United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT DISTRICT JUDGE
Court conducted a hearing on August 16, 2016, in Benton,
Illinois with regard to Plaintiff Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC”) Motion
(Doc. 144) for Clarification or Reconsideration of the
Court’s January 21, 2016 Order (Doc. 141); Motion (Doc.
145) for Leave to File First Amended Complaint; and Motion
(Doc. 161) to File Supplement to Motion for Leave to File
EEOC filed the instant suit on behalf of Brooke Petkas and a
class of female applicants who had applied for non-office
jobs at Mach Mining. According to the EEOC, Mach Mining
“has never hired a single female for a mining-related
position, ” and “did not even have a
women’s bathroom on its mining premises.” (Doc.
32, p. 1-2). The complaint alleges that Mach Mining’s
Johnston City, Illinois, facility engaged in a pattern or
practice of unlawful employment practices since at least
January 1, 2006, in violation of Title VII, by engaging in
answer (Doc. 10), Mach Mining asserted the affirmative
defense that the EEOC failed to conciliate in good faith and
that issue was decided by the United States Supreme Court
We hold that a court may review whether the EEOC satisfied
its statutory obligation to attempt conciliation before
filing suit. But we find that the scope of that review is
narrow, thus recognizing the EEOC’s extensive
discretion to determine the kind and amount of communication
with an employer appropriate in any given case. Mach
Mining. LLC v. E.E.O.C., 135 S.Ct. 1645, 1649 (2015).
After the decision by the Supreme Court, the defendant filed
a renewed Motion
for Partial Summary Judgment which this Court denied (Doc.
140). The Plaintiff then filed a Motion (Doc. 111) for
Protective Order requesting that the Court preclude the EEOC,
“from conducting discovery related to Mach’s
relationship with other entities - entities which EEOC failed
to include in the investigation and conciliation stage that
prompted this action.” Magistrate Judge Frazier
conducted a telephone hearing and upon completion of the
hearing, denied defendant’s motion for a protective
order. (Doc. 113).
appealed the Magistrate’s ruling. (Doc. 117). This
Court found that the ruling was not clearly erroneous or
contrary to law; however, the Court sua sponte
reconsidered the motion and granted in part defendant’s
motion. The Court found that:
The EEOC had the opportunity to request any and all documents
- including those on related entities - during its
investigation of Mach Mining. There are no allegations that
Mach Mining failed to cooperate with that investigation or
that Mach Mining did not disclosure all requested
information. As such, the EEOC has had ample opportunity to
seek information and include any related entity in its
investigation of Mach Mining. The EEOC’s Determination
letter lists Mach Mining; Cline Resource and Development
Company; and Coal Field Transport, Inc. as respondents. Any
additional entities - whether or not related to Mach Mining -
are not parties to this action and would have insufficient
notice that they would be subject to discovery.” (Doc.
141, page 3).
Court then limited the EEOC from seeking discovery beyond the
entities named in its Determination letter and the EEOC now
moves for clarification or reconsideration of that order.
Motion for Clarification or Reconsideration of the
Court’s January 21, 2016 Order.
to hearing arguments, the Court noted that the January 21,
2016, did not intend to bar the EEOC from seeking discovery
from any third party that may have relevant information
pertaining to any issue in this matter. The holding of the
January 21, 2016, was that the EEOC was barred from
additional discovery for the purpose of adding parties where
no notice and attempt at conciliation had been made. The
Court then went on to hear arguments with regard to the
motion for reconsideration and motion to amend.
Standard for Reconsideration.
court has the power to revisit prior decisions of its own . .
. in any circumstance, although as a rule courts should be
loathe to do so in the absence of extraordinary circumstances
such as where the initial decision was ‘clearly
erroneous and would work a manifest injustice.’”
Christianson v. Colt Indus. Operating Corp., 486
U.S. 800, 817 (1988) (quoting Arizona v. California,
460 U.S. 605, 618 n. 8 (1983)); Fed. R. Ci P. 54(b)
(providing a non-final order “may be revised at any
time before the entry of a judgment adjudicating all the
claims and all the parties’ rights and
liabilities”). The decision whether to reconsider a
previous ruling in the same case is governed by the law of
the case doctrine. Santamarina v. Sears, Roebuck &
Co., 466 F.3d 570, 571-72 (7th Cir. 2006). The law of
the case is a discretionary doctrine that creates a
presumption against reopening matters already decided in the
same litigation and authorizes ...