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Hazelquist v. Klewin

United States District Court, E.D. Washington

July 23, 2015

HEIDI HAZELQUIST, Plaintiff,
v.
OFFICER KLEWIN, Defendant.

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

THOMAS O. RICE United States District Judge

BEFORE THE COURT is Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration and Motion to Amend (ECF No. 92). This matter was submitted for consideration without oral argument. Although a hearing is set for this matter on July 28, 2015, this Court finds no reason to delay its order. The Court has reviewed the briefing and the record and files herein, and is fully informed.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed her Complaint in this action on March 28, 2014. In her Complaint, Plaintiff asserts that, after a traffic stop, she was unlawfully arrested and involuntarily committed to a mental health facility. ECF No. 9.

On June 19, 2015, this Court granted Defendants Washington State Patrol and Dustin Stephan’s and Defendant Patricia Hull’s motions for summary judgment. ECF No. 86. Accordingly, all claims against these Defendants have been dismissed. Id. Defendant Klewin, who neither filed his own motion for summary judgment nor joined the moving Defendants’ motions, is the only remaining defendant.

In the instant motion, Plaintiff moves for reconsideration and to amend her Complaint to add parties and claims. ECF No. 92. This Court will address each request in turn.

DISCUSSION

A. Motion for Reconsideration

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) governs reconsideration of a non-final order. An order that resolves fewer than all the claims among the parties-that is, a non-final order-“may be revised at any time before the entry of judgment adjudicating all the claims and all the parties’ rights and liabilities.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b); Credit Suisse First Boston Corp. v. Grunwald, 400 F.3d 1119, 1124 (9th Cir. 2005). Where reconsideration of a non-final order is sought, the court has “inherent jurisdiction to modify, alter, or revoke its order.” United States v. Martin, 226 F.3d 1042, 1049 (9th Cir. 2000); Ball v. Local 148 of Int’l Union, 238 F.3d 427, 427 (9th Cir. 2000) (unpublished) (“Because the partial summary judgment was not a final judgment, it was subject to review at any time, and the district court did not abuse its discretion by granting reconsideration.”).

As cautioned in this Court’s December 12, 2014 Scheduling Order, “Motions to Reconsider are disfavored” and “must show manifest error in the prior ruling or reveal new facts or legal authority which could not have been brought to the Court’s attention earlier.” ECF No. 56 at 9.

Here, Plaintiff moves for reconsideration of this Court’s June 19, 2015 Order Granting Motions for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 86). ECF No. 92. In support, Plaintiff asserts that this Court’s decision was made on “falsified documents” and is thus “uninformed.” ECF No. 92 at 1. Specifically, Plaintiff contends that Defendant Patricia Hull was unlicensed, that-although not entirely clear- the documents pertaining to her licensing were altered, and that Defendant Stephan’s police report contains inaccuracies. See id.at 1, 2, 4, 5. In support, Plaintiff provides several unidentified documents pertaining to Defendant Hull. Id. at 7-12.

Even assuming Plaintiff has explained why she could not have previously provided the Court with the documents attached to her motion, this Court finds reconsideration is not warranted here.

Regarding Defendant Hull’s licensing, Defendant Hull filed with this Court a signed declaration on March 9, 2015, explaining her credentials. ECF No. 69. She attached two verifications of her credentials from the Washington State Department of Health, which cover the period from August 6, 2009, through June 22, 2014.[1] ECF Nos. 69-1; 69-2. This Court has no reason to doubt the validity of these documents. Although Plaintiff’s filings have no accompanying affidavit to provide identification or verify their accuracy, they appear to corroborate Defendant Hull’s previous filings regarding her credentials. See ECF No. 92 at 7-8, 11-12. Further, although Plaintiff asserts that the Department of Health is allowed to alter documents, she has provided no support-except her bare allegations-to substantiate such a charge.

Finally, regarding Defendant Stephan’s police report, defense counsel filed a declaration in support of Defendants Stephan and WSP’s Motion for Summary Judgment, attaching a copy of Defendant Stephan’s police report. ECF No. 61. This Court considered this police report in conjunction with admissions contained in Plaintiff’s Court filings when determining the material, undisputed facts. For instance, although she now disputes such conduct, Plaintiff’s Complaint admitted that she “swerved” while driving, see ECF No. 3 at 2 (“As I was on the on ramp with no oncoming traffic, I poured the coffee into another cup so it would cool. I spilled scalding coffee on my leg and that caused me to swerve.”), which in turn led to Defendant Stephan conducting a traffic stop. This Court’s Order did not address disputed facts not material to Plaintiff’s causes of action, such as whether Plaintiff was given information about retrieving her car after her arrest. Accordingly, because Plaintiff has failed to show manifest error, present new facts or law that could not have ...


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