United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO
D. SMITH, SENIOR JUDGE
is Plaintiff's Motion to Reconsider and Reverse Order
Granting Defendant's Motion to Stay. Doc. #15. For the
following reasons, the motion is denied.
2019, Plaintiff Ferissa Talley filed a FOIA action in this
Court, seeking the release of documents from Defendant United
States Department of Labor. Doc. #1. Plaintiff sought the
same documents that another individual, Jack Jordan, sought
in one of his FOIA requests. Jordan, proceeding pro se,
previously filed a lawsuit in this Court. Jordan v.
United States Dep't of Labor, No. 18-06129 (W.D.
Mo.) (hereinafter, “the Jordan matter”).
In the Jordan matter, the Court dismissed one claim
and granted summary judgment in Defendant's favor on the
other claim. The Jordan matter was appealed to the
Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
the above-captioned matter was filed, Defendant moved to stay
the case pending disposition of the Jordan matter
before the Eighth Circuit. Doc. #4. Plaintiff opposed the
motion. Doc. #5. In July 2019, the Court granted
Defendant's request to stay this matter pending the
Eighth Circuit's disposition of the Jordan
matter. Doc. #7.
October 2019, Jordan, who was recently admitted to practice
in this Court, entered his appearance as Plaintiff's
counsel. Doc. #8. Thereafter, the Court permitted
Plaintiff's now-former counsel, Joshua Sanders, to
withdraw. Doc. #11. Plaintiff, now represented by Jordan,
filed a motion seeking reconsideration of the Court's
decision staying the matter. Doc. #15. Defendant did not
respond to the motion, and the time for doing so has passed.
Motion for Reconsideration
motion seeks relief pursuant to Rule 54(b) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 54(b) provides district courts
with the “inherent power to reconsider and modify an
interlocutory order any time prior to the entry of
judgment.” K.C. 1986 Ltd. P'ship v. Reade
Mfg., 472 F.3d 1009, 1016-17 (8th Cir. 2007);
Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b). “Motions for reconsideration serve
a limited function: to correct manifest errors of law or fact
or to present newly discovered evidence.” Arnold v.
ADT Sec. Servs., Inc., 627 F.3d 716, 721 (8th Cir.
2010). “Such a motion is to be granted only in
exceptional circumstances requiring extraordinary
relief.” Minn. Supply Co. v. Raymond Corp.,
472 F.3d 524, 534 (8th Cir. 2006).
Motion to Stay
explained in the Court's prior decision, “[a]
district court has broad discretion to stay proceedings when
appropriate to control its docket.” Sierra Club v.
U.S. Army Corps of Eng'rs, 446 F.3d 808, 816 (8th
Cir. 2006) (citing Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681,
706 (1997)). District courts have the “inherent
power” to stay litigation “to control its docket,
conserve judicial resources, and provide for a just
determination of the cases pending before it.”
Contracting Nw., Inc. v. City of Fredericksburg, 713
F.2d 382, 387 (8th Cir. 1983) (citation omitted).
pending motion, Plaintiff raises nearly all of the same
arguments she raised in response to Defendant's motion to
stay. In fact, several portions of the pending motion are
identical to Plaintiff's opposition to the motion to
stay. Compare Doc. #5, at 16-21, 23-26,
with Doc. #15, at 7-11, 14-15, 17-21. Because the
Court has already considered the previously raised arguments,
it will only address the one argument Plaintiff did not raise
in response to Defendant's motion to stay.
to Plaintiff, Defendant, in its appellate brief in the
Jordan matter, raised “two new defenses
related to [Plaintiff's] case (res judicata and
‘confidential' prong of FOIA Exemption 4).”
Doc. #15, at 11. She contends these defenses “must be
presented to and adjudicated by this Court under controlling
law before they can be reviewed by the Court of
Appeals….” Id. Plaintiff argues,
“[t]his Court must address ‘the important
concerns about' the ‘hazard that the prior
proceedings were seriously defective” and also
“must find that ...