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Stevenson v. Brennan

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

May 29, 2018

JAMES STEVENSON III, Plaintiff,
v.
MEGAN J. BRENNAN, Postmaster General of the United States, Defendant.

          David R. Grand United States Magistrate Judge.

          OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (ECF NO. 116)

          Paul D. Borman United States District Judge.

         In this Title VII case, Plaintiff James Stevenson III alleges that his employer, the United States Postal Service, [1] took various adverse employment actions against him for discriminatory and retaliatory reasons over the course of several years.

         On March 12, 2018, this Court granted in part and denied in part a motion for partial summary judgment filed by Defendant. Plaintiff has moved for reconsideration of that Opinion and Order, arguing that the Court erred in determining that Plaintiff had not shown a genuine issue of material fact as to whether there was a sufficient causal connection between his protected activity and any adverse actions taken by Defendant against him. For the reasons that follow, the Court will deny Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On March 12, 2018, this Court issued an Opinion and Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Referring the Matter to Facilitative Mediation. (ECF No. 113, Opinion and Order.) There, the Court described the causation standard that governs Plaintiff's Title VII retaliation claim in the following way:

“Title VII retaliation claims ‘must be proved according to traditional principles of but-for causation, ' which ‘requires proof that the unlawful retaliation would not have occurred in the absence of the alleged wrongful action or actions of the employer.'” Laster [v. City of Kalamazoo, 746 F.3d 714, 731 (6th Cir. 2014)] (quoting Univ. of Tex. Sw. Med. Ctr. v. Nassar, 133 S.Ct. 2517, 2533 (2013)); see also E.E.O. C. v. New Breed Logistics, 783 F.3d 1057, 1070 (6th Cir. 2015) (“[U]nder Nassar, a Title VII claimant must show that his or her protected activity was a but-for cause of the adverse action by the employer.”).

(Opinion and Order at 34, Pg ID 4718.) Under that standard, the Court held (inter alia) that Plaintiff had failed to meet his prima facie burden with respect to causation on his retaliation claim, insofar as that claim was based on certain specific factual grounds. (See Id. at 34, 40, 43-44, 48-49, Pg ID 4718, 4724, 4727-28, 4732-33.)

         Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Reconsideration on March 26, 2018, seeking reconsideration of the March 12, 2018 Opinion and Order generally, and the Court's findings as to causation specifically. (ECF No. 116, Pl.'s Mot.) Under E.D. Mich. L.R. 7.1(f)(1), the Court determines that no hearing is necessary to rule on the Motion for Reconsideration, and that the matter is otherwise ripe for adjudication.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Local Rule 7.1(h)(3) provides as follows:

Generally, and without restricting the court's discretion, the court will not grant motions for rehearing or reconsideration that merely present the same issues ruled upon by the court, either expressly or by reasonable implication. The movant must not only demonstrate a palpable defect by which the court and the parties and other persons entitled to be heard on the motion have been misled but also show that correcting the defect will result in a different disposition of the case.

E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(h)(3).

         “A ‘palpable defect' is a defect which is obvious, clear, unmistakable, manifest, or plain.” Ososki v. St. Paul Surplus Lines Ins. Co., 162 F.Supp.2d 714, 718 (E.D. Mich. 2001). “A motion for reconsideration which presents the same issues already ruled upon by the court, either expressly or by reasonable implication, will not be granted.” Ford Motor Co. v. Greatdomains.com, Inc., 177 F.Supp.2d 628, 632 (E.D. Mich. 2001); see also Maiberger v. City of Livonia, 724 F.Supp.2d 759, 780 (E.D. Mich. 2010) (“It is an exception to the norm for the Court to grant a motion for reconsideration. . . . [A]bsent a significant error that changes the outcome of a ruling on a motion, the Court will not provide a party with an opportunity to relitigate issues already decided.”). “A motion for reconsideration should not be used liberally to get a second bite at the apple, but should be used sparingly to correct actual ...


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