United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville
YORK, et al. PLAINTIFFS
VELOX EXPRESS, INC. DEFENDANT
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
Charles R. Simpson III, Senior Judge United States District
matter is before the Court on the Court's own motion to
correct a mistake in its October 9, 2018 Order pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(a).
September 1, 2017, Plaintiffs commenced this action against
Defendant Velox Express, Inc. (“Velox”) in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Arkansas. DN 1. Plaintiffs brought individual and collective
action claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq,
and individual claims under the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act
(“AMWA”), Ark. Code Ann. § 11-4-201, et
seq. Shortly thereafter, Velox moved to transfer the
case to this Court. DN 51, at 2. While the motion to transfer
was pending, Velox moved to dismiss the action pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state
a claim upon which relief could be granted. Id. On
July 17, 2018, the Eastern District of Arkansas granted
Velox's motion to transfer, and the case was transferred
to this Court. Id. Velox then filed a renewed motion
to dismiss Plaintiffs' complaint. Id.
Court granted Velox's motion to dismiss. DN 51. In doing
so, the Court found that Plaintiffs failed to allege facts
sufficient to meet the standard necessary to plead plausible
FLSA claims. Id. at 3-8. Having dismissed the
federal claim over which the Court had original jurisdiction,
the Court declined to exercise supplement jurisdiction over
Plaintiffs' AMWA claims. The Court's order did not
specify whether the dismissal was with or without prejudice.
neither moved the court to reconsider its order dismissing
the case, nor did they appeal the dismissal. Rather, in
February 2019, Plaintiffs filed a new action between the same
parties asserting the same causes of action. See York v.
Velox Express, Inc., 3:19-cv-00092-CRS (W.D. Ky. Feb. 6,
2019) [Hereinafter York II]. In York II,
Velox moved to dismiss the complaint as barred by the
doctrine of res judicata. Specifically, Velox argued that
because the order in this action did not specify whether the
dismissal was without prejudice, the dismissal operates as an
adjudication on the merits. York II, DN 5. The Court
now turns, sua sponte, to correct its faulty October
9, 2019 Order.
Rule of Civil Procedure 60(a) allows a court to
“correct a clerical mistake or a mistake arising from
oversight or omission whenever one is found in a judgment,
order, or other part of the record. The court may do so on
motion or on its own, with or without notice.” The
Sixth Circuit has stated that the purpose of the rule
“is to authorize the court to correct errors that are
mechanical in nature that arise from oversight or
omission.” In re Walter, 282 F.3d 434, 440
(6th Cir. 2002). Clerical mistakes include those made by
judges as well as ministerial employees. Id. (citing
Blanton v. Anzalone, 813 F.2d 1574, 1577 (9th Cir.
1987)). The Sixth Circuit further explained:
The basic distinction between ‘clerical mistakes'
and mistakes that cannot be corrected pursuant to Rule 60(a)
is that the former consist of ‘blunders in
execution' whereas the latter consists of instances where
the court changes its mind, either because it made a
legal or factual mistake in making its original
determination, or because on second thought it has decided to
exercise its discretion in a manner different from the way it
was exercised in the original determination.
Id. (quoting Blanton, 813 F.2d at 1577 n.2)
(emphasis in original)).
the Court never intended to dismiss Plaintiffs' claims
with prejudice. Rather, the dismissal of Plaintiffs'
complaint was then and always intended to be a dismissal
without prejudice as this Court routinely allows FLSA
plaintiffs to file a new complaint where their complaint has
been dismissed for failure to state a claim. See,
e.g., Anderson v. GCA Servs. Grp. of N. Carolina,
Inc., No. 1:15-CV-37-GNS, 2015 WL 5299452, at *3 (W.D.
Ky. Sept. 9, 2015) (dismissing plaintiffs' FLSA claims
pursuant to 12(b)(6) without prejudice). The Court, however,
mistakenly failed to specify that the dismissal was without
prejudice. It would be a manifest injustice for Plaintiffs to
not have their day in court due to a faulty order that does
not capture the Court's intentions. The Court, pursuant
to Rule 60 and its inherent powers, will amend its October 9,
2018 Order to clarify that the dismissal was without
prejudice. See In re Jee, 799 F.2d 532 (9th Cir.
1986) (holding that a judge properly used Rule 60(a) to amend
a judgment, which was silent as to whether dismissal was with
prejudice, to indicate that dismissal was without prejudice);
Iowa v. Union Asphalt & Roadoils, Inc., 281
F.Supp. 391, 398 (S.D. Iowa 1968), aff'd, 409
F.2d 1239 (8th Cir. 1969) (utilizing inherent power to
correct orders and Rule 60 to amend prior order authorizing
withdrawal of attorneys without conditioning their withdrawal
upon payment of reasonable attorney fees since court
considered such order to be faulty); Myers v. Westland
Oil Co., 96 F.Supp. 667, 670 (D.N.D. 1949) (recognizing
the court's inherent power, “regardless of the
expiration of the time for appeal, ” to amend an order
to include “dismissed without prejudice”).
reasons set forth hereinabove and the Court being otherwise
sufficiently advised, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AND
ADJUDGED that the Court's previous Order (DN 52)
is VACATED. An Amended Order will be
entered, consistent with this Memorandum Opinion & Order.