United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY ON MOTION TO ALTER OR AMEND JUDGMENT
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a Motion to Alter or Amend
Judgment filed by Defendant Indiana State Police Department
(“ISP”) (Filing No. 51). Following a
motion for summary judgment filed by ISP, the Court entered
summary judgment in favor of ISP on Plaintiff Shannon
Spreckelmeyer's (“Spreckelmeyer”) claim for
retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, but denied summary
judgment on Spreckelmeyer's claim for sex discrimination
under Title VII (Filing No. 49). ISP asks the Court
to reconsider the summary judgment Order regarding the sex
discrimination claim. For the following reasons, the Court
DENIES the Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment.
Motion is properly classified as a motion to reconsider under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) because no final
judgment has been entered in this case. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 54(b) (“any order or other decision, however
designated, that adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the
rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties does not
end the action as to any of the claims or parties and may be
revised at any time before the entry of a judgment
adjudicating all the claims and all the parties' rights
Court applies a similar standard as applied to motions to
alter or amend a judgment under Rule 59(e). Motions to
reconsider filed pursuant to Rule 54(b) or Rule 59(e) are for
the purpose of correcting manifest errors of law or fact or
to present newly discovered evidence not available at the
time of briefing, and a motion to reconsider an order under
Rule 54(b) is judged by largely the same standard as a motion
to alter or amend a judgment under Rule 59(e). Katz-Crank
v. Haskett, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95144, at *6 (S.D.
Ind. July 14, 2014); Woods v. Resnick, 725 F.Supp.2d
809, 827-28 (W.D. Wis. 2010).
to reconsider “serve a limited function: to correct
manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered
evidence.” State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v.
Nokes, 263 F.R.D. 518, 526 (N.D. Ind. 2009). The motion
is to be used “where the Court has patently
misunderstood a party, or has made a decision outside the
adversarial issues presented to the Court by the parties, or
has made an error not of reasoning but of
apprehension.” Bank of Waunakee v. Rochester Cheese
Sales, Inc., 906 F.2d 1185, 1191 (7th Cir. 1990)
purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to ask the court
to reconsider matters “properly encompassed in a
decision on the merits.” Osterneck v. Ernst &
Whinney, 489 U.S. 169, 174 (1989). The motion
“will be successful only where the movant clearly
establishes: (1) that the court committed a manifest error of
law or fact, or (2) that newly discovered evidence precluded
entry of judgment.” Cincinnati Life Ins. Co. v.
Beyrer, 722 F.3d 939, 954 (7th Cir. 2013) (citation and
quotation marks omitted). A manifest error “is not
demonstrated by the disappointment of the losing party. It is
the wholesale disregard, misapplication, or failure to
recognize controlling precedent.” Oto v.
Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir.
2000) (citation and quotation marks omitted).
is not an appropriate forum for rehashing previously rejected
arguments or arguing matters that could have been heard
during the pendency of the previous motion.” Ahmed
v. Ashcroft, 388 F.3d 247, 249 (7th Cir. 2004) (citation
and quotation marks omitted). Relief pursuant to a motion to
reconsider is an “extraordinary remed[y] reserved for
the exceptional case.” Foster v. DeLuca, 545
F.3d 582, 584 (7th Cir. 2008).
asks the Court to reconsider its summary judgment decision
regarding Spreckelmeyer's sex discrimination claim
brought pursuant to Title VII. ISP explains that the Court
erred in determining that Spreckelmeyer suffered an adverse
employment action based on the Court's distinction of
this case from Jones v. City of Springfield, 554
F.3d 669 (7th Cir. 2009), which was relied upon by ISP in its
summary judgment motion.
request for reconsideration, ISP seems to ask the Court to
view the designated evidence in a light more favorable to ISP
or to weigh the conflicting designated evidence. However, the
well-established standard for summary judgment is that the
court reviews “the record in the light most favorable
to the non-moving party and draw[s] all reasonable inferences
in that party's favor, ” Zerante v.
DeLuca, 555 F.3d 582, 584 (7th Cir. 2009) (citation
omitted), and does not weigh the evidence. Hemsworth v.
Quotesmith.com, Inc., 476 F.3d 487, 490 (7th Cir. 2007).
argued in its summary judgment briefing, and argues again in
its pending Motion, that Jones established that an
employer is not required to create a new job vacancy in order
to avoid liability under Title VII, and that Title VII does
not mandate the creation of new positions. ISP reminds the
Court of the designated evidence that shows a civilian
position was not available at the time that Spreckelmeyer
retired from ISP and desired to be transitioned from a
trooper position to a civilian position. ISP then takes issue
with the way that the Court viewed the designated evidence
and argues that the designated evidence puts this case on all
fours with Jones, which should result in summary
judgment in favor of ISP on the sex discrimination claim.
in its Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment, ISP ignores key
points from the Jones decision that this Court
relied upon, which were important in the Court's analysis
and in Jones' distinguishing facts. The Court
noted these key points in its summary judgment Order:
“In rare cases, the decision not to create a position
can be discriminatory, but there must be evidence showing
that the decision was [impermissibly] motivated.”
“All Jones can prove is that the practice of early
promotions exists. He has not shown, for example, that it was
used only to promote black officers, ” and “as
the district court explained, Jones has not presented
evidence showing that the [later-created] vacancy was ever
filled.” (Filing No. 49 at 15 (quoting
Jones, 554 F.3d at 672, 673).)
designated evidence that either showed or gave rise to a
reasonable inference that ISP's lack of an open,
available position at the time of Spreckelmeyer's
retirement was because of discrimination. Spreckelmeyer's
designated evidence showed a practice of converting trooper
positions to civilian positions. The designated evidence also
showed that only men had been placed into converted civilian
positions. Spreckelmeyer's designated evidence also
showed that the ...