United States District Court, E.D. California
ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is proceeding in this matter pro se, but he is licensed as an
attorney in the state of California. Pre-trial proceedings
are accordingly referred to the undersigned pursuant to Local
Rule 302(c)(21). Pending is a motion for reconsideration of
this court’s order denying judicial notice and
converting defendant’s motion to dismiss to a motion
for summary judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(d), filed
at ECF No. 10. ECF No. 11. Defendant seeks reconsideration on
grounds that summary judgment can be granted pursuant to Fed.
R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction
without taking judicial notice of the documents the court
previously rejected. ECF No. 11-1 at 2. Defendant also argues
that a final judgment in another case bars this case under
the doctrine of collateral estoppel. Id. at 2.
Strojnik brings claims for violations of the Americans with
Disabilities Act, the California Unruh Civil Rights Act and
Disabled Persons Act, and a claim for common law negligence.
ECF No. 1 at 3-6. Plaintiff visited the Sheraton Redding
Hotel at the Sundial Bridge (“the hotel”) on or
about June 6, 2019. Id. at 3. Plaintiff alleges that
he encountered approximately fifteen accessibility barriers
at the hotel that related to his disability. Id. at
3, 8-9. Plaintiff then filed the operative complaint alleging
these barriers amounted to disability discrimination under
the cited statutes. Id. at 3, 5-6.
October 18, 2019, defendant filed a motion to dismiss. ECF
No. 6 (now docketed as a motion for summary judgment).
Plaintiff opposed the motion. ECF No. 9. Both parties
requested that the court take judicial notice of online
resources that address disputed issues. ECF No. 6-1 at 14-15;
ECF No. 9 at 3-4, 13-14. On December 2, 2019, the court
issued an order declining to take judicial notice of proposed
documents and converting the motion to a motion for summary
judgment, re-setting the hearing. ECF No. 10. Defendant now
moves the court to reconsider the decision to re-set the
hearing and convert the motion to a summary judgment motion,
and asks the court to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds
because, amongst other reasons, the jurisdictional issue is
subject to collateral estoppel.
MOTION TO RECONSIDER
court has discretion to reconsider and vacate a prior order.
Barber v. Hawaii, 42 F.3d 1185, 1198 (9th Cir.
1994); United States v. Nutri-cology, Inc., 982 F.2d
394, 396 (9th Cir. 1992). Motions for reconsideration are
disfavored, however, and are not the place for parties to
make new arguments not raised in their original briefs.
Northwest Acceptance Corp. v. Lynnwood Equip., Inc.,
841 F.2d 918, 925–26 (9th Cir. 1988). Nor is
reconsideration to be used to ask the court to rethink what
it has already considered. United States v.
Rezzonico, 32 F. Supp. 2d 1112, 1116 (D. Ariz. 1998).
“A party seeking reconsideration must show more than a
disagreement with the Court’s decision, and
recapitulation of the cases and arguments considered by the
court before rendering its original decision fails to carry
the moving party’s burden.” U.S. v. Westlands
Water Dist., 134 F. Supp. 2d 1111, 1131 (E.D. Cal.
to reconsider are committed to the discretion of the trial
court. Combs v. Nick Garin Trucking, 825 F.2d 437,
441 (D.C. Cir. 1987); Rodgers v. Watt, 722 F.2d 456,
460 (9th Cir. 1983). To succeed, a party must set forth facts
or law 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). When filing a
motion for reconsideration, Local Rule 230(j) requires a
party to show the “new or different facts or
circumstances claimed to exist which did not exist or were
not shown upon such prior motion, or what other grounds exist
for the motion.” The moving party must also show
“why the [new] facts or circumstances were not shown at
the time of the prior motion.” Id.
asks the court to revisit its decision in light of the fact
that the initial motion moved for dismissal on jurisdictional
grounds pursuant to Fed. R. 12(b)(1) as well as for failure
to state a claim pursuant to 12(b)(6). Defendant raises for
the first time the issue of collateral estoppel, arguing that
a substantially similar complaint brought by plaintiff was
dismissed on jurisdictional grounds, and that the prior case
“is now a final judgment and accordingly, the Complaint
can be dismissed based purely on collateral estoppel.”
ECF No. 11-1 at 2.
judicata and collateral estoppel are affirmative defenses
that must be pleaded. Fed. Rules Civ. Proc. 8(c). The purpose
of such pleading is to give the opposing party notice of the
plea of estoppel and a chance to argue, if he can, why the
imposition of an estoppel would be inappropriate.”
Blonder-Tongue Labs., Inc. v. Univ. of Illinois
Found., 402 U.S. 313, 350 (1971). The collateral
estoppel defense was not asserted in the original motion to
dismiss; it cannot be considered for the first time upon
reconsideration. Should defendant wish to withdraw the
pending motion for summary judgment set to be heard on
January 15, 2019 (ECF Nos. 6, 10) and file a motion to
dismiss based on collateral estoppel, it is free to do so.
The court will not consider the issue at this juncture.
remainder of defendant’s motion for reconsideration is
a re-litigation of points raised in its motion to dismiss.
The court determined that the motion presented at ECF No. 6
could not be heard as a motion to dismiss because both
parties wished to include matters not subject to judicial
notice, and references to those documents were woven
throughout. The court will not reconsider its determination
that the motion needed to re-categorized as a motion for
summary judgment; defendant has given the court no reason to