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Oram v. City of Dillon

United States District Court, D. Montana, Butte Division

January 9, 2018

GARY ORAM, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
THE CITY OF DILLON, CETH HAGGARD, JEREMY ALVAREZ, and JACOB JOHNSON, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Brian Morris United States District Court Judge

         Plaintiff Gary Oram (“Oram”) filed a Motion for Relief from Final Judgment on August 30, 2017. (Doc. 149.) Oram filed a Motion for Relief in Equity on December 11, 2017. (Doc. 157.)

         BACKGROUND

         The Court will recite the history of this case only as relevant to explain its reasoning. Oram filed his complaint on September 14, 2015. (Doc. 1.) The Court granted summary judgment in favor of, and dismissed all claims against, Defendants The City of Dillon, Ceth Haggard, and Jeremy Alvarez (“City Defendants”) on December 20, 2016 . (Doc. 132.)

         Oram failed to serve Defendant Jacob Johnson within 90 days of the filing of his complaint. (Doc. 136.) The Court issued an order on December 28, 2016, to show cause as to why Oram's remaining claims against Johnson should not be dismissed for lack of service. (Doc. 136.) Oram failed to respond to the Court's order, and failed to elect service on Defendant Johnson. As a result, the Court issued an order on August 23, 2017, dismissing claims against Johnson without prejudice for lack of service. (Doc. 145.)

         Oram filed the first of two pending motions (hereafter “first motion”) on August 30, 2017. (Doc. 149.) He contends: (1) that he is entitled to “reversal” of this Court's December 20, 2016, Order (Doc. 132) awarding summary judgment to the City Defendants; (2) that he is entitled to “District Court review and relief of all void judgments” entered by United States Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch (Docs. 23; 48; 61; 63; 85; 139); and (3) that he is entitled to “all damages as pled” against the City Defendants. (Docs. 149 at 2; 150 at 7.) In support of his requested relief, Oram alleges that the Court failed to consider a witness statement, that Magistrate Lynch lacked jurisdiction, and that Defendants had submitted incomplete or falsified discovery responses constituting fraud on the Court. (Doc. 150 at 4-6.)

         Oram filed the pending Motion for Relief in Equity (hereafter “second motion”) on December 11, 2017. (Doc. 157.) Oram's second motion seeks an injunction to prevent the withdrawal of counsel for Defendants Haggard and Alvarez, as well as declaratory and “other relief” “as this Court deems appropriate and just.” (Doc. 158 at 17.) In support, Oram re-states the allegations of his first motion.

         DISCUSSION

         I. First Motion

         Oram characterizes his first motion as a motion for relief from final judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). Rule 60(b) provides relief from a “final judgment or order” in case of “mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1), “fraud, misrepresentation, or misconduct, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(3), or where “the judgment is void, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(4).

         A final judgment “ends the litigation on the merits and leaves nothing for the court to do but execute the judgment.” Catlin v. U.S., 324 U.S. 229, 233 (1945). Where an action involves multiple parties, any order that adjudicates “fewer than all the claims” or “the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties” is not final absent discretionary certification of finality by the Court. Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b).

         Oram's first motion seeks reversal of six orders issued by Magistrate Lynch. (Doc. 150 at 7.) Magistrate Lynch's orders include a scheduling order (Doc. 23), two discovery orders (Docs. 48; 61), an order denying entry of default (Doc. 63), and two text orders denying previous motions to reconsider (Docs. 85; 139). Oram contends that these orders exceed the jurisdiction of a United States Magistrate Judge, and that they are void and subject to reversal by this Court under Rule 60(b)(4).

         Oram also seeks reversal of an order issued by this Court (Doc. 132) adopting Magistrate Lynch's Findings and Recommendations to grant summary judgment to the City Defendants and dismiss Oram's claims against the City Defendants with prejudice. (Doc. 150 at 2.) Oram contends that this judgment is based on mistake, and that it should be reversed under Rule 60(b)(1).

         None of the seven orders identified by Oram are final orders within the meaning of Rule 60(b). The Court will construe, therefore, Oram's first motion as a motion to reconsider. This Court's Local Rule 7.3 governs motions for reconsideration of interlocutory orders. “No one may file” such a motion “without prior leave of court.” L.R. 7.3(a). A motion for leave to file a motion to reconsider must demonstrate either: (1) that the facts or law are “materially different” than that which the parties presented to the Court before entry of the contested order, and the party applying for reconsideration did not know such fact or law before entry of the order, ...


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