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Estate of Dixon v. Board of County Commissioners of Crowley County

United States District Court, D. Colorado

May 3, 2017

The ESTATE OF TIMOTHY SCOTT DIXON, S.A.D., minor child, by and through his guardian and next friend Starla LeRoux, and CODY DIXON, Plaintiffs,
v.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF CROWLEY COUNTY, CROWLEY COUNTY COLORADO SHERIFFS OFFICE, MILES CLARK, in his individual capacity, MARK MORLOCK, in his individual capacity, JAMES BUTLER, in his individual capacity, and ALACIA JACOBS, in her individual capacity, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Nina Y. Wang United States Magistrate Judge

         This matter comes before the court on several pending motions:

(1) Plaintiffs The Estate of Timothy Scott Dixon, S.A.D., a minor child, and Cody N. Dixon's (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) F.R.C.P. 59(e) Motion for Reconsideration of Order and Judgment of Dismissal [ECF #136 and ECF #137] (the “Motion to Reconsider”) [#138, filed Apr. 28, 2017];
(2) Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion to (Re)Open Case (the “Motion to Reopen”) [#139, filed May 1, 2017];
(3) Plaintiffs' Motion Pursuant to F.R.CIV.P. 62(b)(3) For Stay Pending Disposition of F.R.CIV.P.59(e) Motion [ECF #138] (the “Motion to Stay”) [#140, filed May 1, 2017]; and
(4) Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion for Expedited Briefing and Disposition of Motion for Stay (the “Motion to Expedite Briefing”) [#141, filed May 1, 2017].

         These motions are before the undersigned Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and the Order of Reference dated March 11, 2016 [#62]. Local Rule 7.1(d) provides that a judicial officer may rule on a motion at any time after it is filed. D.C.COLO.LCivR 7.1(d). The court concludes that further briefing and oral argument will not materially assist in the resolution of this matter. Accordingly, after carefully considering the motions and associated briefing, the entire case file, the applicable case law, the court hereby DENIES the motions for the reasons stated herein.

         BACKGROUND

         The court has discussed in detail this action's background in previous rulings, see, e.g., [#107; #136], and discusses it here only as it pertains to the pending motions. On December 16, 2015, Plaintiffs filed their initial Complaint in this matter. [#1]. Then, on March 11, 2016, the court granted Plaintiffs' First Motion to Amend their Complaint, see [#63], and Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) became the operative complaint in this matter. See [#67].

         On April 5, 2016, Defendants Butler, Jacobs, and Clark each filed their own Motion to Dismiss, seeking dismissal of all claims against them for failure to state a claim or on qualified immunity grounds. See [#72; #73; #75]. Then, on April 25, 2016, the County Defendants filed a Partial Motion to Dismiss Claim I (Unlawful Arrest and Seizure) for failure to state a claim and because Defendant Morlock was entitled to qualified immunity. [#84]. On November 15, 2016, the court issued an order dismissing without prejudice Claim I (Unlawful Arrest and Seizure), Claim II (Failure to Provide Medical Care) as to Defendant Jacobs only, Claim V (Supervisory Liability - Failure to Train) as to Defendant Clark only, and Claim VI (Wrongful Death by Negligent Supervision) as to Defendant Clark only. See [#107].

         On January 19, 2017, the County Defendants and Individual Defendants (collectively, “Defendants”) filed their respective Motions for Summary Judgment. See [#114; #116]. The Defendants moved for summary judgment on the FAC's remaining claims: Claim II (Failure to Provide Medical Care) against Defendants Morlock, Clark, and Butler; Claim III (Monell liability - Failure to Provide Medical Care); Claim IV (Monell liability - Failure to Train/Supervise); Claim V (Supervisory Liability - Failure to Train) against Defendant Morlock; Claim VI (Wrongful Death - Negligent Supervision) against the County Defendants and Defendants Butler and Jacobs; and Claim VII (Wrongful Death - Negligence). Plaintiffs filed a joint response [#123], and Defendants each filed a reply [#131; #132].

         On April 18, 2017, the court issued its Memorandum Opinion and Order (“Order) granting in part and denying in part Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment. [#136]. The court held that Defendants Clark, Butler, and Morlock were entitled to qualified immunity on Claim II, because Plaintiffs failed to argue the clearly established prong of the qualified immunity analysis-a formidable burden on summary judgment that is distinct from the court's analysis at the motion to dismiss phase. [Id. at 20-21]. In addition, the court held that Plaintiffs failed to create a triable issue of fact as to Claims III, IV, and V, and entered summary judgment in favor of the County Defendants. [Id. at 22-28]. Lastly, the court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' state-law claims, Claims VI and VII, given its dismissal of Plaintiffs' federal law claims. [Id. at 28]. On April 19, 2017, the Clerk of the Court entered Final Judgment in favor of the County Defendants on Claims II, III, IV, and V, and in favor of the Individual Defendants on Claim II, pursuant to the court's Order. See [#137].

         On April 28, 2017, Plaintiffs filed the instant Motion to Reconsider, requesting that the court reconsider and vacate its Order and vacate the Final Judgment, while also denying Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment. [#138]. Plaintiffs argue that the court already decided the clearly established issue in its November 15, 2016 Memorandum Opinion and Order on Defendants' Motions to Dismiss, and that Plaintiffs nonetheless argued the clearly established prong in their Response to the Motions for Summary Judgment. [Id.]. Then, on May 1, 2017, Plaintiffs filed ...


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