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Chandler v. U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

United States District Court, C.D. California

May 15, 2014

GERAD CHANDLER
v.
US DEPARTMENT OF VETERAN AFFAIRS, ET AL

PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (Dkt. #32, filed April 23, 2014)

CHRISTINA A. SNYDER, Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Gerad Chandler filed this action on December 28, 2012, against the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (the "Department") and Secretary Eric K. Shinseki, asserting claims for discrimination on the basis of disability and gender arising from plaintiff's employment with the Department. By order dated December 16, 2013, this Court dismissed this action without prejudice for failure to prosecute. Dkt. #22.

Plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration of that order on January 13, 2014. Dkt. #23. In that motion, plaintiff stated that he suffers from disabilities that hinder his ability to participate in the litigation process. Plaintiff requested that this action be reinstated, and that a series of accommodations be put in place, including: consolidation of related matters into a single district court case, extended deadlines, permission to communicate with the Court via e-filing, email, and telephone, electronic and hard-copy case updates, a waiver of PACER fees, and periodic stays of the litigation. By order dated March 18, 2014, the Court reinstated this action. Dkt. #30. The Court also granted in part plaintiff's request for accommodations, by permitting him to file documents by email. Dkt. #'s 30-31. The Court otherwise denied without prejudice plaintiff's request for accommodations, stating the following:

Plaintiff has not provided documentation from a physician to substantiate his disabilities, nor has he provided a declaration from a physician to support these requests. Nonetheless, based on plaintiff's presentation of his case, it is plain that he suffers some disability. However, this fact does not excuse his responsibility to prosecute this litigation. Moreover, the Court is unable to provide much of the relief sought by plaintiff because it lacks the legal authority to do so, and doing so would interfere with the orderly progress of litigation pending before other courts.

Dkt. #30. Plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration of that order on April 23, 2014.

Dkt. #32. No opposition or reply has been filed.[1]

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Local Rule 7-18 sets forth the bases upon which the Court may reconsider the decision on any motion:

A motion for reconsideration of the decision on any motion may be made only on the grounds of: (a) a material difference in fact or law from that presented to the Court before such decision that in the exercise of reasonable diligence could not have been known to the party moving for reconsideration at the time of such decision, or (b) the emergence of new material facts or a change of law occurring after the time of such decision, or (c) a manifest showing of a failure to consider material facts presented to the Court before such decision. No motion for reconsideration shall in any manner repeat any oral or written argument made in support of or in opposition to the original motion.

L.R. 7-18.

III. DISCUSSION

In the present motion, plaintiff provides a letter from a physician, recommending that a series of accommodations be provided to plaintiff. These are:

a. Minimizing exposure to triggers, by consolidating related legal matters;
b. Generate and provide electronic access to verbatim records of all communication of court-related matters;
c. Grant the ability to electronically access records related [to]... cases without cost or penalty;
d. Afford adequate time for [plaintiff] to complete tasks;
e. Allow for temporary breaks from legal activity if any when medically necessary; and
f. Conduct periodic review of, and necessary adjustment to, reasonably accommodation[s] as appropriate

Dkt. #32. While it is plain that plaintiff suffers from a disability, the Court is unable to provide much of the relief sought by plaintiff because it lacks the legal authority to do so, and doing so would interfere with the orderly progress of litigation pending before other courts. However, to the extent that plaintiff requires additional time to complete tasks related to this action, plaintiff may follow standard procedures for obtaining such additional time, such as seeking stipulations from opposing counsel.

IV. CONCLUSION

In accordance with the foregoing, plaintiff's motion for reconsideration is hereby DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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