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Matthew B. Cramer v. Target Corporation

January 24, 2011

MATTHEW B. CRAMER,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
TARGET CORPORATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sheila K. Oberto United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

(DOCKET NO. 125)

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Matthew Cramer ("Plaintiff") is proceeding in forma pauperis and pro se with an action for damages and other relief concerning alleged civil rights violations pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff's claim arises out of a theft incident at a Target store on March 3, 2008, to which Plaintiff apparently pled "no contest." (See Doc. 67, 2:23.)

Plaintiff filed his original complaint on November 7, 2008. On December 9, 2008, the complaint was dismissed with leave to amend. On February 17, 2009, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint ("FAC"). In Plaintiff's FAC, he sought compensatory and punitive damages from Michael J. Yant and Eric Heller, two employees of Target Corporation ("Target"), an unnamed defendant referred to as the manager of the Target store, and Tulare Police Officer, Greg Barrios.

Although Plaintiff captioned his original complaint as "Matthew B. Cramer v. Target Corporation et al.," there was no allegation against Target in the FAC.

On May 4, 2009, the Court screened the FAC, finding one cognizable 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim as to Defendants Heller, Yant, an unidentified supervisor who was at the store during the alleged incident, and Officer Greg Barrios. The Court ordered service of the FAC on the three named defendants. The doe defendant was designated as Clebo Wheatly on October 20, 2010, after Plaintiff learned his identity. (See Doc. 24.)

On July 21, 2010, Plaintiff filed a motion requesting to add Target or Target's Chief Executive Officer ("CEO"), Robert J. Ulrich, as a defendant in this action. On August 2, 2010, Defendants Heller and Wheatly filed an opposition to Plaintiff's motion to amend his FAC in this manner.

On August 13, 2010, the Court issued an order denying Plaintiff's request to amend his complaint to name Target or Target's CEO as a defendant. (Doc. 119.) The Court explained there could be no vicarious liability for Target or Target's CEO under a theory of respondeat superior. See City of Canton v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 385 (1989) ("Respondeat superior or vicarious liability will not attach under § 1983.").

On September 2, 2010, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's August 13, 2010, order. Plaintiff maintains that Target's CEO "may have [not] played an initial role in being present at the Tulare Target Store on March 3, 2008," but asserts that it was the CEO's "[duty] of his [job] position and as a CEO he is vicariously liable for the actions of his subordinates . . . not to mention he has store procedures and/or policies implemented in the proper training and/or conditions of liability that would oversee [all] aspects of his employees." (Doc. 125, 2.) Plaintiff further argues that "CEO [Ulrich] has failed to act and/or prevent Defendants from committing . . . violations of plaintiff's constitutional rights." (Id.)

II. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

A basic principle of federal practice is that courts generally refuse to reopen decided matters. Magnesystems, Inc. v. Nikken, Inc., 933 F. Supp. 944, 948 (C.D. Cal. 1996) (citations omitted).

Reconsideration is an "extraordinary remedy, to be used sparingly in the interests of finality and conservation of judicial resources." Carroll v. Nakatani, 342 F.3d 934, 945 (9th Cir. 2003). A "party seeking reconsideration must show more than a disagreement with the Court's decision, and recapitulation of the cases and arguments considered by the court before rendering its original decision fails to carry the moving party's burden." United ...


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