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Tadlock v. Foxx

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

January 27, 2015

RODNEY K. TADLOCK, Plaintiff - Appellant,
v.
ANTHONY FOXX, Secretary of the Department of Transportation, .[*] Defendant-Appellee.

D.C. No. 2:12-CV-02148-JAR-JPO, D. Kansas.

Before HOLMES, BACHARACH, and McHUGH, Circuit Judges

ORDER AND JUDGMENT [**]

Robert E. Bacharach Circuit Judge

Mr. Rodney Tadlock worked for the Department of Transportation as an air traffic controller. In this job, Mr. Tadlock had to comply with federal health regulations. Tadlock v. LaHood, 550 F.App'x 541, 543 (10th Cir. 2013) (unpublished). That did not pose a problem until Mr. Tadlock had a recurrence of sinusitis and required surgery. In the aftermath, Mr. Tadlock perceived mistreatment and he filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

At some point, the Department of Transportation asked Mr. Tadlock for medical records and denied him permission to move from an evening shift to a morning shift. To Mr. Tadlock, these actions constituted retaliation for the EEOC charge, leading him to sue under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The district court granted summary judgment to the defendant, and we upheld that ruling on appeal.

In addition to appealing, Mr. Tadlock moved to vacate the summary judgment award and filed two amended complaints and two amended responses to the summary judgment motion. The district court denied the motion to vacate and struck the amended documents. With these rulings, Mr. Tadlock appealed again. We affirm.[1]

I. Denial of the Motion to Vacate

The district court did not err when it denied the motion to vacate the summary judgment ruling.

A. Standard of Review

Mr. Tadlock's motion was based on Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1) and (6). Under Rule 60(b)(1), vacatur is available for "mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect." Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1). Rule 60(b) provides four other situations in which vacatur may be available, adding a catch-all in Rule 60(b)(6) for "any other reason that justifies relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(6).

Vacatur of the summary judgment ruling would involve an extraordinary remedy and would be available only in exceptional circumstances. Servants of Paraclete v. Does, 204 F.3d 1005, 1009 (10th Cir. 2000). The district court concluded that the circumstances did not warrant vacatur of the judgment, and we review that ruling under an abuse-of-discretion standard. Id. We conclude that the district court acted within its discretion in denying Mr. Tadlock's motion.

B. New Allegations

On appeal, Mr. Tadlock argues in part that the district court and Department of Justice committed misconduct. This argument is invalid for two reasons: (1) it was not raised in district court, and (2) it is unsupported.

We need not consider arguments raised for the first time on appeal. See Valdez v. Squier, 676 F.3d 935, 950 (10th Cir. 2012). In part because Mr. Tadlock did not raise this argument in district court, we decline to reverse on this ground. But, reversal would be inappropriate anyway because Mr. Tadlock has not ...


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