United States District Court, E.D. California
EDWARD C. HUGLER, Acting Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor Plaintiff,
VALLEY GARLIC, INC., dba SEQUOIA PACKING CO., a California Corporation; CHRISTIAN BARRERE MARRIONE, an individual; DAVID CLARK ANDERSON, an individual; X-TREME AG LABOR, INC., a California corporation; ISABELLA ALVAREZ CAMACHO, an individual; OFELIA RAMIREZ MORALES, an individual; and CESAR NERI, an individual, Defendants.
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
RECONSIDERATION (DOC. 43)
Edward C. Hugler is the Acting United States Secretary of
Labor (the “Secretary”). He seeks reconsideration
of the Court's order denying issuance of a preliminary
injunction. The injunction that the Secretary seeks would
enjoin Defendant Valley Garlic Inc.from causing vehicles to be
used to transport migrant and seasonal agricultural workers
without ensuring the vehicle safety requirements of 29 U.S.C.
§ 1841 (“Section 1841”) are met. Doc. 34.
After considering the Secretary's motion for preliminary
injunction, the Court determined that the Secretary was not
entitled to a presumption of irreparable injury and the
Secretary's showing of irreparable injury was inadequate
to carry his burden. The Secretary now (1) submits new
evidence to support his claim of irreparable injury and (2)
contends that the court erred in failing to recognize that
Valley Garlic's violation of the vehicle safety
provisions of the Agricultural Workers Protection Act
(“AWPA”) is likely to cause irreparable injury.
following reasons, The Secretary's motion for
reconsideration will be denied.
February 27, 2017, this Court resolved the Secretary's
second motion for preliminary injunction. The Court first
found a likelihood of success on the merits of the
Secretary's claim. The Court found that Valley Garlic
employs the field workers recruited by its farm labor
contractors (“FLCs”) within the meaning of the
Agricultural Workers Protection Act, 29 U.S.C. § 1801,
et seq. (“AWPA”). Doc. 41 at 7-19; see
29 U.S.C. § 1802(5). The Court also found that Valley
Garlic knows that transportation by an FLC is a necessary
element in recruitment of at least some of its workers and
Valley Garlic has done nothing to preclude that
transportation. Doc. 41 at 19-23. Valley Garlic conceded not
having taken the safety measures required under Section 1841.
The Court concluded that Valley Garlic is violating Section
1841 by causing to be used vehicles transportation of its
agricultural employees by FLCs without implementing the
safety measures required by Section 1841.
the irreparable injury prong, the Secretary relied primarily
on a presumption of irreparable injury. The Court declined to
apply such a presumption in light of the Supreme Court's
prohibition of categorical rules governing the exercise of
equitable jurisdiction without clear Congressional indication
to the contrary. Doc. 41 at 27-29; Porter v. Warner
Holding Co., 328 U.S. 395, 398 (1946); see
Cottonwood Environmental Law Ctr. v. U.S. Forest Serv.,
789 F.3d 1075, 1089-1090 (9th Cir. 2015). In making that
determination, the Court considered the language, history,
structure, and underlying policy of the AWPA to conclude that
Congress did not intend to limit the Court's full
consideration of equitable factors. Doc. 41 at 29-32. The
Court concluded that, absent the presumption of irreparable
harm, the Secretary's showing of irreparable harm was
inadequate. On that basis it denied the Secretary's
motion for preliminary injunction.
district court should not grant a motion for reconsideration
“absent highly unusual circumstances.”
McDowell v. Calderon, 197 F.3d 1253, 1255 (9th Cir.
1999) (citations omitted). Specifically, Local Rule 230(j)
requires Plaintiff seeking reconsideration of an order to
show “what new or different facts or circumstances are
claimed to exist which did not exist or were not shown upon
such prior motion, or what other grounds exist for the motion
and … why the facts or circumstances were not shown at
the time of the prior motion.” Local Rule 230(j) (E.D.
Cal.); see Marlyn Nutraceuticals, Inc. v. Mucos Pharma
GmbH & Co., 571 F.3d 873, 880 (9th Cir. 2009)
(internal quotations marks and citations omitted) (“A
motion for reconsideration should not be granted, absent
highly unusual circumstances, unless the district court is
presented with newly discovered evidence, committed clear
error, or if there is an intervening change in the
controlling law.”) Reconsideration is an
“extraordinary remedy, ” to be used
“sparingly as an equitable remedy to prevent manifest
injustice.” Wood v. Ryan, 759 F.3d 1117, 1121
(9th Cir. 2014) (quoting Kona Enters., Inc. v. Estate of
Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000)); Lal v.
California, 610 F.3d 518, 524 (9th Cir. 2010). “A
motion for reconsideration ‘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.'” Marlyn Nutraceuticals, 571
F.3d at 880 (emphasis in original).
party seeking reconsideration must show more than a
disagreement with the Court's decision, and
recapitulation ...” of that which was already
considered by the Court in rendering its decision.”
United States v. Westlands Water Dist., 134
F.Supp.2d 1111, 1131 (E.D. Cal. 2001); see Maraziti v.
Thorpe, 52 F.3d 252, 255 (9th Cir. 1995) (A motion to
reconsider is properly denied when it “merely
reiterate[s] the arguments … already
presented.”) To succeed, the new facts or law set forth
must be of a strongly convincing nature to induce the court
to reverse its prior decision. See Kern-Tulare Water
Dist. v. City of Bakersfield, 634 F.Supp. 656, 665 (E.D.
Cal. 1986) (affirmed in part and reversed in part on other
grounds, 828 F.2d 514 (9th Cir. 1987)).
detailed in more depth below, the Secretary has submitted
statistical and anecdotal evidence tending to suggest that
use of unlicensed drivers and unsafe vehicles is endemic to
the agriculture industry and that such practices are likely
to result in catastrophic injury or death. The Court must
consider whether the newly submitted evidence should change
the irreparable injury determination and “why the facts
or circumstances were not shown at the time of the prior
motion.” Local Rule 230(j) (E.D. Cal.)
order to obtain preliminary injunctive relief a party must
show (1) a likelihood of success on the merits; (2) a
likelihood of irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary
relief; (3) that the balance of equities tips in her favor;
and (4) an injunction is in the public interest. Winter
v. Nat. Resources Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20
(2008). All of the other considerations having been
established, Doc. 41, this order focuses on the second prong.
The mere possibility of irreparable harm is insufficient to
justify an injunction. Herb Reed Enterprises, LLC v.
Florida Entertainment Management, Inc., 736 F.3d 1239,
1249 (9th Cir. 2013). Instead, a party seeking a preliminary
injunction must show irreparable harm is likely. Herb
Reed Enterprises, 736 F.3d at 1249. The plaintiff must
also show a “sufficient causal connection”
between the alleged injury and the conduct the plaintiff
seeks to enjoin such that the injunction would effectively
minimize the risk of injury. Perfect 10, Inc. v. Google,
Inc., 653 F.3d 976, 982 (9th Cir. 2011); accord Fox
Broadcasting Co., Inc. v. Dish Network, LLC, 747 F.3d
1060, 1072-1073 (9th Cir. 2013) (The irreparable injury
caused must “flow from” the violation to be
enjoined.) The activity to be enjoined need not be the
exclusive cause of the injury. M.R. v. Dreyfus, 697
F.3d 706, 728 (9th Cir. 2012).
order to establish irreparable injury, the Secretary must
show that (1) Valley Garlic's agricultural workers are
likely to be transported in by unlicensed drivers or in
vehicles that fail to meet the Secretary's safety
requirements under Section ...