United States District Court, W.D. Washington
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
BARBARA J. ROTHSTEIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant Attu, LLC's ('Attu")
motion for reconsideration, Dkt. No. 51, of the Court's
order granting Plaintiff Covington 18 Partners, LLC's
("Covington 18") motion for summary judgment and
denying Attu's motion to strike, Dkt. No. 50. After
reviewing the motion, the oppositions thereto, the record of
the case, and the relevant legal authorities, the Court will
deny Attu's motion for reconsideration.
Court laid out the background of this case in depth in its
recent order granting plaintiffs motion for summary judgment
and denying defendant Attu's motion to strike
("Order"). Dkt. No. 50. In brief, between 1998 and
2001, Attu purchased two adjacent parcels of land in
Covington, Washington. Dkt. No. 50 at 2. During its ownership
of the property, Attu was granted four easements.
Id. at 2-3. In 2009, Attu adjusted the boundary
lines of its parcels, creating Parcel A and Parcel B.
Id. at 2. Covington 18 purchased Parcel B from Attu
in 2012 while Attu sold Parcel A to Defendant Covington Land,
LLC ("Covington Land"). Id. at 4.
current dispute concerns whether the four easements passed
from Attu to Covington 18 upon purchase of Parcel B.
Covington 18 claims they did, and filed the current claim for
quiet title to the easements. Attu believes they did not and
opposed quiet title. Additionally, Attu filed a crossclaim
against Covington Land for tortious interference with a
business expectancy Covington Land. Id. at 6. In its
crossclaim, Attu argues that Covington Land interfered with
their business expectancy because Attu originally brokered an
option agreement with Covington 18 to purchase the easements,
but Covington Land and Covington 18 conspired to allow
Covington 18 to access the easements without first exercising
the option agreement. Dkt. No. 52 at 3.
August 1, 2019, the Court held that the easements were
appurtenant, passed to parcel B upon subdivision, and
transferred to Plaintiff with the sale of Parcel B. Dkt. No.
50 at 11-14. The Court also sua sponte dismissed
Attu's crossclaim against Covington Land because it
rested on the premise that the easements did not pass.
Id. at 22-3. Attu subsequently filed the motion for
reconsideration before the Court alleging that (1) the
Order's dismissal of Attu's crossclaim against
Covington Land was manifest error; (2) the Court ignored
evidence that shows the easements are in gross; and (3) the
Order misconstrues the facts in favor of Covington 18. The
Court requested responses from Covington 18 and Covington
Land, and both parties replied to the motion for
reconsideration on October 11, Dkt. No. 55, and October 24,
Dkt. No. 58, respectively.
district court may reconsider its order of summary judgment
under Local Rule 7(h). Sch. Dist. No. Uv. ACandS,
Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1262 (9th Cir. 1993); Western
District of Washington Local Rule 7(h)(1)
(hereinafter "L.R. 7(h)(1)"). This
District disfavors motions for reconsideration. L.R. 7(h)(1).
This Court's standing order discourages such motions and
will summarily deny motions for reconsideration that
"reassert prior arguments or raise new arguments that
could have been made earlier." Dkt. No. 37 at 5. Thus,
unless the movant demonstrates (1) "manifest error in
the prior ruling," or (2) "new facts or legal
authority which could not have been brought to [the
Court's] attention earlier with reasonable
diligence," this Court will deny such a motion. L.R.
7(h)(1); see also Gras v. Subcontracting Concepts,
LLC, 2019 U.S. Dist. WL 5081198, at *2 (W.D. Wash., Oct.
advances three separate grounds for its motion for
reconsideration. The Court will take each in turn.
Whether the dismissal of the crossclaim was manifest
argues it was manifest error for the Court to dismiss sua
sponte its crossclaim against Covington Land. Dkt. No.
51 at 2. Attu bases this claim on two separate reasons: (1)
the Court dismissed without giving Attu the opportunity to
present evidence and (2) new evidence rebuts the Court's
conclusion in its Order. Covington Land, in its response,
argues that the dismissal of, Attu's crossclaim was
appropriate because: their claim (1) did nothing more than
recite the elements of the claim, as recognized by the Court,
and (2) was also substantively justified because Attu cannot
affirmatively satisfy the elements of tortious interference.
Dkt. No. 58 at 2-4.
relates to the claim that Attu should have been granted a
chance to provide additional evidence, "[a] trial court
may dismiss a claim sua sponte under Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6)." Omar v. Sea-Land Service, Inc., 813
F.2d 986, 991 (9th Cir. 1987) (citing Wong v. Bell,642 F.2d 359, 361-62 (9th Cir. 1981)). Additionally, that
dismissal may be made without giving notice to the ...