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Sobhani v. United States

United States District Court, C.D. California

May 27, 2015

BABAK SOBHANI, an individual, and JANINE TANG, an individual, Plaintiffs,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

ORDER Re: PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION [15]

RONALD S.W. LEW, Senior District Judge.

Currently before the Court is Plaintiffs Babak Sobhani and Janine Tang's ("Plaintiffs") Motion for Reconsideration [15]. Having considered all the arguments presented, the Court now FINDS AND RULES AS FOLLOWS: Plaintiffs' Motion is GRANTED.

I. BACKGROUND

On March 13, 2013, a NASA employee allegedly struck Plaintiffs Sobhani and Tang with a motor vehicle as Plaintiffs were crossing the street in Santa Monica, California. Mot. 6:6-10. Pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA"), 28 U.S.C. ยงยง 1346(b); 2671, "Plaintiffs filed administrative tort claims with NASA on December 23, 2013." Mot. 3:6-10. Because Plaintiffs never received a response from NASA regarding the claim, Plaintiffs' administrative remedies were thereby exhausted on June 21, 2014. Mot. 3:12-16.

Plaintiffs filed the initial Complaint [1] on July 31, 2014. Mot. 3:18-19. Plaintiffs attempted to serve Defendant United States a letter dated August 7, 2014 however, Plaintiffs improperly addressed the letter, and as a result, Defendant denied service. Mot. 3:19-21. In response to the improper service, the United States Attorney's Office sent a letter to Plaintiffs, which provided the proper address for service. Mot. 3:21-24. Service of the original Complaint was due by November 28, 2014. Mot. 6:17-19 Plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint [9] on September 3, 2014. Mot. 3:24-25. Plaintiffs claim to have served Defendant on December 29, 2014, Mot. 6:19-20, and filed their Proof of Service [12] on January 2, 2015. Around the service deadline, November 28, 2014, Plaintiffs changed counsel from the Law Offices of Anthony Koushan to their current counsel, Girardi & Keese. Mot. 3:27-28; Mot. 6:21-24. The Court dismissed the Action on January 12, 2015 for failure to prosecute. Mot. 4:5-6; Amended Order Dismissing Complaint 2:1-2 (dismissing this Action without prejudice for failure to prosecute pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m) and 41(b)) [14]. Plaintiffs filed this Motion for Reconsideration [15].

II. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

Relief from Final Judgment

Rule 60(b) permits a court to, "on motion and just terms, " "relieve a party... 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 ...

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