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United States v. City of Albuquerque

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

October 3, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Plaintiff,
v.
THE CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE, Defendant
v.
THE ALBUQUERQUE POLICE OFFICERS' ASSOCIATION, Intervenor.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ROBERT C BRACK SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on the Albuquerque Police Officers' (APOA) Motion to Reconsider in Part the Memorandum Opinion and Order on the City of Albuquerque's Motion for Court Acceptance of the City's Proposed Promotional Policy, filed on September 12, 2018. (Doc. 402.) Having considered the submissions of counsel and relevant law, the Court will DENY the APOA's Motion.

         I. Legal Standard

         A. Motion to Reconsider Standard

         “The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not recognize a ‘motion to reconsider.'” Van Skiver v. United States, 952 F.2d 1241, 1243 (10th Cir. 1991). Litigants seeking such relief may “file either a motion to alter or amend the judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e)” within 28 days of final judgment “or a motion seeking relief from the judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)” after 28 days have passed. Id.; see also Ysais v. Richardson, 603 F.3d 1175, 1178 n.3 (10th Cir. 2010) (noting that Rule 59 was amended effective December 1, 2009 “to provide that a motion to alter or amend a judgment may be filed within 28 days after the entry of judgment”; the previous version required the motion to be filed within ten days).

         “A motion for reconsideration under rule 59(e) is an ‘inappropriate vehicle[ ] 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.'” Jarita Mesa Livestock Grazing Ass'n v. U.S. Forest Serv., 58 F.Supp.3d 1191, 1218 (D.N.M. 2014) (quoting Servants of Paraclete v. Does, 204 F.3d 1005, 1012 (10th Cir. 2000)). “Grounds warranting a motion to reconsider include (1) an intervening change in the controlling law, (2) new evidence previously unavailable, and (3) the need to correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice.” Id. (quoting Servants of Paraclete, 204 F.3d at 1012 (internal citation omitted)). “It is not appropriate to revisit issues already addressed or advance arguments that could have been raised in prior briefing.” Servants of Paraclete, 204 F.3d at 1012 (citing Van Skiver, 952 F.2d at 1243).

         II. Discussion

         The APOA moves the Court to reconsider its earlier decision on the issue of the “rule of three” in the City's proposed 2018 Promotional Policy. (See Doc. 402.) As grounds for its motion, the APOA cites language from the Court's decision, wherein the Court stated that “[t]he APOA neither included the language from the contract, nor explained how the contract dictates selection.” (Id. at 3 (quoting Doc. 395 at 5).) While the Court disagrees that it “misapprehended the APOA's position and/or failed to fully consider to APOA's submission in making its ruling[, ]” (id. at 3-4), it will take this opportunity to more fully explain its previous decision.

         The APOA's previous arguments on the rule of three.

         In response to the City's Motion for Court Acceptance of the City's Proposed Promotional Policy, the APOA included two short paragraphs on the rule of three:

Further, the APOA would comment that the rule of three (3) contained in the promotional policy does remain an issue. The City and the APOA have just finished a new Collective Bargaining Agreement [(CBA)] that contains language which is in direct conflict with the rule of three (3) selection process (See Section 21(B)(3)(a) as contained in the City's Exhibit 1). The language contained in the [CBA] provides that promotions shall be based off the seniority of the candidates who were available for promotion (see Section 7.3.2 of Exhibit A attached hereto). The APOA would argue that the [CBA] is a contract which has been entered into between the parties and that such contractual provisions take precedence over the language as proposed in a new promotional policy. Further, this Court should uphold the protection that has been afforded to such contract provisions.

(Doc. 374 at 2.)

As the APOA argued above, there is a dispute between the parties concerning Section 21(B)(3), wherein it states that the Chief may apply the rule of three (3) to promotional eligibility. The APOA would argue the current Contract contains a provision which says that such promotional selection shall be done on a seniority basis. As the APOA argued above, the Contract was just negotiated and executed between the parties and contains language which has been in the existing APOA contracts for years. The APOA would argue that its Contract should be protected under the law and that the Albuquerque Police Department should not be able to change its promotional policy with regard to this issue.

(Id. at 7 (citing LB&B Assocs., Inc. v. Int'l Bhd. of Elec. Workers, Local No. 113, 461, 461 F.3d ...


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