United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
LADON E. HILL, Plaintiff,
MEMORIAL DRIVE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
V. EAGAN JUDGE
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Alter and/or
Amend Judgment (Dkt. # 50). On February 20, 2018, the Court
entered an opinion and order (Dkt. # 45) granting
defendant's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff asks
the Court to reconsider its opinion and order as to his claim
of retaliation, and he claims that he offered sufficient
evidence of post-employment retaliation to give rise to a
genuine issue of disputed fact on this claim. Defendant
responds that the Court has already considered and rejected
each argument raised in plaintiff's motion, and plaintiff
has not offered any new evidence or identified any change in
the controlling law. Plaintiff's deadline to file a reply
has expired, and no reply was filed.
was formerly employed as a youth minister at the Memorial
Drive United Methodist Church, and his employment was
terminated on February 10, 2013. On October 23, 2013, Hill
filed a civil action against defendant in Tulsa County
District Court alleging claims under Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e (Title VII) and 42
U.S.C. § 1981. The case was removed to federal court.
Ladon E. Hill v. Memorial Drive United Methodist
Church, 13-CV-745-JHP-TLW (N.D. Okla.). The parties
filed a joint stipulation of dismissal and Hill's claims
were dismissed without prejudice to refiling. On February 9,
2017, Hill refiled the case in Tulsa County District Court,
and defendant removed the case to this Court. Hill alleges
claims of racial discrimination and retaliation under §
1981. Dkt. # 2-2.
February 20, 2018, the Court entered an opinion and order
(Dkt. # 45) granting summary judgment in favor of defendant.
The Court found that plaintiff could establish a prima
facie case of racial discrimination under § 1981,
but there was no evidence tending to show that
defendant's legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for
terminating plaintiff's employment was pretextual. Dkt. #
45, at 8-12. As to plaintiff's retaliation claim, the
Court construed plaintiff's arguments as an attempt to
show that he was the victim of post-termination retaliation.
The focus of the Court's analysis was whether defendant
engaged in post-termination conduct with the intent to
dissuade plaintiff from making or pursuing a charge of
discrimination against defendant. Id. at 14-17.
Plaintiff argued that defendant advised church members that
he was no longer a church employee, and plaintiff believed
that defendant “disparaged” him by refusing to
assume responsibility for youth left in plaintiff's care.
The Court determined that defendant simply advised church
members that plaintiff was not an employee, and this was
particularly important because plaintiff continued to make
misleading representations about his employment status.
Id. at 15. Plaintiff argued that he was prohibited
from attending a youth council meeting in April 2013, but the
Court determined that the decision to exclude plaintiff from
the meeting was not made by defendant. Id. at 5.
Plaintiff also argued that defendant notified some of its
members in July 2013 that plaintiff had filed a charge of
discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC). The Court considered and rejected
plaintiff's arguments that the conduct was retaliatory,
because the alleged conduct could not be tied to defendant as
plaintiff's former employer and the alleged conduct would
not have constituted an adverse employment action.
Id. at 16-17.
motion to reconsider was filed within 28 days of the entry of
judgment of dismissal, and the Court will treat
plaintiff's motion as a motion to alter or amend judgment
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). Under Rule 59(e), a party may ask a
district court to reconsider a final ruling or judgment when
the district court has “misapprehended the facts, a
party's position, or the controlling law.”
Barber ex rel. Barber v. Colo. Dep't of Revenue,
562 F.3d 1222, 1228 (10th Cir. 2009). “Grounds
warranting a motion to reconsider include (1) an intervening
change in the controlling law, (2) new evidence previously
unavailable, and (3) the need to correct clear error or
prevent manifest injustice.” Servants of Paraclete
v. Does, 204 F.3d 1005, 1012 (10th Cir. 2000).
Reconsideration is “not available to allow a party to
reargue an issue previously addressed by the court when the
reargument merely advances new arguments or supporting facts
which were available for presentation at the time of the
original argument.” FDIC v. United Pac. Ins.
Co., 152 F.3d 1266, 1272 (10th Cir. 1998) (quoting
Cashner v. Freedom Stores, Inc., 98 F.3d 572, 577
(10th Cir. 1996)). “A Rule 59(e) motion to reconsider
is designed to permit relief in extraordinary circumstances
and not to offer a second bite at the proverbial
apple.” Syntroleum Corp. v. Fletcher Int'l,
Ltd., 2009 WL 761322 (N.D. Okla. Mar. 19, 2009).
Court has reviewed plaintiff's motion and finds no basis
to reconsider its opinion and order (Dkt. # 45) granting
defendant's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff has
not provided any new evidence or identified a change in the
controlling law, and his motion is based on arguments that he
previously advanced in response to defendant's motion for
summary judgment. The Court specifically considered each of
the arguments raised in plaintiff's motion to reconsider
in its ruling on defendant's motion for summary judgment,
and the Court rejected each of the arguments that has been
re-asserted in plaintiff's motion to reconsider. The sole
basis for plaintiff's motion to reconsider is that he
disagrees with the Court's opinion and order, but this is
not an appropriate basis for reconsideration under Rule
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff s Motion to
Alter and/or Amend Judgment (Dkt. # 50) is
 Plaintiff asks that all of his claims
be “reinstated, ” but he offers argument only in
support of a request to reconsider his retaliation claim. The
Court will consider only the specific ...