known as the "library defendants"). On September 15, 2006, Ms. Campbell filed the motion to reconsider. Subsequently, Ms. Campbell sought new counsel and then filed a notice of appeal on October 6, 2006. Procedurally, pursuant to Fed.App.R. 4(a)(4)(A) and 4(a)(4)(B)(I), this Court retains jurisdiction until the Court enters a judgment on the motion to reconsider. Futernick v. Sumpter Township, 207 F.3d 305, 310 n.4 (6th Cir.2000).

II.

Ms. Campbell's motion for reconsideration was filed within ten days of this Court's Opinion and Order denying her motion for summary judgment. Therefore, this Court will evaluate the motion for reconsideration under the guidelines established in Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e).

As the Court of Appeals stated, Rule 59(e) motions may be granted if there is a clear error of law, newly discovered evidence, an intervening change in controlling law, or to prevent manifest injustice. GenCorp, Inc., v. American Int'l Underwriters, 178 F.3d 804, 834 (6th Cir.1999). Rule 59(e) motions are aimed at reconsideration, not initial consideration of an issue, and parties should not use them to raise issues or arguments that could have been raised before judgment was issued. Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians v. Engler, 146 F.3d 367, 375 (6th Cir.1998)(citing F.D.I.C. v. World Univ., Inc., 978 F.2d 10, 16 (1st Cir.1992)).

III.

Preliminarily, this Court notes that Ms. Campbell takes issue with the Court's statement that "some of Ms. Campbell's argument is supported by evidence outside the record ... the questions Ms. Campbell asked at the interview ... are not in the record." (Motion for Reconsideration (doc. #54) at p. 6 (citing Opinion and Order at p. 32 (doc. #48))). This statement was made in the context of a review of Ms. Campbell's claim that she did (contrary to the library defendants' assertion) use a set of questions provided to her by Dr. White in an interview process. Ms. Campbell contends that the Court failed to review the interview questions in the record when ruling on the motions for summary judgment. Although the depositions indicate that the alleged interview questions were attached to certain depositions in the record as exhibits, those exhibits were not filed. Therefore, contrary to Ms. Campbell's contentions, the interview questions are not part of the record. Further, in her motion, Ms. Campbell also refers to additional exhibits to bolster her argument that the Court erred in ruling on the motions for summary judgment. Like the interview questions, however, the exhibits that Ms. Campbell refer to are also not in the record.

The Court also notes that Ms. Campbell has now filed Ethan Frank-Collins' deposition. As Ms. Campbell notes, Mr. Frank-Collins' deposition was not part of the record prior to this Court's ruling on the summary judgment motions. Ms. Campbell requests this Court to reconsider the rulings on the motions for summary judgment in light of Mr. Frank-Collins' testimony. Because Mr. Frank-Collins' deposition was not part of the record prior to this Court's rulings on the motions for summary judgment, however, and because no valid reason has been advanced for the prior failure to file the deposition, the Court rejects Ms. Campbell's request. Moreover, the Court will not evaluate Mr. Frank-Collins' deposition or any associated exhibits when ruling on the motion to reconsider.

IV.

The Court now turns to the substance of Ms. Campbell's argument in her motion for reconsideration. Ms. Campbell contends that this Court erred in concluding that there were no genuine issues of material fact regarding whether the library defendants' reason for Ms. Campbell's discharge was a pretext for discrimination. Specifically, Ms. Campbell argues that

[t]he Court relies heavily on the Defendants' assertion that her discipline - a two-week suspension (after which time she was laid off) - was warranted, at least, in part, by "Ms. Campbell's remarks about Ms. Downer, which testimony has not been refuted by Ms. Campbell." Ms. Campbell made a single electronic mail transmission to Defendant Larry Nash White that he needed to know that an applicant would "fall under [the] ADA" (the Americans with Disabilities Act) in order to make certain that he followed all procedures to ensure fairness in hiring. She did not make "inappropriate remarks about the potential employees...[or] comments to other library employees about a potential employee, Crystal Downer..." as found by the Court at Page 6 of the Opinion and Order. There is no evidence of any other comments by Ms. Campbell about Ms. Downer to anyone, other than a mere reference to the fact that she made an inquiry concerning Ms. Downer's condition and abilities to ...


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