United States District Court, D. Maryland
YING-JUN CHEN, et al. Plaintiff,
MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND MENTAL HYGIENE, et al., Defendants.
Lipton Hollander United States District Judge
employment discrimination action, self-represented plaintiff
Ying-Jun Chen filed suit against his former employers, the
Maryland Health Care Commission ("MHCC") and the
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
("MDHMH" or the "Department"),
well as several individuals in their official capacities: the
former Secretary of MDHMH, Van T. Mitchell; the Acting
Executive Director of MHCC, Michael Steffen; and the Director
of Administration for MHCC, Bridget Zombro. See ECF
14 ("Amended Complaint"). Chen, who is Chinese
American, alleged that he was terminated from employment as a
result of discrimination based on national origin, in
violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
codified, as amended, at 42 U.S.C. §§ 2OOOe et
Memorandum Opinion (ECF 56) and Order (ECF 57) of March 14,
2018, I granted defendants' post-discovery motion for
summary judgment (ECF 48). On March 23, 2018, Chen filed a
"Motion To Amend The Order Pursuant To F.R.C.P.
52(b)." See ECF 58 (the "Motion").
filed an opposition to the Motion on April 6, 2018. ECF 59.
Chen did not filed a reply (see Docket) and the time
to do so has expired. See Local Rule 105.2.a.
April 12, 2018, Chen filed a Notice of Appeal (ECF 60), which
was docketed on April 13, 2018. He seeks appellate review of
this Court's Memorandum Opinion (ECF 56) and Order of
March 14, 2018 (ECF 57) by the United States Court of Appeals
for the Fourth Circuit.
hearing is necessary to resolve the Motion. See
Local Rule 105.6. For the reasons that follow, I shall deny
Motion seeks relief, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 52(b).
See ECF 58 at 1. However, Rule 52 relates to
findings of fact and conclusions of law made with respect to
a trial. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 52; see also
9C Charles Wright & Arthur Miller, Federal Practice &
Procedure, §§ 2571, 2582 (3d ed.). Rule 52(b) is
not applicable here.
the Court is mindful of its obligation to construe liberally
the filings of a pro se litigant, which are held to less
stringent standards than filings drafted by an attorney.
See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007);
see also White v. White, 886 F.2d 721, 722-23 (4th
Cir. 1989). Because the Motion was filed within 28 days
following entry of the Order of March 14, 2018 (ECF 57), I
shall construe the Motion under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e).
Civ. P. 59(e) is captioned "Motion to Alter or Amend a
Judgment." It states, id: "A motion to
alter or amend a judgment must be filed no later than 28 days
after the entry of the judgment." A district court may
amend a judgment under Rule 59(e), inter alia, to
"prevent manifest injustice." Hutchinson v.
Stanton, 994 F.2d 1076, 1081 (4th Cir, . 2002).
are three grounds for granting a motion under Rule 59(e): (1)
to accommodate an intervening change in controlling law; (2)
to account for new evidence not previously available; or (3)
to correct clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice.
See United States ex rel Becker v. Westinghouse Savannah
River Co., 305 F.3d 284, 290 (4th Cir. 2002) (citing
Pac. Ins. Co. v. Am. Nat'l Fire Ins. Co., 148
F.3d 396, 403 (4th Cir. 1998)). Notably, a Rule 59(e) motion
'"may not be used to relitigate old matters, or to
raise arguments or present evidence that could have been
raised prior to the entry of judgment.'" Pac.
Ins. Co., 148 F.3d at 403 (quoting 11 Wright &
Miller, § 2810.1 (2d ed. 1995)). Generally,
"'reconsideration of a judgment after its entry is
an extraordinary remedy which should be used
sparingly.'" Id. (quoting 11 Wright &
Miller, §2810.1 (2d ed. 1995)).
Motion, Chen avers, generally, that "the conclusions
made in support of the Court's decision do not support
its announced order and in fact support plaintiffs
position." ECF 58 at 2. Chen also contends that the
"Order" of March 14, 2018 (ECF 57) "should be
amended to correct an apparent editing error which appears at
page 42 in the 'Proof of Discrimination' section of
the Opinion that was left mostly blank." Id. at
1. For reasons unknown to the Court, in filing the Memorandum
Opinion on CM/ECF, the final paragraph of part III.B.3.a of
the Discussion shifted from page 42 to page 43. However, this
is not a matter of substance; no text was lost or omitted
from the Memorandum Opinion. Rather, text that should have
been on page 42 merely moved to page 43.
Chen argues that the Court incorrectly "uses the phrase
'communication [skills]' instead of 'language
problem'" when referring to evidence presented by
the parties in connection with the summary judgment motion.
See ECF 58 at 1. Chen asserts that "the
individual (Steffen) who was responsible for the national
origin discriminatory retaliation of Mr. Chen was also the
individual who 'reported his conversation with Chen in
citing his accent as 'a language problem.'"
Id. at 3 (citing ECF 50-12).
referencing an email sent from Steffen to Zombro on November
16, 2011 (ECF 50-12 at 12), in which Steffen wrote, inter
alia, id: "Mr. Chen requested that Mr. David Sharp,
be called to mediate, because he had a language
problem. He stated that I said at staff meeting that
David Sharp would mediate personnel issues where language
problems were the issue. I have no recollection of ever
suggesting this odd protocol." (Emphasis added). As I
noted in my Memorandum Opinion, see ECF 56 at 41:
"From this ...