McDonough et al v. City of Homestead et al
Order on Motion for Reconsideration. Signed by Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr on 7/3/2018. See attached document for full details. (vmz)
United States District Court
Southern District of Florida
James Eric McDonough and
Vanessa McDonough, Plaintiffs,
City of Homestead, and others,
) Civil Action No. 17-23227-Civ-Scola
Order on Motion for Reconsideration
The Plaintiff Eric McDonough proceeding pro se asks the Court to
reconsider its order dismissing this case with prejudice (Order, ECF No. 80), and
allow him to file an amended pleading. (Mot., ECF No. 88; ECF No. 89.) For the
reasons that follow, the Plaintiff’s motion (ECF No. 88) is denied.
Rule 59(e) permits a motion to alter or amend a judgment. “The only
grounds for granting a Rule 59 motion are newly-discovered evidence or manifest
errors of law or fact. A Rule 59(e) motion cannot be used to relitigate old matters,
raise argument or present evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry
of judgment.” Arthur v. King, 500 F.3d 1335, 1343 (11th Cir. 2007) (internal
quotations omitted). 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. “[A] motion for reconsideration should not be used as
a vehicle to present authorities available at the time of the first decision or to
reiterate arguments previously made.” Z.K. Marine Inc. v. M/V Archigetis, 808 F.
Supp. 1561, 1563 (S.D. Fla. 1992) (Hoeveler, J.).
In its Order, the Court dismissed the complaint with prejudice, noting that
the Court is not required to grant leave to amend sua sponte when a party who is
represented by counsel does not properly request leave to do so. (See ECF No.
80); Wagner v. Daewoo Indus. Am. Corp. 314 F.3d 541, 5421 (11th Cir. 2002).
From the beginning of this case until the end of last month, and in his earlier
case before Judge Williams, the Plaintiff was represented by counsel. (See ECF
No. 87.) In the instant motion, the Plaintiff takes issue with what he deems to be
the Court’s insufficient analysis of the issues raised in the six motions to dismiss
filed by the Defendants in this case. In addition, the Plaintiff levels for the first
time accusations of malpractice against his former attorney. (See Mot., ECF No.
88 at 7 ¶ 3.)
Upon review, however, the Plaintiff does not meet any of the factors
required for this Court to grant a motion for reconsideration. The Plaintiff’s
arguments merely rehash issues that the Court has already considered, and he
disagrees with the Court’s evaluation of the facts, as well as the Court’s
application of the relevant law. However, disagreement with the Court does not
support granting a motion to reconsider. See Roggio v. United States, 2013 WL
11320226, at *1 (S.D. Fla. July 30, 2013) (Goodman, J.) (“[W]hen there is mere
disagreement with a prior order, reconsideration is a waste of judicial time and
resources and should not be granted.”) (internal citation and quotations omitted).
Moreover, the Court recognizes that the Plaintiff’s allegations regarding his former
counsel’s alleged misfeasance, if true, are deeply troubling; but, they do not
provide a proper basis for disturbing the Court’s Order—especially when the
Plaintiff was represented by the same attorney in the substantially similar case
that Judge Williams dismissed without prejudice for counsel’s failure to comply
with the Local Rules and court orders.
Accordingly, the Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration (ECF No. 88) is
Done and ordered at Miami, Florida, on July 3, 2018.
Robert N. Scola, Jr.
United States District Judge
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