United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MALACHY E. MANNION UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
November 4, 2019, the court issued a Memorandum and Order,
(Docs. 19 & 20), in which it found as follows:
the motions to dismiss of CTC and the school districts will
be GRANTED IN PART, and DENIED IN
PART. Specifically, the motions to dismiss of CTC
and the school districts with respect to the Title IX claims
in Count I of the complaints will be DENIED.
The motions to dismiss of CTC and the school districts with
respect to Count II of the complaints will be
GRANTED, and the Title IX claims in Count II
will be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. The
motions to dismiss of CTC and the school districts with
respect to Count III of the complaints will be
GRANTED, and the Title IX retaliation claims
in Count III will be DISMISSED WITH
PREJUDICE. The motions to dismiss of CTC and the
school districts with respect to Count IV, 14th
Amendment due process claims, and Count VI, failure to train
and supervise claims, will be DENIED. The
motions to dismiss of CTC and the school districts with
respect to Count V of the complaints will be
GRANTED, and the state-created danger claims
in Count V will be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
court specifically found it would be futile to allow an
amendment of all of the plaintiffs' claims in Counts II,
III and V. (citing Alston v. Parker, 363 F.3d 229,
236 (3d Cir. 2004) (“Dismissal without leave to amend
is justified only on the grounds of bad faith, undue delay,
prejudice, or futility.”)).
pending before the court is the November 18, 2019 joint
motion of the plaintiffs for reconsideration, pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e), of the court's November 4, 2019
Order, (Doc. 20), pertaining only to the dismissal with
prejudice of their Count III retaliation claims under Title
IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C.
§1681, et seq. (hereinafter “Title
IX”). The motion has been fully briefed. After
reviewing the filings, as well as the record, the court will
GRANT IN PART, and DENY IN
PART plaintiffs' joint motion for
reconsideration. The Title IX retaliation claims in Count
III of the complaints of B.W., 19-1146, and J.R., 19-1150,
will be REINSTATED only as to defendant CTC.
The Title IX retaliation claims in Count III of the
complaints of the other six plaintiffs will remain
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
59(e) provides the procedural mechanism for altering or
amending a judgment that has been entered. It may be used to
seek remediation for manifest errors of law or fact or to
present newly discovered evidence which, if discovered
previously, might have affected the court's decision.
Schumann v. Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals, L.P., 769
F.3d 837, 848 (3d Cir. 2014) (citing Max's Seafood
Café v. Quineros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir.
1999)); Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909
(3d Cir. 1985). A party seeking reconsideration must
demonstrate at least one of the following grounds prior to
the court altering, or amending, a standing judgment: (1) an
intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the
availability of new evidence that was not available when the
court granted the motion; or (3) the need to correct a clear
error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice.
Lazaridis v. Wehmer, 591 F.3d 666, 669 (3d Cir.
2010); Max's Seafood Café, 176 F.3d at
677 (citing North River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA Reinsurance
Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995)). However,
“[b]ecause federal courts have a strong interest in the
finality of judgments, motions for reconsideration should be
granted sparingly.” Continental Casualty Co. v.
Diversified Indus. Inc., 884 F.Supp. 937, 943 (E.D. Pa.
is generally appropriate in instances where the court has
“misunderstood a party, or has made a decision outside
the adversarial issues presented to the [c]ourt by the
parties, or has made an error not of reasoning, but of
apprehension.” York Int'l Corp. v. Liberty Mut.
Ins. Co., 140 F.Supp.3d 357, 360-61 (3d Cir. 2015)
(quoting Rohrbach v. AT & T Nassau Metals
Corp., 902 F.Supp. 523, 527 (M.D. Pa. 1995)). It may not
be used as a means to reargue unsuccessful theories that were
presented to the court in the context of the matter
previously decided “or as an attempt to relitigate a
point of disagreement between the [c]ourt and the
litigant.” Id. at 361 (quoting Ogden v.
Keystone Residence, 226 F.Supp.2d 588, 606 (M.D. Pa.
2002)). Thus, “a motion for reconsideration may not be
used to give a litigant a ‘second bite at the
apple,' and therefore should not be ‘grounded on a
request that a court rethink a decision already
made.'” Jarzyna v. Home Properties, L.P.,
185 F.Supp.3d 612, 622 (E.D.Pa. 2016) (internal citations
omitted). As such, “a motion for reconsideration may
address ‘only factual and legal matters that the Court
may have overlooked' and may not ‘ask the Court to
rethink what it had already thought through-rightly or
wrongly.'” Id. (citations omitted).
Further, “[m]ere ‘disagreement with the
Court's decision' does not suffice.” Rich
v. State, 294 F.Supp.3d 266, 273 (D.N.J. 2018) (citation
request the court to reconsider the dismissal with prejudice
of their Title IX retaliation claims in order to prevent a
clear error of law or fact, and to prevent manifest
injustice. They seek the court to reinstate their retaliation
claims under Title IX, or, alternatively, ask the court to
hold its dismissal of these claims in abeyance to allow the
parties to conduct further discovery with regard to the
alleged retaliation. Plaintiffs also request reconsideration
with respect to plaintiff J.R. (Civil No. 19-1150) and
plaintiff B.W. (Civil No. 19-1146), since they contend that
J.R.'s and B.W.'s complaints specifically plead
additional retaliatory facts unique to these two students.
survive a motion to dismiss on a Title IX claim, ‘it is
true that [a] plaintiff does not need to provide detailed
factual support for its allegations ... [but] the
plaintiff's allegations must amount to more than mere
conclusory allegations.'” Colombo v. Bd. of
Educ. for Clifton Sch. Dist., 2017 WL 4882485, at *10
(D.N.J. Oct. 29, 2017) (citation omitted).
court stated in its prior Memorandum:
In Count Ill. plaintiffs basically allege that CTC and the
school districts failed to offer the plaintiff students any
type of remedial measures or provide, offer, recommend, or
coordinate adequate health, psychological, counseling, or
academic assistance and services to the plaintiff students
who were abused and harassed by Humphrey, and that they
deliberately and recklessly chose not to do so in retaliation
of the plaintiff students' involvement in the sexual
abuse scandal by reporting the sexual abuse by Humphrey and
cooperating with the law enforcement authorities. (Doc. 1-1,
¶'s 81-88, 19-1154).
It is also alleged that after Humphrey was arrested on May
30, 2017, “[CTC], by and through its employee, Robert
Hudak, an instructional aide or paraprofessional in the
automotive technology class, addressed the class in the days
after Mr. Humphrey's arrest and accused minor students,
including [plaintiffs], of being liars and attempting to ruin
Mr. Humphrey's reputation, allegedly stating that he
hoped they all get what they have coming to them.”
(Doc. 1-1, ¶86, 19-1154).
Further, it is alleged that “[plaintiffs] suffered
additional and often daily materially adverse actions and
retaliation levied against [them] by agents, employees,
supervisors, administrators and principals of Defendants by
being called to the principals office and reprimanded for
trivial issues that no other ...