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Major v. State

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division

April 29, 2019

BARBARA MAJOR, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF INDIANA and INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN E. MARTIN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on a Motion for Reconsideration [DE 36], filed by Plaintiff on January 22, 2019. Defendants filed a response on January 29, 2019. Plaintiff has not filed a reply, and the time to do so has passed.

         I. Procedural Background

         On January 12, 2017, Plaintiff Barbara Major filed a Complaint alleging that she was discriminated against on the basis of her sex, race, and sexual orientation, and suffered retaliation, based on her treatment during her employment and her termination from employment at Indiana Department of Corrections, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. On October 23, 2017, Defendants' motion for partial judgment on the pleadings was granted as to Plaintiff's claims of racial discrimination and punitive damages. Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment on June 14, 2018, on the remaining claims that Plaintiff faced a hostile work environment and harassment based on her sex and sexual orientation and was retaliated against through suspension and termination when she complained of the harassing conduct. Plaintiff did not file a response within the time allotted to do so. On July 26, 2018, Defendants filed a reply noting the lack of response, although noting that a purported response had been emailed to them by counsel for Plaintiff, and requesting summary ruling on the motion. The Court's docket reflects that notice of the reply brief was electronically served on the email address provided by counsel for Plaintiff. On November 7, 2018, the Court issued an Opinion and Order granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants. The docket reflects that this document and the Clerk's Entry of Judgment were also electronically served on Plaintiff. More than two months later, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Reconsideration.

         II. Standard of Review

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60 provides for relief from an order for:

(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party;
(4) the judgment is void;
(5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged; it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or applying it prospectively is no longer equitable; or
(6) any other reason that justifies relief.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). A motion for “[r]econsideration 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.” Caisse Nationale de Credit Agricole v. CBI Indus., Inc., 90 F.3d 1264, 1270 (7th Cir.1996). Instead,

a motion to reconsider is only appropriate where a court has misunderstood a party, where the court has made a decision outside the adversarial issues presented to the court by the parties, where the court has made an error of apprehension (not of reasoning), where a significant change in the law ...

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