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Soderstrom v. MSP Crossroads Apartments LLC

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

June 6, 2017

Linda Lee Soderstrom, Maria Johnson, Craig Goodwin, Jurline Bryant, Norma Ziegler, and Julio Stalin de Tourniel, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, Claire Jean Lee, individually, and HOME Line, a Minnesota nonprofit corporation, Plaintiffs,
v.
MSP Crossroads Apartments LLC, a Minnesota corporation, and Soderberg Apartment Specialists SAS, a Minnesota corporation, Defendants.

          Kristen G. Marttila, Esq., Charles N. Nauen, Esq., and Kate M. Baxter-Kauf, Esq., Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P., Minneapolis, MN; and Timothy L. Thompson, Esq., John D. Cann, Esq., and Lael Robertson, Esq., Housing Justice Center, Saint Paul, MN, on behalf of Class Plaintiffs.

          Claire Jean Lee, pro se.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ANN D. MONTGOMERY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the undersigned United States District Judge on Plaintiff Claire Jean Lee's (“Lee”) Objections [Docket Nos. 135, 137] to Magistrate Judge Katherine M. Menendez's Second Amended Pretrial Scheduling Order [Docket No. 130] and Lee's Objection [Docket No. 138] to Judge Menendez's May 8, 2017 Order [Docket No. 132]. For the reasons set forth below, Lee's Objections are overruled.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         The standard of review applicable to an appeal of a magistrate judge's order on a nondispositive issue is extremely deferential. Reko v. Creative Promotions, Inc., 70 F.Supp.2d 1005, 1007 (D. Minn. 1999). The district court must affirm an order by a magistrate judge unless it is “clearly erroneous or contrary to law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a). “A finding is ‘clearly erroneous' when, although there is evidence to support it, the reviewing court on the entire evidence is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.” Chakales v. Comm'r of Internal Revenue, 79 F.3d 726, 728 (8th Cir.1996). “A decision is ‘contrary to the law' when it ‘fails to apply or misapplies relevant statutes, case law or rules of procedure.'” Knutson v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minn., 254 F.R.D. 553, 556 (D. Minn. 2008) (quoting Transamerica Life Ins. Co. v. Lincoln Nat'l Life Ins. Co., 592 F.Supp.2d 1087, 1093 (N.D. Iowa 2008)).

         B. Objections to Second Amended Pretrial Scheduling Order

         Lee argues the deadlines in the Second Amended Pretrial Scheduling Order are unfair to her for numerous reasons. She requests that each date in the scheduling order be lengthened “by at least 3 months and preferably 6 months.” Obj. [Docket No. 137] at 2.[1]

         A district court possesses the inherent power “to manage its docket and courtroom with a view toward the efficient and expedient resolution of cases.” Dietz v. Bouldin, 136 S.Ct. 1885, 1892 (2016); see also Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936). The Second Amended Pretrial Scheduling Order is a fair and reasonable exercise of this power and is neither clearly erroneous nor contrary to law. The Objections to the Second Amended Pretrial Scheduling Order are overruled.

         C. Objection to May 8 Order

         Lee also objects to the May 8 Order in which Judge Menendez denied Lee's requests to: (1) reconsider the January 11, 2017 Order [Docket No. 82] permitting counsel to withdraw from representing Lee on her non-class claims;[2] and (2) void or vacate the First Amended Complaint [Docket No. 110] and related Stipulation [Docket No. 106] between Class Plaintiffs and Defendants.

         “Motions for reconsideration serve a limited function: to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.” Hagerman v. Yukon Energy Corp., 839 F.2d 407, 414 (8th Cir. 1988) (quoting Rothwell Cotton Co. v. Rosenthal & Co., ...


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