Jones v. Wills et al
ORDER denying 285 Motion for Reconsideration, 287 MOTION to Supplement filed by Reginald Jones, and 288 MOTION to Strike filed by Defendants. Signed by Chief Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel on 8/1/2022. (anp)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
Case No. 20-cv-1128-NJR
ANTHONY WILLS, et al.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ROSENSTENGEL, Chief Judge:
Plaintiff Reginald Jones, an inmate of the Illinois Department of Corrections
(“IDOC”) who is currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”)
brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
He was allowed to proceed on Eighth Amendment failure to protect claims (Counts 1 and
2) and a First Amendment retaliation claim (Count 3).
This matter is now before the Court on Jones’s motion to reconsider (Doc. 285) and
supplement (Doc. 287). Defendants filed a motion to strike or, alternatively, a response to
the motion (Doc. 288). To the extent Defendants seek to strike the motion that request is
DENIED; the Court construes their motion as a response.
Jones previously filed several discovery motions, including a motion seeking to
compel additional admissions against Defendant Waterman (Docs. 273, 279). Specifically,
Jones sought to compel Waterman to admit he was not interviewed as a named official
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for Grievance No. 162-8-19. The Court denied his motions as they were not related to his
claims in this case (Doc. 284). The Court also found Jones’s request to be a new request
for admission, and Jones already met his limit of requests, even after previously granting
Jones additional requests (Id. at p. 2).
Jones’s motion to reconsider (Doc. 285) takes issue with the fact that the Court’s
Order (Doc. 284) did not cite to his reply brief (Doc. 283), which contained a copy of
Grievance No. 162-8-19 for review. He provides the Court with the history of the
grievance and his claims in Case No. 20-cv-158-SMY. Jones insists that Defendant
Waterman’s answer to the request to admission, indicating that he was unaware of being
named an official in Grievance No. 162-8-19, is suspect because the grievance indicates
that the counselor “contacted alleged staff” (Doc. 1, p. 78), which could have only been
Waterman. He insists that the triers of fact should know whether Menard staff
interviewed Waterman. He argues that Waterman’s answer affects not only this case, but
a pending appeal and his case before District Judge Yandle (Doc. 285, p. 5).
In his motion to supplement, Jones insists that Waterman’s previous answer to the
requests to admit proves that the grievance response was fraudulent (Doc. 287). He
argues that the grievance process was, thus, unavailable to him as to claims related to
Jones does not indicate a basis for his motion to reconsider. The Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure do not expressly recognize motions to reconsider. See Hope v. United
States, 43 F.3d 1140, 1142, n. 2 (7th Cir.1994) (stating that “strictly speaking” a motion for
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reconsideration does not exist under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure). But the motion
will usually automatically be considered as having been filed pursuant to Rule 59(e) or
Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures. See, e.g., Mares v. Busby, 34 F.3d 533,
535 (7th Cir. 1994). “[W]hether a motion filed within  days of the entry of judgment
should be analyzed under Rule 59(e) or Rule 60(b) depends on the substance of the
motion, not on the timing or label affixed to it.” Obriecht v. Raemisch, 517 F.3d 489, 493
(7th Cir. 2008) (emphasis in the original) (citing Borrero v. City of Chicago, 456 F.3d 698,
701-02 (7th Cir. 2006) (clarifying that “the former approach-that, no matter what their
substance, all post-judgment motions filed within  days of judgment would be
considered as Rule 59(e) motions – no longer applies”)). Nevertheless, a motion to
reconsider filed more than 28 days after entry of the challenged order “automatically
becomes a Rule 60(b) motion.” Hope v. United States, 43 F.3d 1140, 1143 (7th Cir. 1994)
(citing United States v. Deutsch, 981 F.2d 299, 301 (7th Cir. 1992)); see also Talano v. N.W.
Med. Faculty Found., Inc., 273 F.3d 757, 762 (7th Cir. 2001).
A motion to alter or amend judgment filed pursuant to Rule 59(e) may only be
granted if a movant shows there was a mistake of law or fact, or presents newly
discovered evidence that could not have been discovered previously. Matter of Prince,
85 F.3d 314, 324 (7th Cir. 1996), reh’g and suggestion for reh’g en banc denied, cert. denied 519
U.S. 1040; Deutsch v. Burlington N. R. Co., 983 F.2d 741 (7th Cir. 1993). “‘[M]anifest error’
is not demonstrated by the disappointment of the losing party. It is the wholesale
disregard, misapplication, or failure to recognize controlling precedent.” Oto v.
Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir. 2000) (internal citations omitted). A
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movant may not use a Rule 59(e) motion to present evidence that could have been
submitted before entry of the judgment. Obriecht, 517 F.3d at 494 (citing Sigsworth v. City
of Aurora, Ill., 487 F.3d 506, 512 (7th Cir. 2007)).
Rule 60(b) provides for relief from judgment for “mistake, inadvertence, surprise,
or excusable neglect.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(1). Rule 60(b) relief is an extraordinary remedy
and is granted only in exceptional circumstances. McCormick v. City of Chicago, 230 F.3d
319, 327 (7th Cir. 2000) (citing Dickerson v. Board of Educ., 32 F.3d 1114, 1116 (7th Cir. 1994)).
Rule 60(b) allows a court “to address mistakes attributable to special circumstances and
not merely to erroneous applications of law.” Russell v. Delco Remy Div. of Gen. Motors
Corp., 51 F.3d 746, 749 (7th Cir. 1995). It is also not an appropriate vehicle for rehashing
old arguments or for presenting arguments that should have been raised before the court
made its decision. Russell, 51 F.3d at 749; Rutledge v. United States, 230 F.3d 1041, 1052 (7th
Simply put, Jones’s motion fails under either standard. Jones argues that the Court
did not consider his reply brief (Doc. 283) in ruling on his motion to compel, but his brief
merely rehashed arguments he raised in his previous filings. He indicates that he attached
a copy of Grievance No. 162-8-19 to his brief, but the grievance was already attached to
his Complaint (Doc. 1, pp. 78-80). Thus, his reply brief added nothing new to his
arguments—and did not require the Court to reference the brief in its Order.
Nor does Jones raise any new argument or evidence that he did not already raise
in his original filings or that could have been raised in his original filings. He continues
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to argue that an additional admission from Waterman regarding his knowledge of
Grievance No. 162-8-19, namely was he asked about the grievance by the counselor, is
essential to his claims, but raises no new arguments other than the ones already raised
and rejected by the Court. To the extent he argues that the grievance response is somehow
fraudulent and affects the issue of exhaustion in an appeal and in another case in this
district, the Court does not find that the additional request to admit has any bearing on
the claims in this case. Exhaustion in this case has already been resolved. Jones was found
to have exhausted all of his claims in this case, thus further discovery about the grievance
process is not relevant to Jones’s claims. And Counselor Quick, who Jones maintains lied
in her response to the grievance, is not a defendant in this case. Further, the Court finds
nothing improper about Waterman’s response to the request to admit. Jones’s motion to
compel was just an attempt to obtain further discovery from Waterman, after Jones used
all of his requests to admit. Jones fails to offer any new facts or arguments that changes
the Court’s findings.
For the reasons stated above, Jones’s motion to reconsider (Doc. 285) and his
supplement (Doc. 287) are DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: August 1, 2022
NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL
Chief U.S. District Judge
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