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Huang v. Administrative Review Board U.S. Department of Labor

United States District Court, Fifth Circuit

December 5, 2013



LEE H. ROSENTHAL, District Judge.

In this suit, the petitioner, Dongsheng Huang, proceeding pro se, challenged parts of the Department of Labor (DOL) Administrative Review Board (ARB)'s ruling affirming the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)'s decision that Huang was entitled to receive over $150, 000.00 from his former employer, Ultimo Software Solutions, Inc. Huang sought an order directing the ARB to change its ruling, including by awarding him more compensatory damages for front pay, back pay, and pain and suffering; awarding him punitive damages of $5, 000, 000.00; and expunging government records about his employment. Huang also challenged the interest calculation on the award. Finally, he alleged that the DOL Wage & Hour Administrator had a statutory duty to participate directly in the administrative proceedings and failed to perform that duty. (Docket Entries No. 57-60).

In a 16-page Memorandum and Opinion, this court granted the ARB's motion to dismiss Huang's complaint. Huang has moved to alter the judgment and has supplemented that motion. (Docket Entry No. 63, 64). The ARB has responded, (Docket Entry No. 75), and Huang has replied, (Docket Entry No. 76). For the reasons explained in detail below, Huang's motion is denied.

I. The Rule 59(e) Standard

A motion seeking reconsideration under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) "should not be granted unless there is: (1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence not previously available; [or] (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent a manifest injustice." Brown v. Mississippi Co-op Extension Service, 89 Fed.Appx. 437, 439 (5th Cir.2004) (citing Schiller v. Physicians Resource Group, Inc., 342 F.3d 563, 567 (5th Cir.2003)). A motion to reconsider "cannot be used to raise arguments which could, and should, have been made before the judgment issued." Rosenzweig v. Azurix Corp., 332 F.3d 854, 863 (5th Cir.2003). A district court has discretion in deciding whether to grant the motion. Weber v. Roadway Exp., Inc., 199 F.3d 270, 276 (5th Cir.2000). None of these factors warrant reconsideration in this case.

II. Analysis

A. Huang's Claim that He Was Entitled to Amend Again

Huang argues that he was entitled to file a second amended complaint different from his proposed second amended complaint. (Docket Entry No. 63, at 2). This argument is without merit. The amended complaint Huang now asserts he should have been allowed to file was not attached to a motion seeking leave to file.[1] Huang has not explained how a second amended complaint that was not filed would have been different from the proposed amended complaint he did file or why he should have been allowed to file a different amended complaint. He does not provide a basis for the relief he seeks.

B. Huang's Claim that the Court Erred in Referring Collectively to the Respondents as "ARB"

Footnote three of the court's Memorandum and Opinion stated that "Huang also sued the United States Secretary of Labor. For clarity's sake, this Memorandum and Opinion refers to the defendants collectively as the ARB." (Docket Entry No. 61 at 5, n.3). The court made it clear that "ARB" referred to both the ARB and Secretary of Labor. In his motion, Huang appears to claim that this was error. There is no support for this claim and no basis for the relief Huang seeks.

C. The Motion to Strike

Footnote two of the court's Memorandum and Opinion stated that "Huang also moved to strike the motion to dismiss as untimely because it was filed one day late.... Huang has not shown that he was prejudiced by the late filing. The motion to strike will be denied." (Docket Entry No. 61 at 2, n.2). Huang claims that this ruling was erroneous because he was prejudiced by the late filing in that the court considered the arguments it presented. (Docket Entry No. 63, at 3-4). This is not prejudice, as a matter of law. Huang has not shown how he was unduly prejudiced by having the motion to dismiss filed 47 days instead of 45 days after he filed his first amended complaint. Huang was given the full amount of time to respond to the motion and did file a response. This claim is not a basis for relief.

D. Huang's Claim of Erroneous Dismissal Under Rule 12(b)(7)

Rule 12(b)(7) allows dismissal for failure to join a party under Rule 19 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Huang claims that because his claim was brought under the APA, a third party cannot be necessary. (Docket Entry No. 63, at 5). The fact that an APA claim is initially brought against government officials does not preclude joining third parties. See St. Pierre v Norton, 498 F.Supp.2d 214 (D. D.C. 2007); South Carolina Wildlife Federation v. South Carolina Dept. of Transp., 485 F.Supp.2d 661 (D. S.C. 2007), aff'd in part, 549 F.3d 324 (4th Cir. 2008); Lac Du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians v. Norton, ...

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