ANDREW v. GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS et al
ORDER denying 8 Motion for Reconsideration. The Clerk is DIRECTED to forward Plaintiff a copy of the Courts standard Section 2241 habeas form. Ordered by US DISTRICT JUDGE C ASHLEY ROYAL on 9/26/2017 (lap)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
OF CORRECTIONS et al.,
Plaintiff Todd Andrew, an inmate confined at the August State Medical Prison in
Grovetown, Georgia, filed a pro se civil rights action seeking relief under 42 U.S.C. §
After conducting a preliminary review of Plaintiff’s Complaint pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(a), the Court found that his allegations failed to state a viable claim and
dismissed the Complaint. Currently before the Court is Plaintiff’s motion to alter amend
judgment pursuant to Rule 59. ECF No. 8. In the motion, Plaintiff re-raises his argument
that the Georgia Department of Corrections has failed to apply “jail credit” to his sentence
and miscalculated his release date, and seeks to reframe his argument as one of deliberate
indifference or negligence. Plaintiff further contends that he is entitled to amend his
Although Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 allows parties to amend pleadings,
Rule 15 has no application “once the district court has dismissed the complaint and entered
final judgment for the defendant.” Lee v. Alachua Cnty, Fla., 461 F. App’x 859, 860 (11th
Cir. 2012) (quoting Jacobs v. Tempur-Pedic Int’l, Inc., 626 F.3d 1327, 1344-45 (11th Cir.
2010)). A plaintiff may seek leave to amend post-judgment only “if he is first granted
relief under [Federal Civil Procedure] Rule 59(e) or Rule 60(b)(6).” Lee, 461 F. App’x at
860 (alteration in original) (quoting Jacobs, 626 F.3d at 1344-45). “[T]o hold otherwise
would enable the liberal amendment policy of Rule 15(a) to be employed in a way that is
contrary to the philosophy favoring finality of judgments and the expeditious termination
of litigation.” Williams v. Citigroup, Inc., 659 F.3d 208, 213 (1st Cir. 2011) (quoting
Nat’l Petrochem. Co. of Iran v. M/T Stolt Sheaf, 930 F.2d 240, 245 (2d Cir. 1991)).
“The only grounds for granting [a Rule 59] motion are newly discovered evidence
or manifest errors of law or fact.” Arthur v. King, 500 F.3d 1335, 1343 (11th Cir. 2007)
(alteration in original). A Rule 59 motion cannot be used “to relitigate old matters, raise
argument or present evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of judgment.”
Michael Linet, Inc. v. Village of Wellington, Fla., 408 F.3d 757, 763 (11th Cir. 2005).
In his initial complaint, Plaintiff argued that his constitutional rights were violated
because Georgia Department of Corrections officials allegedly miscalculated his sentence.
In his post-judgment motion, Plaintiff raises the same argument and claims but states that
he is now bringing his claim under a theory of “deliberate indifference.” Plaintiff’s attempt
to rephrase his claim or present it in a better light is not a permissible basis for Rule 591
1 Although Plaintiff’s motion was not docketed until nearly two months after judgment was entered, his motion was
signed on July 8, 2017. ECF No. 8 at 5. Construing the motion in Plaintiff’s favor, the Court will consider it filed on
July 8, 2017. Plaintiff, therefore, filed the motion within twenty-eight days of the Court’s June 23 judgment.
relief. Neither is asking this court to re-examine an unfavorable ruling. Jacobs, 626 F.3d
To the extent that Plaintiff argues he can amend his complaint to state a claim, or
should have been allowed to do so prior to sua sponte dismissal, Plaintiff was not entitled
to be invited to do so as this action was dismissed without prejudice. See Quinlan v.
Personal Transport Services Co., 329 F. App’x 246 (11th Cir. 2009) (holding that district
court was not required to sua sponte provide plaintiff with opportunity to amend prior to
dismissal suit without prejudice). Moreover, this is not a case in which a more carefully
drafted complaint would have stated a claim. Plaintiff cannot bring a claim, regardless of
the name, that seeks to contest the duration of his confinement in a Section 1983 action.
“Simply put, if the relief sought by the inmate would either invalidate his conviction or
sentence or change the nature or duration of his sentence, the inmate's claim must be raised
in a § 2254 habeas petition, not a § 1983 civil rights action.” Hutcherson v. Riley, 468
F.3d 750, 754 (11th Cir.2006). Thus, couching Plaintiff’s claim in terms of deliberate
indifference does not render this action cognizable under Section 1983, as success on any
such claim would necessarily imply that Plaintiff’s sentence was miscalculated, which
would in turn necessarily imply that he is entitled to speedier release. See Ellis v. Bureau of
Prisons, 239 F. App’x 466 (11th Cir. 2007) (affirming 1915(a) dismissal of claim brought
under Bivens that BOP should have ran sentences concurrent instead of consecutive and
Plaintiff was illegally confined). The correct cause of action is a petition for writ of
Because Plaintiff has failed to satisfy the standard under Rule 59 and is not entitled
to amend his complaint post-judgment, Plaintiff’s motion brought under Rule 59 (ECF No.
8) is DENIED. The Clerk is DIRECTED to forward Plaintiff a copy of the Court’s
standard Section 2241 habeas form.
SO ORDERED, this 26th day of September, 2017.
S/ C. Ashley Royal
C. ASHLEY ROYAL, SENIOR JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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