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United States, For the Use of Ramona v. Carolina Casualty Insurance Request To Continue Company

December 30, 2011

UNITED STATES, FOR THE USE OF RAMONA EQUIPMENT RENTALS, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CAROLINA CASUALTY INSURANCE REQUEST TO CONTINUE COMPANY, A FLORIDA CORPORATION; HEARING CANDELARIA CORPORATION, AN ARIZONA CORPORATION; OTAY GROUP, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION; AND WADE D. ROWLEY, AN INDIVIDUAL, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Marilyn L. Huff, District Judge United States District Court

(1) ORDER DENYING MOTION TO ALTER OR AMEND JUDGMENT; & (2) DENYING AS MOOT

This Miller Act action and related claims came to trial before the Court. On August 31, 2011, the Court issued a memorandum decision in favor of Plaintiff Ramona Equipment Rental Inc. and against Defendants Carolina Casualty Insurance Company, Candelaria Corporation, and Otay Group, Inc. in the amount of $178,686.56 plus prejudgment interest and any attorney's fees and costs as allowed under the law. (Doc. No. 112.) Pursuant to Defendants' request, the Court deferred the entry of judgment until the Court determined the amount of attorney's fees to be awarded to Plaintiff. (Doc. No. 122.)

On November 10, 2011, the Court entered judgment in this case in favor of Plaintiff Ramona Equipment Rental Inc. and against Defendants Carolina Casualty Insurance Company, Candelaria Corporation, and Otay Group, Inc. in the amount of $178,686.56 plus $106,516.64 as pre-judgment interest plus $114,081.28 in attorney's fees for a total sum of $399,284.48, plus costs as permitted by law. (Doc. No. 134.) On December 1, 2011, Defendants filed a motion to alter or amend judgment pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 59(e) and 60(b). (Doc. No. 136.) On December 22, 2011, Plaintiff filed an ex parte application to continue the hearing on Defendant's motion to alter or amend judgment. (Doc. No. 139.) On December 22, 2011, Defendants filed their response in opposition to Plaintiff's request to continue. (Doc. No. 140.) On December 26, 2011, Plaintiff filed its response in opposition to the motion to alter or amend judgment. (Doc. No. 141.) The Court, pursuant to its discretion under the Local Civil Rule 7.1(d), determines this matter to be appropriate for resolution without oral argument, submits it on the parties' papers, and vacates the hearing set for January 9, 2012. For the following reasons, the Court denies Defendants' motion to alter or amend judgment. The Court denies as moot Plaintiff's request to continue the hearing.

Discussion

I. Legal Standard

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), a party may move to have the court amend its judgment within twenty-eight days after entry of the judgment. Allstate Ins. Co. v. Herron, 634 F.3d 1101, 1111 (9th Cir. 2011). Amending a judgment after its entry is "an extraordinary remedy which should be used sparingly." McDowell v. Calderon, 197 F.3d 1253, 1255 n.1 (9th Cir. 1999) (en banc) (per curiam). Because specific grounds for a motion to amend or alter are not listed in the rule, the district court enjoys considerable discretion in granting or denying the motion." Id. Rule 59(e) motions may be granted for four reasons: "(1) if such motion is necessary to correct manifest errors of law or fact upon which the judgment rests; (2) if such motion is necessary to present newly discovered or previously unavailable evidence; (3) if such motion is necessary to prevent manifest injustice; or (4) if the amendment is justified by an intervening change in controlling law." Allstate, 634 F.3d at 1111.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) permits the Court to relieve a party or its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons:

(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;

(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b);

(3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party;

(4) the judgment is void;

(5) the judgment has been satisfied, released or discharged; it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or applying it prospectively is no longer equitable; or

(6) any other reason that ...


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