United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Tenner Murphy, by his guardians Kay and Richard Murphy; Marrie Bottelson; Dionne Swanson; and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
Pam Wheelock in her capacity as Commissioner of The Minnesota Department of Human Services, Defendant.
DONOVAN W. FRANK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
accordance with Local Rule 7.1(j), Defendant has requested
permission to file a motion for reconsideration of the
Court’s July 26, 2019, Memorandum Opinion and Order
(Doc. No. 640 (“Order”).) (Doc. No. 642.)
Plaintiffs oppose Defendant’s request. (Doc. No. 645.)
In her letter, Defendant argues that the Court erred in
denying her motion to decertify the class because the Court:
(1) ruled without hearing from the Defendant regarding
supplemental authority; (2) relied on allegations made by
Plaintiffs in their Amended Complaint rather than the facts
that were discovered in litigation; and (3) relied on the
totality of the record as opposed to Plaintiffs’ answer
to one interrogatory. (Id.)
Local Rule 7.1(j), a party must show “compelling
circumstances” to obtain permission to file a motion to
reconsider. D. Minn. L.R. 7.1(j). A motion to reconsider
should not be employed to relitigate old issues, but rather
to “afford an opportunity for relief in extraordinary
circumstances.” Dale & Selby Superette &
Deli v. U.S. Dept. of Agric., 838 F. Supp. 1346, 1348
(D. Minn. 1993).
filed her Motion to Decertify the Class on November 15, 2018.
(Doc. No. 418.) One of authorities she relied on was
Brown v. District of Columbia, 322 F.R.D. 51 (D.D.C.
2017). This decision was reversed on July 5, 2019. See
Brown v. District of Columbia, Civ. No. 17-7152, 2019 WL
2985992, at *9 (D.C. Cir. July 5, 2019). Eight months after
Defendant filed her motion and six months after oral
argument, the Court was well versed in the issues and
authority cited by each party, and was prepared to issue an
opinion after multiple settlement discussions were
unsuccessful. Plaintiffs made a request to submit
unspecified supplemental authority seven days after
Brown was reversed. By this time, the Court was well
aware of the Brown reversal, and had already applied
its holding to the facts of this case when Plaintiffs filed
their supporting letter ten days later on July 22, 2019.
(Doc. No. 639). Neither Plaintiffs’ letter nor
Defendant’s rebuttal (Doc. No. 641) changed the
Court’s independent analysis.
the Court’s reference to a prior order which detailed
the facts of the above-entitled matter at length, in lieu of
repeating them for the same audience, has no impact on its
ultimate analysis of Defendant’s motion to decertify.
As indicated in its Order, the Court “supplement[ed]
the relevant facts as needed.” (Order at 2.) While the
Court still finds Defendant’s argument that Ms. Swanson
is not an adequate class representative unpersuasive, the
Court clearly stated in its Order, “[o]nly one adequate
class representative is needed to satisfy the requirements of
Rule23(a)(4).” (Order at 6 (citing Dalton v. Lee
Publ’ns, Inc., 270 F.R.D. 555, 561 (S.D. 2010).)
Here, even without Ms. Swanson, there are two other adequate
respect to Defendant’s argument that the Court relied
on the totality of the record as opposed to a single
interrogatory, the Court finds that this is an unsupported
attempt to relitigate an old issue. The Court considered
Defendant’s argument and rejected it.
fully considered the parties’ submissions, the Court
concludes that Defendant has failed to demonstrate the
compelling circumstances necessary to justify a motion to
reconsider the Court’s Order.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
Defendant’s request for leave to file a motion for
reconsideration (Doc. No. ) is DENIED.
 The Court has substituted Pam
Wheelock, Acting Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of
Human Resources, for Emily Johnson Piper. A public
officer’s “successor is automatically substituted
as a party” and “[l]ater proceedings should be in
the substituted party’s name.” Fed. R. Civ. P.
 The Court delayed ruling on the
motions pending before while the parties engaged in
settlement discussions. ...