Williams v. Williams
ORDER denying 17 Motion for Reconsideration. Signed by Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr on 5/15/2017. (mc)
United States District Court
Southern District of Florida
Anthony Williams, Plaintiff,
Anthony Troy Williams, and others,
) Civil Action No. 16-61202-Civ-Scola
Order Denying Motion for Reconsideration
On June 1, 2016, the Plaintiff sued the Defendants for intentional
infliction of emotional distress, fraud, and identity theft. (ECF No. 1.) On June
16, 2016, in performing a preliminary examination of the record to determine if
jurisdiction exists, the Court noted that although this case is captioned on the
docket as a case raising a federal question, the only federal statutes cited in the
complaint were banking statutes that have been repealed. (Order Requiring
Am. Compl., ECF No. 7.) In addition, the Court found that diversity jurisdiction
did not exist, because the Complaint alleged that both the Plaintiff and the
named Defendant live in Florida. (Id.)
Because the Court was concerned about its jurisdiction in this matter, it
ordered the Plaintiff to file an amended complaint by June 30, 2016 adequately
alleging the Court’s subject matter jurisdiction. (Id.) The Court warned the
Plaintiff that a failure to file an amended complaint would result in dismissal.
(Id.) The Plaintiff failed to file the required amended complaint. On August 2,
2016, the Court sent another order giving the Plaintiff until August 12, 2016 to
file an amended complaint and also instructing the Plaintiff to file proposed
summons (ECF No. 12). The Plaintiff did not comply, and, accordingly, the
Court dismissed the case on August 22, 2016 for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction and because the Plaintiff had abandoned his prosecution of the
suit (ECF No. 14).
On March 20, 2017, the Plaintiff filed a Motion to Vacate Dismissal (ECF
No. 17.) The Plaintiff asserts that he was never notified that the case would be
dismissed. In addition, the Plaintiff cites to “Rule 1.420(2)(e),” arguing that the
case could not be dismissed for failure to prosecute until a period of 10 months
with no activity had elapsed. However, Rule 1.420 is a Florida Rule of Civil
Procedure, not a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure. Thus, it is only applicable in
state court proceedings. Finally, the Plaintiff asserts that the Court has subject
matter jurisdiction “because both parties reside in its jurisdiction.” However,
since the Plaintiff did not cite a federal statute in his Complaint, this Court can
only entertain his suit if the Court has diversity jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C §
1332. Since the Plaintiff asserts that both parties live in this jurisdiction,
diversity jurisdiction does not exist. Id.
The decision to grant or deny a motion for reconsideration is committed
to the district court’s sound discretion. See Chapman v. AI Transport, 229 F.3d
1012, 1023-24 (11th Cir. 2000) (reviewing reconsideration decision for abuse of
discretion). Reconsideration is appropriate only in very limited circumstances,
such as where “the Court has patently misunderstood a party, where there is
an intervening change in controlling law or the facts of a case, or where there is
manifest injustice.” See Vila v. Padron, 2005 WL 6104075, at *1 (S.D. Fla. Mar.
31, 2005) (Altonaga, J.). “Such problems rarely arise and the motion to
reconsider should be equally rare.” See id. (citation omitted). In order to obtain
reconsideration, “the party must do more than simply restate its previous
arguments, and any arguments the party failed to raise in the earlier motion
will be deemed waived.” See id.
Since the Plaintiff has not demonstrated that the Court misunderstood
him, has not alleged an intervening change in controlling law or the facts of the
case, and has not demonstrated that there was a manifest injustice, the Court
denies the Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration (ECF No. 17).
Done and Ordered in chambers, at Miami, Florida, on May 15, 2017.
Robert N. Scola, Jr.
United States District Judge
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