Barnes v. Carani et al

Filing 49

ORDER denying Plaintiff's 48 Motion for Reconsideration. This case shall remain closed. Signed by Chief Judge J. Randal Hall on 03/16/2018. (jlh)

Download PDF
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA AUGUSTA DIVISION TREVOR BARNES, Plaintiff, * * * V. CV 116-015 * CAPTAIN BRETT CARANI, et al., * * Defendants. * ORDER Plaintiff is a prisoner presently confined at Telfair State Prison in Helena, Georgia. then-incarcerated Georgia, initiated February 4, violations at 2016 of the the with his Plaintiff, proceeding pro se and Georgia present State case the filing of religious rights Prison against his that in Reidsville, Defendants complaint alleging occurred during incarceration at the Columbia County Detention Center (Doc. 1.) of his C'CCDC"). On April 21, 2017, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment regarding Plaintiff's claims. Clerk on Court gave Plaintiff timely notice (Doc. 30.) of The Defendants' summary judgment motion and the summary judgment rules, of the right to file affidavits or other materials in opposition, and the consequences of default. (Doc. 31.) Plaintiff, however. failed to file a summary judgment. sure that timely response Nevertheless, Plaintiff fully on to Defendants' May 15, underst[ood] the motion 2017, ''[t]o for make ramifications of Defendants' motion for summary should he not file a response," the United States Magistrate Judge ''reiterate[d] to Plaintiff the consequences of a motion for summary judgment" and granted him an extension of time through June 5, 2017 to response to Defendants' motion for summary judgment. On May 17, 2017, the Court received Plaintiff's file his (Doc. 35.) response opposition to Defendants' motion for summary judgment.^ in (Doc. 36.) On February 2, 2018, the Magistrate Judge entered a report and recommendation ("R&R") wherein he recommended that summary judgment be entered in favor of Defendants.^ (Doc. 44.) The Clerk of this Court mailed the R&R - as well as the Magistrate Judge's Order setting deadlines to respond to the R&R - to ^ Because Plaintiff failed to submit his own evidence in support of his opposition and did not contest Defendants' statement of undisputed facts, the Magistrate Judge concluded that "all of Defendants' fact statements not opposed by Plaintiff and supported by the evidentiary record are deemed admitted." (Doc. 44, at 1-2.) ^ This recommendation was based upon the Magistrate Judge's conclusions that: (i) Plaintiff's claims for declaratory relief and injunctive relief were moot because he no longer resided at CCDC; (ii) Defendant Cross, in his official capacity as Chairman of the Columbia County Board of Commissioners, had no liability for - or authority or control over - the actions of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office; (iii) the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000cc, et seg. ("RLUIPA") did not apply to Defendants Carani, Woods, or Whittle because the CCDC did not receive federal funding and, even assuming arguendo that RLUIPA was applicable to these Defendants, they would be entitled to immunity under the Eleventh Amendment in their official capacities; and (iv) even if Plaintiff could otherwise maintain a claim under RLUIPA, he had failed to demonstrate a sincerely-held religious belief to support a claim thereunder. (See Doc. 44, at 8-14.) Plaintiff at Plaintiff failed conducting Telfair an State to file independent Prison. objections and (See to Docs. the de novo review 44, R&R. of 45.) After the entire record, the Court adopted the Magistrate Judge's R&R as its own opinion on February 27, 2018. Order").) (Doc. 46 (the ^'Summary Judgment Accordingly, the Court granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment and closed this case. (Id.) Plaintiff now moves for reconsideration of the Summary Judgment Order. 48.) (Doc. Because Plaintiff has not articulated the specific legal authority under which he hopes to travel and the Court cannot determine any other grounds which apply, the Court's analysis focuses on Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 59(e), 60(b)(3), and 60(b)(6). A party may seek to alter or amend a judgment in a civil case within twenty-eight days after the entry of the judgment. Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e). Because reconsideration of a judgment after its entry is an extraordinary remedy which should be used sparingly, a movant must set forth facts or law of a strongly convincing nature decision. Bostic v. Astrue, 2012 WL 3113942, at *1 (S.D. Ga. July 31, 2012). to A induce Rule the 59(e) court motion to reverse may not be its prior used ''to relitigate old matters, raise argument or present evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of judgment," as "the ^ On May 30, 2017, Plaintiff filed a notice of change of address with the Court regarding his transfer to Telfair State Prison. (Doc. 37.) only are newly- discovered evidence or manifest errors of law or fact." Arthur V. grounds King, for 500 omitted). granting F.3d 1335, a Rule 1343 59(e) (11th motion Cir. 2007) (quotations ''Rule 59(e) is not a vehicle for rehashing arguments already rejected by the court or for refuting the court's prior decision." Bostic, 2012 Int'1 V. Nu-Cape Const., WL 3113942, at *1 (quoting Wendy's Inc., 169 F.R.D. 680, 686 (M.D. Ga. 1996)). Alternatively, on motion and just terms, a Court may grant relief from a final judgment for a variety of reasons. R. Civ. P. 60(b). Rule 60(b)(3) allows for See Fed. relief from a judgment obtained by "fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party." Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(3). "To prevail on a 60(b)(3) motion, the movant must "prove by clear and convincing evidence that an adverse party has obtained the verdict through fraud, misrepresentation, or other misconduct." Inc. V. CTI, (internal Inc., 478 quotations, "Additionally, "the F.3d 1303, citations, moving party and must Cox Nuclear Pharmacy, 1314 (11th Cir. alterations show that 2007) omitted). the conduct prevented the losing party from fully and fairly presenting his case or defense." alterations circumstances Id. (internal omitted). provided quotations, Furthermore, for in Rule 4 citations, where 60(b)(l)-(5) the are and specific lacking, ''Rule 60(b)(6) grant relief justifies provides from a relief." a catch-all, judgment Aldana v. for Del authorizing "any other Monte Fresh Inc., 741 F.3d 1349, 1355 (11th Cir. 2014). a court reason Produce to that N.A., To prevail under Rule 60(b)(6), however, the moving party "must demonstrate that the circumstances relief." are sufficiently extraordinary to warrant Id. (internal quotations and citations omitted); see also Doe V. Drummond Co., 782 F.3d 576, 612 (11th Cir. 2015) ("To warrant Plaintiffs relief show under sufficiently Rule 60(b)(6), extraordinary not only must circumstances, but also that absent such relief, an extreme and unexpected hardship will result." (internal quotations and citations omitted)). Here, Plaintiff asserts that he did not receive a copy of the Magistrate Judge's R&R until March 5, 2018.^ 1.) (Doc. 48, at Plaintiff posits that officials at Telfair State Prison intentionally failed to timely deliver the R&R to him as retaliation for his filing of grievances and lawsuits such as the instant action. (Id. at 1-2.) Even assuming that Plaintiff's aforesaid allegations and assumptions are correct, however. Plaintiff does not announce any substantive objections that he maintains with regard to the R&R or the Summary Judgment Order. Indeed, Plaintiff simply "request[s] that the Court reconsider its judgment and allow these proceedings to proceed ^ Plaintiff states, however, that he timely received a copy of the Summary Judgment Order on March 1, 2018. (Doc. 48, at 1.) in trial in lieu of what has transpired." (Id. at 2.) Moreover, Plaintiff already had notice of - and the opportunity to be heard on - the issues addressed in the R&R and Summary Judgment Order by way of his response Defendants' motion for summary judgment. in opposition to Accordingly, Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate newly-discovered evidence or manifest errors of law or fact that would justify a finding that the Court should alter or amend its Summary Judgment Order pursuant to Rule 59(e). See Arthur, 500 F.3d at 1343. Similarly, by failing to identify any objections that he would have thereof. raised to Plaintiff the has R&R failed had he to timely received demonstrate by a copy clear and convincing evidence that his alleged failure to timely receive a copy of the R&R has prevented him from fully presenting his case or defense in this matter. above. present Plaintiff his case already by had way of notice his and response Defendants' motion for summary judgment. fairly Indeed, as noted an in opportunity to opposition to Accordingly, Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate his entitlement to relief 60(b)(3). See Cox Nuclear Pharmacy, and Inc., under Rule 478 F.3d at 1314. For these same reasons. Plaintiff has also failed to demonstrate circumstances so extraordinary or compelling as to require relief as required to receive relief under Rule 60(b)(6). Driommond Co., 782 F.3d at 612; Aldana, 741 F.3d at 1355. See Based on the foregoing and upon due consideration, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration {doc. 48) is DENIED and this case shall remain CLOSED. ORDER ENTERED at Augusta, Georgia this day of March, 2018. J. V^AMp^ HALL, CfHIEF JUDGE unitSstates district court SOUKffiRN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA

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?