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Porter v. Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville

August 11, 2017



          Charles R. Simpson III, Senior Judge.

         I. Introduction

         This matter is before the Court on the motion of Defendants Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government (“Metro Government”) and the City of Louisville (“the City”) (collectively, “Defendants”) for reconsideration under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b), ECF No. 272. Plaintiff Kerry Porter responded, ECF No. 277. Defendants replied, ECF No. 278. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant Defendants' motion to reconsider the ruling on their motion for summary judgment.

         II. Background

         On September 26, 2016, Defendants moved for summary judgment on all claims against them.[1] Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 232. On May 2, 2017, this Court ruled on Defendants' summary judgment motion. Order, ECF No. 265. The Court granted Defendants' motion with the exception of Count VIII, which asserts a state law claim for negligent supervision. Id. Among the claims dismissed was Count VI which asserted a Monell claim against Defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Id.; Mem. Op. 59, 66, ECF No. 264.

         In granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants on Porter's Monell claim, the Court determined that Defendants had presented unchallenged evidence that there was training on, and a written policy concerning the handling of exculpatory evidence. Mem. Op. 61-62, 66, ECF No. 264.

         In his negligent supervision claim, Porter alleges that Defendants “had a duty to properly train and supervise” the Louisville Police Department officers and to “provide adequate policies” and “were grossly negligent and negligent in the training, supervision and discipline of the . . . officers.” Compl. ¶¶ 125-26, ECF No. 1. He asserts that better training and supervision and the enactment of additional and different policies would have prevented the officers from “fabricating evidence, fabricating witness statements, and concealing material impeachment evidence, ” which resulted in Porter “being deprived of his right to due process, and his right to be free from false arrest, false imprisonment, and wrongful conviction.” Id. ¶¶ 125, 126.

         In denying Defendants' motion on the negligent supervision claim, the Court held:

The City and Metro Government present to the Court the bare assertion that “Plaintiff has asserted a state law claim of negligent supervision against the municipal defendants . . . Plaintiff has failed to establish that his rights were violated, therefore, his claim of negligent supervision fails.” Louisville Defs.' Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 52-58, ECF No. 232-1. They offer no other analysis in support of their motion for summary judgment on this claim. As discussed above, the evidence indicates that Porter's rights might have been violated. Because the City and Metro Government offer nothing else in support of their motion on the negligent supervision claim against them, the Court will deny summary judgment to them.

Mem. Op. 67, ECF No. 264. In their motion for reconsideration, Defendants ask this Court to reconsider the denial of summary judgment on the negligent supervision claim, urging that their argument addressing the Monell claim made earlier in their brief also supports summary judgment as to the claim alleging negligent supervision. Mot. Recons. 2, ECF No. 272.

         III. Legal Standard

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) reads, in relevant part, “any order . . . that adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties . . . may be revised at any time before the entry of a judgment adjudicating all the claims and all the parties' rights and liabilities.” Generally, courts will find justification for reconsideration when there is “(1) an intervening change of controlling law; (2) new evidence available; or (3) a need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice.” Rodriguez v. Tenn. Laborers Health & Welfare Fund, 89 F. App'x 949, 959 (6th Cir. 2004) (citing Reich v. Hall Holding Co., 990 F.Supp. 955, 965 (N.D. Ohio 1998)). Reconsideration motions are disfavored and a motion will be denied “unless it either calls . . . attention to an argument or controlling authority that was overlooked or disregarded in the original ruling, presents evidence or argument that could not previously have been submitted, or successfully points out a manifest error of fact or law.” Davie v. Mitchell, 291 F.Supp.2d 573, 634 (N.D. Ohio 2003).

         Concluding that we must reconsider our denial of summary judgment on Count VIII, the standard for summary judgment also applies herein.

         Before granting a motion for summary judgment, the Court must find that “there is no genuine issue of material fact such that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “[W]here the moving party has the burden-the plaintiff on a claim for relief or defendant on an affirmative defense-his showing must be sufficient for the court to hold that no reasonable trier of fact could find other than for the ...

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