United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
ORDER AND OPINION
Eric Alan Sanders (“Plaintiff”), proceeding
pro se, filed a Complaint against Defendant Family
Dollar Stores, Inc. (“Defendant”) alleging a
hostile work environment, negligence, gender-based disparate
treatment in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.
(Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964(a)(1-2)),
disability-based disparate treatment in violation of 42
U.S.C. § 12112 (the Americans with Disabilities Act of
1990), and “Retaliation in Response to Opposition to
the Hostile Work Environment and the Protected Activity in
Reporting.” (ECF No. 1 at 19 ¶¶ 298-302.) His
Complaint was dismissed, and Judgment was entered in favor of
Defendant. (ECF Nos. 98, 99.)
matter is before the court on Plaintiff's Motion for
Relief from Final Judgment. (ECF No. 107.) For the reasons
stated below, the court DENIES
RELEVANT PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND
court concludes upon its own careful review of the record
that the factual and procedural summation in the Magistrate
Judge's Report (ECF No. 93) is accurate, and the court
adopts this summary as its own. Subsequently, the court will
only recite herein facts pertinent to the analysis of
Plaintiff's Motion for Relief from Final Judgment. (ECF
No. 107.) The Magistrate Judge's Report was filed on
November 22, 2016 and Plaintiff filed an Objection on
December 7, 2016. (ECF Nos. 93, 95.) Defendant responded to
Plaintiff's Objection, and the court accepted the
Magistrate Judge's Report granting Defendant's Motion
to Dismiss for Plaintiff's Failure to Participate in
Discovery (ECF No. 80), on January 3, 2017. (ECF Nos. 96,
98.) On January 23, 2017, Plaintiff appealed the court's
Order and Judgment to the United States Court of Appeals for
the Fourth Circuit, which was affirmed on August 22, 2017.
(ECF Nos. 101, 108.) On August 14, 2017, Plaintiff filed a
Motion for Relief from Final Judgment. (ECF No. 107.) The
Mandate and Judgment of the Fourth Circuit was filed on
October 10, 2017. (ECF No. 111.)
court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331 based on Plaintiff's allegations arising
under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. and 42 U.S.C. §
12112. The court also has jurisdiction under 42 U.S.C. §
2000e-5(f)(3) to hear Plaintiff's Title VII claim, which
specifically grants jurisdiction to the court to hear cases
under Title VII.
a party may seek relief under Rule 60(b), a party first must
show timeliness, a meritorious defense, a lack of unfair
prejudice to [any] opposing party, and exceptional
circumstances. After a party has crossed this initial
threshold, he then must satisfy one of the six specific
sections of Rule 60(b)." Dowell v. State Farm Fire
& Cas. Auto. Ins. Co., 993 F.2d 46, 48 (4th Cir.
1993) (citing Werner v. Carbo, 731 F.2d 204, 207
(4th Cir. 1984)).
may relieve a party from a final judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P.
60(b) for the following reasons: “(1) mistake,
inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly
discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could
not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial
under Rule 59(b); (3) fraud (whether previously called
intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by
an opposing party; (4) the judgment is void; (5) the judgment
has been satisfied, released or discharged; it is based on an
earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or
applying it prospectively is no longer equitable; or (6) any
other reason that justifies relief.” A motion under
this rule must be made within a reasonable time, and relief
under reasons (1), (2), and (3) is not available after one
year from the entry of the judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(c)(1).
standard governing relief based on newly discovered evidence
under Rule 60(b)(2) requires that a party demonstrate:
“(1) the evidence is newly discovered since the
judgment was entered; (2) due diligence on the part of the
movant to discover the new evidence has been exercised; (3)
the evidence is not merely cumulative or impeaching; (4) the
evidence is material; and (5) the evidence is such that is
likely to produce a new outcome if the case were retried, or
is such that would require the judgment to be amended.”
Boryan v. United States, 884 F.2d 767, 771 (4th Cir.
1989) (citing Taylor v. Texgas Corp., 831 F.2d 255,
259 (11th Cir. 1987) (citations omitted)).
Plaintiff is a pro se litigant, the court is
required to liberally construe his arguments. Gordon v.
Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978); see also
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972) (pro
se plaintiff's “inartful pleadings” may
be sufficient enough to provide the opportunity to offer
the threshold requirements for relief under Rule 60(b),
Plaintiff filed a timely Motion, and asserts the defense that
he did not have evidence of his wife and mother's license
suspension (ECF No. 107-1 at 2, 4), and that their license
suspension is part of the reason why he did not comply with
the court's Text Order that he be deposed on or before
August 15, 2016 (ECF No. 66). (ECF No. 107.) Plaintiff also
asserts the defense that Dr. Caleb Loring's Report (ECF
No. 107-1 at 7-10) is new medical evidence that confirms his
anxiety was the reason he stopped his November 3, 2015
deposition and did not meaningfully participate.
(Id. at 3.) As to the lack of unfair prejudice to
Defendant, the court acknowledges that Defendant may be
prejudiced by the court modifying its Order and reopening
Plaintiff's case given his “persistent”
non-compliance with the court's previous orders.
(See ECF No. 98 at 4.) However, because Plaintiff is
pro se and the court must liberally construe his
arguments, the court will address Plaintiff's
brings his Motion pursuant to the new evidence provisions of
Rule 60(b)(2). (ECF No. 107 at 1-2.) Addressing
Plaintiff's notification of his wife and mother's
driver's license suspensions, Plaintiff asserts that the
evidence is newly discovered because he had no knowledge of
the suspensions until after the ...