United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
BARBARO ROSAS and GUADALUPE TAPIA, as individuals and on behalf of all other similarly situated persons Plaintiffs,
SARBANAND FARMS, LLC, et al., Defendants.
C. COUGHENOUR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' motion for
reconsideration or, in the alternative, to certify a question
to the Washington Supreme Court pursuant to Wash. Rev. Code
§ 2.60.020 (Dkt. No. 135). Having thoroughly considered
the parties' briefing and the relevant record, the Court
finds oral argument unnecessary and hereby DENIES the motion
for the reasons explained herein.
February 15, 2019, Plaintiffs moved for partial summary
judgment on their claims arising under the Washington Farm
Labor Contractors Act (“FLCA”), Wash. Rev. Code
§ 19.30.010 et seq. (Dkt. No. 84.) On June 13,
2019, the Court granted in part and denied in part
Plaintiffs' motion. (Dkt. No. 134.) The Court granted
Plaintiffs' motion as to class members who were
“sent directly to Washington to work for Defendant
Sarbanand Farms pursuant to a contract between Defendant
Sarbanand Farms and CSI, and for whom CSI received a
fee.” (Id. at 14.) The Court denied
Plaintiffs' motion and dismissed their claims “as
to CSI and Growers' liability under the FLCA for class
members who were initially sent to California pursuant to a
contract between CSI and Defendant Munger Bros. or Crowne
Cold Storage and later transferred by Growers to Washington,
and for whose transfer CSI did not receive an additional
move for reconsideration of the Court's dismissal of
their FLCA claims as to class members initially sent to
California before being transferred to Washington. (Dkt. No.
135 at 2, 4-6.) In the alternative, Plaintiffs request that
the Court certify a question to the Washington Supreme Court
pursuant to Wash. Rev. Code § 2.60.020. (Id. at
Motion to Reconsider
Motions for reconsideration are generally disfavored. W.D.
Wash. Local Civ. R. 7(h)(1). Reconsideration is only
appropriate where there is “manifest error in the prior
ruling or a showing of new facts or legal authority which
could not have been brought to [the Court's] attention
earlier with reasonable diligence.” Id.
“A motion for reconsideration should not be used to ask
the court to rethink what the court had already thought
through-rightly or wrongly.” Premier Harvest LLC v.
AXIS Surplus Insurance Co., No. C17-0784-JCC, Dkt. No.
61 at 1 (W.D. Wash. 2017) (quoting U.S. v.
Rezzonico, 32 F.Supp.2d 1112, 1116 (D. Ariz. 1998)).
assert that the Court committed manifest error when it
dismissed their FLCA claims as to class members who were
initially sent to California and for whose later transfer CSI
did not receive an additional fee. (Dkt. No. 135 at 2, 4-6.)
Plaintiffs argue that the Court did not construe evidence in
Plaintiffs' favor as required by Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 56 or that a genuine factual dispute exists that
precludes dismissal of Plaintiffs' claims. (See
id.) Plaintiffs' argument asks the Court to revisit
the evidence it considered in ruling on their motion for
partial summary judgment but arrive at a different
conclusion. Plaintiffs' argument is insufficient to
warrant reconsideration of the Court's decision, and
Plaintiffs have not otherwise identified a manifest error in
the Court's ruling meriting reconsideration. See
Premier Harvest, No. C17-0784-JCC, Dkt. No. 61 at 1;
W.D. Wash. Local Civ. R. 7(h)(1). Therefore, Plaintiffs'
motion for reconsideration is DENIED.
Motion to Certify Question
courts in Washington may certify questions to the Washington
When in the opinion of [the] court before whom a proceeding
is pending, it is necessary to ascertain the local law of
this state in order to dispose of such proceeding and the
local law has not been clearly determined, such federal court
may certify to the supreme court for answer the question of
local law involved and the supreme court shall render its
opinion in answer thereto.
Rev. Code § 2.60.020. “There is a presumption
against certifying a question to a state supreme court after
the federal district court has issued a decision. A party
should not be allowed ‘a second chance at victory'
through certification by the appeals court after an adverse
district court ruling.” Thompson v. Paul, 547
F.3d 1055, 1065 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting In re Complaint
of McLinn, 744 F.2d 677, 681 (9th Cir. 1984)).
Certification is within the Court's discretion. See
Micomonaco v. State of Wash., 45 F.3d 316, 322 (9th Cir.
assert that the Court's dismissal of Plaintiffs'
claims “involves an unsettled question of Washington
law that is determinative of many of the FLCA liability
matters before this Court” and “is a matter of
significant public policy, ” and thus certification of
a question to the Washington Supreme Court is merited. (Dkt.
No. 135 at 6-7.) But Plaintiffs' argument contradicts
their election to litigate the issue via their motion for
partial summary judgment rather than moving to certify the
question when it first arose. Plaintiffs have only brought
their motion to certify the question after receiving an
adverse decision from the Court and have not overcome the