United States District Court, W.D. Washington
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AND
L. ROBART, United States District Judge.
the court is Plaintiff Nina French's motion for
reconsideration of the court's February 13, 2017, order
of dismissal and judgment. (MFR (Dkt. ## 35, 36); 2/13/17
Order (Dkt. # 33); Judgment (Dkt. # 34).) The court has
considered Ms. French's motion, Defendant Washington
State Department of Health's (“the DOH”)
response to the motion (MFR Resp. (Dkt. # 38)), the relevant
portions of the record, and // the applicable law. Being
fully advised,  the court GRANTS Ms. French's motion
for reconsideration for the reasons set forth below.
case arises out of Ms. French's employment with divisions
of the DOH at various periods between 2010 and 2014. (FAC
(Dkt. # 18) Ex. 2 at 1.) On June 4, 2015, Ms. French, who is
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis
(“IFP”), filed her first complaint against the
DOH. (See Compl. (Dkt. # 3); IFP Mot. (Dkt. # 1);
Order Granting IFP Status (Dkt. # 2).) Pursuant to Ms.
French's request, the court ordered the United States
marshal to serve the DOH within 30 days of July 8, 2016.
(7/8/16 Order (Dkt. # 13) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d)).)
the DOH was served, Ms. French filed another action, which
the court consolidated with this matter. (10/4/16 Order (Dkt.
# 17).) Because Ms. French intended to amend her complaint
rather than file a new case, the court construed Ms.
French's filing as her amended complaint when it
consolidated the two cases. (Id.; FAC.) In her
amended complaint, Ms. French alleged that the DOH engaged in
“[w]histleblower retaliation, sexual harassment[, ] and
use of disability to do psychological damage.” (FAC at
2.) Ms. French asserted a claim under Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 and alleged that this discrimination
occurred between about January 1, 2013, and the
“present.” (Id.) Ms. French also
contended that she filed an Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (“EEOC”) charge against the DOH on May
29, 2014, and received a right to sue letter on March 18,
October 31, 2016, the DOH filed a motion for judgment on the
pleadings for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure
to state a claim. (See MJOP (Dkt. # 23) at 1.) On
January 25, 2017, the court dismissed Ms. French's
amended complaint. (1/25/17 Order (Dkt. # 32).) The court
concluded that Ms. French had failed to meet her burden of
establishing the court's subject matter jurisdiction
(id. at 7) and to state a claim under federal and
state law (id. at 8). The court nevertheless granted
Ms. French leave to amend and ordered her to file a second
amended complaint, if any, no later than 14 days after the
entry of the court's order-February 8, 2017.
(Id. at 8-9.) In light of Ms. French's
difficulty following the applicable rules and the court's
orders, the court instructed Ms. French to “carefully
consider the deficiencies” in her amended complaint and
that the court would “interpret a failure to cure those
deficiencies as an indication that further amendment would be
futile.” (Id. at 8.) The court also instructed
Ms. French that any amended complaint she filed would
supersede her earlier complaints and that she could not rely
solely on exhibits to construct a cognizable claim.
(Id. at 9.) Finally, the court cautioned Ms. French
that it would not “entertain further requests for
favorable treatment” and instructed Ms. French to
comply with all applicable Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
and the Local Civil Rules for the Western District of
French's deadline for filing a second amended complaint
passed on February 8, 2017, and Ms. French had filed nothing
further in this matter. (See generally Dkt.; 2/13/17
Order.) Accordingly, on February 13, 2017, the court
dismissed Ms. French's case with prejudice and entered
judgment. (2/13/17 Order; Judgment.)
days later, Ms. French alerted the court that she had
attempted to file a second amended complaint on February 9,
2017, one day after the deadline the court imposed.
(See MFR.) However, Ms. French had again
inadvertently opened a new case instead of filing a second
amended complaint in this matter. (See id.) Ms.
French then filed two letters with the court in which she
explained her mistake and petitioned the court to keep this
case open. (See id.)
Ms. French's first letter was docketed in both matters,
the Honorable Richard A. Jones transferred Ms. French's
newly opened case-Case No. C17-0210-to the undersigned judge
as related to Ms. French's earlier case-Case No.
C15-0859. French v. Wash. State Dep't of Health,
No. C17-0210JLR, Dkt. # 5 (W.D. Wash.). The court
consolidated Ms. French's new case with this matter and
construed Ms. French's letters as a motion for
reconsideration of the court's February 13, 2017, order
of dismissal and judgment. (3/2/17 Order (Dkt. # 37) at 4-6.)
The court stated that Ms. French appeared to raise a new fact
that she could not have reasonably brought to the court's
attention earlier-that her intended second amended complaint
was not placed on the docket in this matter prior to the
court entering its order of dismissal and judgment.
(Id. at 5-6.) The court ordered the DOH to respond
to Ms. French's motion for reconsideration.
(Id.; see also MFR Resp.); Local Rules W.D.
Wash. LCR 7(h)(3).
court now addresses Ms. French's motion for
reconsideration and the DOH's response.
French asks the court to reconsider its order of dismissal
and reopen this case. (See MFR.) The DOH opposes Ms.
French's motion to reconsider because even though Ms.
French's “error in properly filing her amended
complaint and inability to notify the court of her error
prior to entry of the [o]rder of [d]ismissal may constitute
new facts, ” Ms. French's “failure to offer
[an] excuse or justification for her untimely filing in the
first instance” does not merit the court's
reconsideration. (MFR Resp. at 2.) The DOH also argues that
the court should not grant Ms. French relief under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 60 because Ms. French presents no new
allegations or evidence supporting such relief. (Id.
at 3.) Finally, the DOH argues that “the net effect of
granting [Ms. French's motion for] reconsideration . . .
is to allow [her] to proceed under her second amended
complaint, ” and that her intended second amended
complaint merely “repackag[es] . . . the claims and
facts she had pleaded twice before.” (Id. at