United States District Court, S.D. California
ART COHEN, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiff,
DONALD J. TRUMP, Defendant.
ORDER DENYING LEELAND O. WHITE'S “AMENDED
MOTION TO SET ASIDE JUDGMENT” AND “AMENDED MOTION
TO VACATE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND REVERSE DENIAL OF MOTION
TO INTERVENE” [ECF NOS. 311, 315.]
GONZALO P. CURIEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court are Leeland O. White's
(“White's”) “Amended Motion to Set
Aside Judgment” and “Amended Motion to Vacate
Settlement Agreement and Reverse Denial of Motion to
Intervene.” (Dkt. Nos. 311, 315.) Because White is not
a party to the case, the Court, out of an abundance of
caution, construes White's filings as a motion for
reconsideration under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)
and a supplemental brief, respectively. Defendants President
Trump and Trump University, LLC, (“Defendants”)
oppose. (Dkt. No. 319.) Plaintiff and Class Representative
Art Cohen (“Plaintiff”) joins Defendants'
opposition. (Dkt. No. 320.) The Court finds the motion
suitable for disposition without oral argument pursuant to
Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1). Upon review of the moving papers
and applicable law, and for the reasons set below, the Court
DENIES White's motions and VACATES the hearing scheduled
for July 14, 2017.
Court has previously recited the factual background in this
case at length and will not reiterate it here. (See,
e.g., Dkt. No. 53, Order Granting Motion for Class
Certification.) A brief review of relevant procedural
October 18, 2013, Plaintiff Art Cohen filed a Complaint on
behalf of himself and all others similarly situated. (Dkt.
No. 1, Compl.) Cohen filed a notice of related case,
connecting his lawsuit with Low v. Trump University
LLC, Case No. 3:10-cv-00940-GPC-WVG, which was filed on
April 30, 2010. (Dkt. No. 3.) On February 21, 2014, the Court
certified, in Low, a class of “[a]ll persons
who purchased a Trump University three-day live
‘Fulfillment' workshop and/or a ‘Elite'
program (‘Live Events') in California, New York and
Florida, and have not received a full refund.”
(Low, Dkt. No. 298 at 35.) On October 27, 2014, the
Court granted Plaintiff Cohen's motion to certify a class
of “[a]ll persons who purchased Live Events from Trump
University throughout the United States from January 1, 2007
to the present.” (Cohen, Dkt. No. 53 at 22.)
November 18, 2016, Plaintiffs in Cohen and
Low executed a settlement agreement with Defendants,
as well as with the New York State Attorney General. (Dkt.
No. 279.) The Court granted the parties' Joint Motion for
Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement on December
20, 2016. (Dkt. No. 282.) The Court set a final approval
hearing for March 30, 2017. (Id. at 9.)
November 18, 2016, White, proceeding pro se, first
attempted to file an ex parte motion to intervene by
right. (Dkt. No. 280.) The filing was rejected
for failure to comply with the Civil Local Rules.
(Id.) White then attempted to file another motion to
intervene on January 10, 2017. (Dkt. No. 284.) The filing was
rejected, again, for non-compliance with the Civil Local
filed an “Amended Ex Parte Motion in Right to
Intervene and to Object, ” nunc pro tunc to
January 19, 2017. (Dkt. No. 287.) On February 6, 2017,
Defendants filed an opposition brief. (Dkt. No. 291.)
Plaintiff joined Defendants' opposition. (Dkt. No. 292.)
White filed a reply, nunc pro tunc to February 17,
2017. (Dkt. No. 297.) On March 23, 2017, the Court entered an
Order denying White's motion to intervene. (Dkt. No.
Court held a final approval hearing on March 30, 2017.
(Low, Dkt. No. 617; Cohen, Dkt. No. 304.)
On March 31, 2017, the Court granted the Parties' joint
motion for final approval of the Settlement and granted
Plaintiffs' motion for approval of class representative
awards. (Low, Dkt. No. 618; Cohen, Dkt. No.
305.) Final judgment was entered on the same day.
(Low, Dkt. No. 619; Cohen, Dkt. No. 306.)
filed the instant motion for reconsideration on May 3, 2017.
(Dkt. No. 311.) He subsequently filed a supplemental brief on
May 22, 2017. (Dkt. No. 315.) Defendants filed a response in
opposition on May 25, 2017, and Plaintiff filed a Notice of
Joinder to Defendants' response. (Dkt. Nos. 319, 320.)
White filed a reply, nunc pro tunc to June 16, 2017.
(Dkt. No. 328.)
district court may reconsider a judgment under either Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 59(e) or
60(b). See Sch. Dist. No. 1J, Multnomah Cty.,
Or. v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1262 (9th Cir. 1993).
Rule 60(b) provides for reconsideration only upon a showing
of: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable
neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence; (3) fraud,
misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party; (4) a
void judgment; (5) a satisfied or discharged judgment; or (6)
any other reason that justifies relief. Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b);
see also Sch. Dist. No. 1J, Multnomah Cty., Or., 5
F.3d at 1263 (quoting Fuller v. M.G. Jewelry, 950
F.2d 1437, 1442 (9th Cir. 1991)). A “party seeking
relief under Rule 60(b)(6) must show ‘extraordinary
circumstances' justifying the reopening of a final
judgment.” Wood v. Ryan, 759 F.3d 1117, 1120
(9th Cir. 2014) (quoting Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545
U.S. 524, 535 (2005)).
addition, Local Civil Rule 7.1(i)(1) provides that a motion
for reconsideration must include an affidavit or certified
statement of a party or attorney
setting forth the material facts and circumstances
surrounding each prior application, including inter alia: (1)
when and to what judge the application was made, (2) what
ruling or decision or order was made thereon, and (3) what
new and different facts and circumstances are claimed to