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Petrie v. Gosmith, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Colorado

July 17, 2019

RUSS PETRIE, Plaintiff,
GOSMITH, INC., Defendant.



         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Russ Petrie's Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. # 65) requesting the Court to reconsider its Order Granting Defendant GoSmith, Inc.'s Motion to Compel Arbitration (Doc. # 64). The Motion has been fully briefed. (Doc. ## 65, 66, and 67.) Having reviewed the underlying briefing, pertinent record, and applicable law, for the following reasons, the Court denies Plaintiff's Motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Court's Order granting Defendant's Motion to Compel Arbitration (Doc. # 64) provides a thorough recitation of the factual and procedural background of this dispute and is incorporated herein by reference. Accordingly, the facts will be presented only to the extent necessary to address the Motion for Reconsideration.

         The crux of the underlying Motion to Compel Arbitration and to Dismiss or in the Alternative Stay the Action (Doc. # 27) turned on two arguments: (1) Defendant's argument that an enforceable arbitration agreement existed, and that Plaintiff assented to it; and (2) Plaintiff's argument that he never agreed to Defendant's Terms of Use, which included the arbitration clause. (Doc. # 64 at 3.) The Court issued its Order Granting Defendant's Motion to Compel Arbitration on January 31, 2019. (Id.)

         With respect to the first argument, the Court applied the relevant law and determined that Defendant “met its initial burden of demonstrating an enforceable arbitration agreement” when Defendant “presented evidence that there was reasonable notice of the arbitration agreement and that Plaintiff assented to that agreement.” (Id. at 4-5.) Specifically, Defendant's evidence showed that “Plaintiff manifested assent to the Terms of Use, and thus the arbitration agreement, by affirmatively ‘check[ing] [the] box to indicate his agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, and click[ing] ‘See Job Matches.'” (Id. at 4-5.)

         Regarding the second argument, the Court rejected both of Plaintiff's contentions that there were genuine disputes of material facts as to the existence of an arbitration agreement. (Id. at 5-7.) Applying the proper legal standard, the Court determined that Plaintiff's own denial and statement that he did not recall visiting a website or agreeing to arbitrate were insufficient to create a dispute of material fact. (Id. at 6.) Moreover, in rejecting Plaintiff's assertion that Defendant's evidence was unreliable, the Court concluded that the unrebutted and undisputed evidence established that Plaintiff “checked the box indicating that he agreed to the Terms of Use and, therefore, assented to the arbitration clause.” (Id. at 7.)

         On February 28, 2019, Plaintiff filed his Motion for Reconsideration and asserts three arguments. (Doc. # 65.) First, Plaintiff argues that the Court erred in finding that Plaintiff “made only a general denial that he had agreed to arbitrate” as opposed to the “detailed and specific explanation” that Plaintiff provided to support that “he knew that he did not visit” Defendant's website. (Id. at 4-5 (emphasis in original).) Second, Plaintiff contends that the Court erred by accepting Defendant's unreliable “reply evidence at face value.” (Id. at 5-7.) Third, Plaintiff avers that any failure of the Court to reconsider its Order will result in manifest injustice. (Id. at 7-8.)

         On March 21, 2019, Defendant filed its Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration. (Doc. # 66.) On April 4, 2019, Plaintiff filed his Reply to the Response (Doc. # 67.) For the following reasons, Plaintiff's arguments are insufficient to warrant reconsideration, and as such, Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration is denied.


         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not explicitly authorize a motion for reconsideration for final judgments or interlocutory orders. Van Skiver v. United States, 952 F.2d 1241, 1243 (10th Cir. 1991); Mantooth v. Bavaria Inn Rest., Inc., 360 F.Supp.3d 1164, 1169 (D. Colo. 2019). However, regarding a final judgment, the Rules allow a litigant who was subject to an adverse judgment to file a motion to change the judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e) or a motion seeking relief from the judgment pursuant to Rule 60(b). Van Skiver, 952 F.2d at 1243. With respect to interlocutory orders, “district courts have broad discretion to reconsider their interlocutory rulings before the entry of judgment.” Mantooth, 360 F.Supp.3d at 1169 (considering order regarding motion to compel arbitration as an interlocutory order). Indeed, “every order short of a final decree is subject to reopening at the discretion of the district judge.” Elephant Butte Irrigation Dist. v. U.S. Dep't of Interior, 538 F.3d 1299, 1306 (10th Cir. 2008). Still, “[t]he Court may be guided by Rules 59 and 60 standards in deciding whether to alter or vacate an interlocutory order.” Mantooth, 360 F.Supp.3d at 1169 (citing Perkins v. Fed. Fruit & Produce Co. Inc., 945 F.Supp.2d 1225, 1232 (D. Colo. 2013)).

         There are three major grounds justifying reconsideration of an interlocutory order: “(1) an intervening change in the controlling law, (2) new evidence [that was] previously unavailable, [or] (3) the need to correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice.” Servants of the Paraclete v. Does, 204 F.3d 1005, 1012 (10th Cir. 2000). Concomitantly, a motion for reconsideration is appropriate where the court has misapprehended the facts, a party's position, or the controlling law, but such motions are “inappropriate vehicles to reargue an issue previously addressed by the court when the motion merely advances new arguments, or supporting facts which were available at the time of the original motion.” Servants of the Paraclete, 204 F.3d at 1012 (citing Van Skiver, 952 F.2d at 1243).

         To that end, “[a]bsent extraordinary circumstances . . . the basis for the second motion must not have been available at the time the first motion was filed.” Id. A motion for reconsideration is not appropriate to revisit issues already addressed. Van Skiver, 952 F.2d at 1243. “Rather, as a practical matter, to succeed in a motion to reconsider, a party must set forth facts or law of a strongly convincing nature to induce the court to reverse its prior decision.” Mantooth, 360 F.Supp.3d at 1169 (citing Nat'l Bus. Brokers, Ltd. v. Jim Williamson Prods., Inc., 115 F.Supp.2d 1250, 1256 (D. Colo. 2000)) (internal quotations omitted). “Even under this lower standard, ‘[a] motion to reconsider should be denied unless it clearly demonstrates manifest error of law or fact or presents newly discovered evidence.” Id. (citing Sanchez v. Hartley, No. 13-cv-1945-WJM-CBS, 2014 WL 4852251, at *2 (D. Colo. Sept. 30, 2014) (refusing to reconsider an interlocutory order where the defendants did not show “an intervening change in the law, newly discovered evidence, or the need to correct clear error or manifest injustice”)).

         III. ...

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