Motions for Reconsideration: Affidavits & Declarations
Under Washington State laws, what are the rules concerning the submission of affidavits and declarations when pursuing a motion for consideration? Here's my point of view (NOTE: please read our DISCLAIMER before proceeding).
MOTIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION (CR 59) -- AFFIDAVITS & DECLARATIONS
➔ Summary Judgment Context -- No Prejudice if Court Considers Additional Facts on Reconsideration: "In the context of summary judgment, unlike in a trial, there is no prejudice if the court considers additional facts on reconsideration." Chen v. State, 86 Wn.App. 183, 192 (Div. 2 1997), review denied, 133 Wn.2d 1020, 948 P.2d 387 (1997) (citing Applied Indus. Materials Corp. v. Melton, 74 Wash.App. 73, 77, 872 P.2d 87 (1994)).
➔ CR 59 Does Not Prohibit Submissions of New/Additional Materials on Reconsideration: "Furthermore, nothing in CR 59 prohibits the submission of new or additional materials on reconsideration." Id. (citing Sellsted v. Washington Mut. Sav. Bank, 69 Wash.App. 852, 865 n. 19, 851 P.2d 716 (1993).
➔ Motions for Reconsideration & Taking of Additional Evidence Are Within Discretion of Trial Court: "Motions for reconsideration and the taking of additional evidence, therefore, are within the discretion of the trial court." Id. (citing Trohimovich v. Department of Labor & Indus., 73 Wash.App. 314, 318, 869 P.2d 95 (1994) (trial court did not abuse discretion by failing to grant reconsideration motion); Ghaffari v. Department of Licensing, 62 Wash.App. 870, 816 P.2d 66 (1991) (consideration of additional evidence at motion for reconsideration of bench trial within discretion of trial court)).
EXAMPLE: CHEN v. STATE
For example, in Chen v. State, "Western State Hospital dismissed Dr. Hsi Chen after a six-month probationary period, citing poor performance. Chen sued, alleging[:]
(1) fraud based on his reliance on the State's representations about the probationary employment period, and
Id. at 185 (paragraph formatting added). "The trial court granted summary judgment for the State, and Chen appeal[ed]. Because the State did not misrepresent the conditions of probation, and because Chen failed to produce evidence that the State's reason for dismissing him was false or a mere pretext," the Court affirmed. Id. at 185-86.
In this case, "Chen … argues the trial court erred in striking the affidavit and declaration submitted in support of his motion for reconsideration." Chen, 86 Wn.App. at 191-92 (emphasis added). However, the Court concluded the trial court did not abuse its discretion in doing so. Id.
a. The Affidavit"The affidavit contained no new information about Chen, only a repetition of already presented information, and personnel information about Dr. Dennis." Id. "This information does not create any issues of material fact concerning Chen's dismissal." Id. Accordingly, the Court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in striking the affidavit.b. The Declaration"Chen also submitted a declaration, signed by some former medical colleagues at Western State [(hereinafter, "delcarants"]." Id. "The declaration stated that Chen had good communication skills and had good relationships with his colleagues and coworkers." Id. "But none of the colleagues who signed the declaration was either charged with supervising and evaluating Chen or served as a member of his team. Id. (internal citation omitted). "Thus, this declaration was also insufficient to establish that the State's reasons for dismissing Chen were either false or mere pretexts." Id. Accordingly, the Court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in striking the declaration.
If you would like to learn more, then consider contacting an experienced Washington State Employment Discrimination Attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Please note: the information contained in this article is not offered as legal advice and will not form an attorney-client relationship with either this author or Williams Law Group; please see our DISCLAIMER.