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Gorchoff v. Jefferson Capital Systems, LLC

United States District Court, C.D. California

July 13, 2016

KARLA GORCHOFF, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, and LOUIS GORCHOFF, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
JEFFERSON CAPITAL SYSTEMS, LLC, Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION [DKT. 36]

          DEAN D. PREGERSON United States District Judge

         Presently before the court is Plaintiffs Karla and Louis Gorchoff’s (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) Motion for Reconsideration of this Court’s Order Granting Defendant Jefferson Capital Systems, LCC’s (“Defendant”) Unopposed Motion to Compel Arbitration. (Dkt. 36.) Having considered the submissions of the parties, the court denies the motion and adopts the following Order.

         I. Background

         The court has set forth the relevant background in a prior order concerning Defendant’s unopposed Motion to Compel Arbitration. In brief, Plaintiffs brought suit on behalf of themselves and a purported class alleging that Defendant sent certain letters in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), the Credit Repair Organizations Act (“CROA”), and the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“RFDCPA”). (See Dkt. 1.) Plaintiffs received these letters in connection with an alleged debt they owe on their Premier Bankcard Mastercard Accounts. (Dkt. 1, Exs. A, B.) The letters invite Plaintiffs to join a program that offers certain debt reduction credits if Plaintiffs make sufficient qualifying payments. (Id.)

         On February 2, 2016, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). (Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, Dkt. 17.) On March 28, 2016, after the Motion to Dismiss was fully briefed, Defendant filed a Motion to Compel Arbitration set for hearing on May 9, 2016. (Motion to Compel Arbitration, Dkt. 26.) On April 1, 2016, the Motion to Dismiss was vacated. (Dkt. 31.) Pursuant to Local Rule 7-9, Plaintiffs’ opposition to the Motion Compel Arbitration was due on April 18, 2016 but Plaintiffs did not meet that deadline. (See Dkt. 32.) The day after the Opposition was due, Plaintiffs emailed Defendant’s counsel, asking to discuss the Motion to Compel and the possibility of extending or staying the briefing schedule pending limited discovery. (Dkt. 33-3, Ex. B.) Defendant did not agree to such a stipulation, and, on April 22, 2016, Plaintiffs filed an Ex Parte Application before this Court seeking to continue the hearing date of the Motion to Compel. (Plaintiffs’ Ex Parte Application, Dkt. 33.)

         This Court denied Plaintiffs’ Ex Parte Application and granted Defendant’s Motion to Compel Arbitration. (Dkt. 35.) In particular, the court noted that Plaintiffs were aware of Defendant’s Motion to Compel Arbitration since March 8, 2016 and did not ask for any extensions until after the response to the Motion was due, nearly six weeks after Defendant’s first email. (Id. at 2.) The court also noted that the agreement between Plaintiff and their credit card company’s assignee (Defendant) facially appeared to require this dispute be arbitrated, including arbitrating potential disputes over the validity of the arbitration agreement. (Id. at 3-4.) Finally, the court dismissed the case with prejudice and vacated all pending motions. (Id. at 4.) Plaintiffs now seek reconsideration of this Order.

         II. Legal Standard

         Amendment or alteration of a judgment is only appropriate under Rule 59(e) if “(1) the district court is presented with newly discovered evidence, (2) the district court committed clear error or made an initial decision that was manifestly unjust, or (3) there is an intervening change in controlling law.” Zimmerman v. City of Oakland, 255 F.3d 734, 740 (9th Cir. 2001). The rule “offers an extraordinary remedy, to be used sparingly in the interests of finality and conservation of judicial resources.” Kona Enterprises, Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000). “A Rule 59(e) motion may not be used to raise arguments or present evidence for the first time when they could reasonably have been raised earlier in the litigation.” Id. See also Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, 554 U.S. 471, 485 n.5 (2008); School Dist. No. 1J, Mulnomah County, Or. v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993).

         Alternatively, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b), a party may seek reconsideration of a final judgment or court order for any reason that justifies relief, including:

(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 released or discharged; it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or applying it ...

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