United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
RANDAI HALL CHIEF JUDGE UNITED SATES DISTRICT COURT
March, the Court granted summary judgment in favor of
Defendants on the majority of Plaintiff's claims, and it
denied summary judgment to Plaintiff. (Doc. 193.) The Court,
however, allowed Plaintiff's Title VII retaliation claim
against Augusta to proceed. In response to the Court's
ruling, Plaintiff and Augusta both moved for reconsideration.
(Docs. 194, 196, 197.) The Court denied these motions and set
the case for trial. (Doc. 200.) Plaintiff now requests (1) a
certificate of appealability under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b);
(2) an entry of judgment under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 54(b); (3) reconsideration; and (4) leave to amend
her complaint. (Docs. 201, 202, 203, 204.)
Certificate of Appealability Under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b)
and Entry of Judgment Under Rule 54 (b)
28 U.S.C. § 1292(b), a district court may certify in
writing that an interlocutory order "involves a
controlling question of law as to which there is substantial
ground for difference of opinion and that an immediate appeal
from the order may materially advance the ultimate
termination of the litigation . . . ." The requesting
party may then apply to the court of appeals for leave to
appeal, and the court of appeals may, "in its
discretion, permit an appeal to be taken from such order . .
. ." Id.
"controlling question of law" is one that is purely
legal and requires little review of the record. McFarlin
v. Conseco Servs., LLC, 381 F.3d 1251, 1258 (11th Cir.
2004). There is a "substantial ground for difference of
opinion" when the district court and the court of
appeals are not in "complete and unequivocal
agreement" about the issue. See Id. (citation
omitted) (internal quotation marks omitted). And an immediate
I appeal "may materially advance the ultimate
termination of the litigation" when "resolution of
a controlling legal question would serve to avoid a trial or
otherwise substantially shorten the litigation."
Id at 1259.
short, "§ 1292(b) appeals were intended, and should
be reserved, for situations in which the court of appeals can
rule on a pure, controlling question of law without having to
delve beyond the surface of the record in order to determine
the facts." Id. Thus, "[t]he legal
question must be stated at a high enough level of abstraction
to lift the question out of the details of the evidence or
facts of a particular case and give it general relevance to
other cases in the same area of law." Id. And
resolving that question must "substantially reduce the
amount of litigation left in the case." Id.
Rule 54(b), a district court "may direct entry of a
final judgment as to one or more, but fewer than all, claims
or parties only if the court expressly determines that there
is no just reason for delay." In deciding whether there
is no "just reason for delay, " district courts
"must take into account judicial administrative
interests as well as the equities involved."
Curtiss-Wright Corp. v. Gen. Elec. Co., 446
U.S. 1, 8 (1980). And district courts should strive to ensure
"that application of [Rule 54(b)] effectively preserves
the historic federal policy against piecemeal appeals."
Id. (citation omitted) (internal quotation marks
Court's order in this case does not involve a controlling
question of law as to which there is substantial ground for
difference of opinion under § 1292(b). And the Court
declines to find that there is no just reason for delay under
Rule 54(b). The Court therefore DENIES Plaintiff's motion
for a certificate of appealability and her motion for an
entry of judgment. (Docs. 201, 202.)
courts have discretion under Rule 54(b) to revisit
interlocutory decisions. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b); SEC v.
Mannion, No. 1:10-cv-3374-WSD, 2013 WL 5999657, at *2
(N.D.Ga. Nov. 12, 2013). But a court should exercise that
discretion and grant a motion for reconsideration only when
(1) the controlling law has changed, (2) new evidence has
been discovered, or (3) there is a need to correct clear
error. Raiford v. National Hills Exchange,
LLC, No. 1:11-cv-152, 2016 WL 2908412, at *2 (S.D. Ga.
May 17, 2016). And "the moving party must set forth
facts or law of a strongly convincing nature to induce the
court to reverse its prior decision . . . ." Voter
Verified, Inc. v. Election Sys. & Software,
Inc., No. 6:09-cv-1969-Orl-19KRS, 2011 WL 3862450, at *2
(M.D. Fla. Aug. 31, 2011) (citation omitted) (internal
quotation marks omitted). Indeed, reconsideration "is an
extraordinary remedy to be employed sparingly." Id., .
(citation omitted) (internal quotation marks omitted). A
motion to reconsider therefore "should not be used to
present the Court with arguments already heard and dismissed,
or to offer new legal theories or evidence that could have
been presented in" prior motions. Mannion, 2013
WL 5999657, at *2.
third time, Plaintiff asks the Court to reconsider its
decision to grant summary judgment in favor of Defendants on
her procedural due process claim. But because Plaintiff has
not pointed to any change in the law or new evidence or shown
that the Court committed clear error, Court
DENIES Plaintiff's motion for
reconsideration. (Doc. 203.)
Leave to Amend
also seeks leave to amend her complaint. (Doc. 204.) Because
Plaintiff has not shown good cause to amend the scheduling
order, see Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4), and because Plaintiff's
proposed amendments would be futile, see Fla;
Evergreen Foliage v. E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Co.,