The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCAVOY
Plaintiff Linda Gonzalez commenced this action by filing a complaint on May 14, 1993; she amended the Complaint on May 26, 1994. Plaintiff alleged that her employer, defendant Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. d/b/a Binghamton Press Co. ("Press"), and a supervisor, defendant Jan Sprawls, discriminated against her because of her disability, sex, and race. In a decision issued from the bench following oral arguments on May 26, 1995, the Court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff now moves for relief from the judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b).
Plaintiff based her causes of action on the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. ("ADA"), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000 et seq. ("Title VII"), and Article 15 of the Human Rights Law of New York ("Article 15"). Within her Tile VII charge, plaintiff alleged sexual harassment, disparate treatment, retaliatory discharge, and wage discrimination.
In its May 26, 1995, decision the Court ruled that, in regard to the ADA claim, plaintiff had failed to establish that she could perform the essential functions of her position even with reasonable accommodations. Furthermore, not only were plaintiff's Title VII sexual harassment and disparate treatment claims time-barred, but plaintiff produced, in the Court's view, no evidence that her discharge was retaliatory or that defendants' proffered reason for the wage disparity was pretextual. Finally, because all of plaintiff's federal claims were dismissed, the Court declined to exercise supplemental pendent jurisdiction over plaintiff's state law cause of action.
On her motion for relief from the judgment, plaintiff's primary allegation is that defendants have perpetrated fraud on the Court by, inter alia, withholding and destroying evidence, committing perjury, bribery, and forgery, failing to disclose vital information, and altering transcripts. Plaintiff also argues that her legal representation was inadequate and that defendants and their counsel have "mocked their profession, the courts, and the rights of victims protected by Title VII." (Pl.'s Mem. Supp. Relief J. at 24.) Several of plaintiff's allegations are based on what she characterizes as "newly discovered evidence" -- acts undertaken by defendants after summary judgment was granted that prove the extent of their fraud on the Court.
Although plaintiff characterizes her motion as one for reconsideration, the time that has passed since summary judgment was granted dictates that the motion be treated as one for relief from judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60. A motion made pursuant to Rule 60 must adhere to stringent standards, because relief from judgment is limited to the six grounds specified in the rule:
On motion and upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party . . . from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence which by due diligence could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b); (3) fraud . . . misrepresentation, or other conduct of an adverse party; (4) the judgment is void; (5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged . . . or (6) any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). In deciding a Rule 60(b) motion, "a court must balance the policy in favor of hearing a litigant's claims on the merits against the policy in favor of finality." Kotlicky v. United States Fidelity & Guar. Co., 817 F.2d 6, 9 (2d Cir. 1987). See also 11 Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 2857 (1995).
All Rule 60(b) motions must be made within a reasonable time. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). Moreover, courts typically require that the evidence in support of the motion for relief be "highly convincing," that a party show good cause for the failure to act sooner, and that no undue hardship be imposed on other parties. See United States v. Cirami, 563 F.2d 26, 33 (2d Cir. 1977); Wright and Miller at § 2857. Finally, Rule 60 determinations are committed to the sound discretion of the district judge and will not be overturned on appeal absent an abuse of discretion. See Browder v. Director, Dep't of Corrections, 434 U.S. 257, 263 n.7, 54 L. Ed. 2d 521, 98 S. Ct. 556 (1978).
Plaintiff here seeks relief from judgment based on subparts (1), (2), (3), and (6) of Rule 60(b), which generally provide for relief because of "mistake," "newly discovered evidence," "fraud," and any "other" justifiable reason, respectively. However, subpart (6) is properly invoked only "where there are extraordinary circumstances[,] where the judgment may work an extreme and undue hardship," DeWeerth v. Baldinger, 38 F.3d 1266, 1272 (2d Cir. 1994), and where the asserted grounds for relief "are not recognized in clauses (1)-(5) of the Rule." Nemaizer v. Baker, 793 F.2d 58, 63 (2d Cir. 1986). See also Matarese v. LeFevre, 801 F.2d 98, 107 (2d Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 480 U.S. 908, 94 L. Ed. 2d 523, 107 S. Ct. 1353 (1987). The Court finds that all of plaintiff's asserted grounds are covered by subparts other than subpart (6). The Court will ...