Germain Real Estate Company, LLC et al v. HCH Toyota LLC et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER denying 51 Motion for Reconsideration. Signed by Honorable P. K. Holmes, III on October 11, 2013. (adw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
GERMAIN REAL ESTATE COMPANY, LLC;
and GM ENTERPRISES, LLC
Case No. 5:13-CV-05069
HCH TOYOTA, LLC and
METROPOLITAN NATIONAL BANK
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Currently before the Court are Plaintiffs Germain Real Estate Company, LLC (“GREC”) and
GM Enterprises, LLC’s (“GM”) motion for reconsideration (Doc. 51), Defendant Metropolitan
National Bank’s (“Metropolitan”) response in opposition (Doc. 54), and Defendant HCH Toyota,
LLC’s (“HCH”) response in opposition (Doc. 55). For the reasons discussed herein, Plaintiffs’
motion for reconsideration (Doc. 51) is DENIED.
Plaintiffs request that the Court reconsider two orders entered in this case on August 21,
2013: an order of dismissal (Doc. 44) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure
to state a claim and an order of judgment (Doc. 45) entered in Defendants’ favor. Plaintiffs have
argued that their motion to reconsider may be construed according to Rule 59(e) as a motion to alter
or amend judgment or according to Rule 60(b) as a motion for relief from a final judgment.
“Rule 59(e) motions serve a limited function of correcting manifest errors of law or fact or
to present newly discovered evidence.” Innovative Home Health Care v. P.T.-O.T. Assocs., 141 F.3d
1284, 1286 (8th Cir.1998) (internal quotation omitted). Rule 59(e) motions cannot be used by a
party to introduce new evidence, arguments, or legal theories that could have been raised prior to
judgment. Id. The purpose of this motion is to allow the Court “to rectify its own mistakes in the
time period immediately following entry of judgment.” White v. New Hampshire Dep’t of Emp’t
Sec., 455 U.S. 445, 450 (1982).
Rule 60(b) provides a list of circumstances under which a party may be relieved from a final
judgment, order, or proceeding, including mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
newly discovered evidence; fraud, misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party; or “any
other reason that justifies relief.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). The Eighth Circuit has recognized that Rule
60(b) “provides for extraordinary relief which may be granted only upon an adequate showing of
exceptional circumstances.” United States v. Young, 806 F.2d 805, 806 (8th Cir.1986). It is
important to note, however, that a motion for reconsideration “is not a vehicle for simple reargument
on the merits.” Broadway v. Norris, 193 F.3d 987, 990 (8th Cir. 1999).
The Court has examined Plaintiffs’ motion for reconsideration and finds that it can best be
characterized as an attempt to reargue the same legal issues that the Court already decided. For
example, Plaintiffs maintain in their motion that GREC had a binding contract to purchase certain
property that was at issue in the lawsuit. The Court determined otherwise, though, and after a
thorough analysis of the briefing and evidence submitted by the parties, the Court decided in its
memorandum opinion and order (Doc. 44) that GREC never retained an independent right to
purchase the property at issue, and to the extent that GREC’s purchase option was even legally
enforceable, the option was subject to the approval of Metropolitan and subordinate to
Metropolitan’s mortgage rights.
As for Plaintiffs’ argument that the Court erred in giving preclusive effect to the findings of
the state court, the Court cannot agree that GREC was deprived of the chance to fully litigate the
relevant issues in that forum. Collateral estoppel principles accordingly applied to the state court’s
factual and legal determinations.
The state court found—and this Court agreed—that the
Subordination, Non-Disturbance, and Attornment Agreement entered into by HCH, Metropolitan,
and GM effectively amended GREC’s purchase option and left GREC with no right to purchase the
property at issue. Moreover, Plaintiffs’ request for declaratory relief was denied by this Court as
moot since damages alleged in the complaint resulted exclusively from GREC’s inability to exercise
its purchase option under the lease. Once the Court found that GREC’s purchase option was invalid,
there was no need for the Court to inquire into GM’s leasehold rights, as these were not at issue in
the lawsuit and were not tied to any claim for damages.
Plaintiffs have identified no manifest errors of law or fact in the Court’s prior order and
judgment; instead, Plaintiffs simply disagree with the Court’s interpretation of the law and facts and
with the Court’s ultimate decision to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim. The motion
for reconsideration does not meet Rule 59(e)’s requirements. Moreover, none of the “exceptional
circumstances” enumerated in Rule 60(b) are present in this case. Plaintiffs cannot identify mistake
or neglect on the part of the Court, newly discovered evidence, or some act of fraud committed by
Defendants that would justify extraordinary relief. Accordingly, the Court exercises its discretion
to DENY Plaintiffs’ motion for reconsideration (Doc. 51).
IT IS SO ORDERED this11th day of October, 2013.
/s/P. K. Holmes, III
P.K. HOLMES, III
CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?