COLEMAN v. CITY OF INDIANAPOLIS et al
ORDER granting in part and denying in part Plaintiff's 99 Motion for Reconsideration. The Court, being duly advised, DENIES the motion for reconsideration and GRANTS the motion for clarification to the extent and for the reasons set forth in this Entry. (S.O.). Copy to Plaintiff via U.S. Mail. Signed by Judge William T. Lawrence on 4/12/2017. (MAC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
CITY OF INDIANAPOLIS, et al.,
) Cause No. 1:14-cv-386-WTL-DML
ENTRY ON MOTION TO RECONSIDER
This cause is before the Court on the Plaintiff’s motion entitled Motion for
Reconsideration of Order on Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment, in the Alternative,
Motion for Clarification of Order (Dkt. No. 99), and the Defendants’ response thereto. The
Court, being duly advised, DENIES the motion for reconsideration and GRANTS the motion
for clarification to the extent and for the reasons set forth below.
The Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration is brought pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 59(e), and as such, to obtain relief, the Plaintiff “‘must demonstrate a manifest error of
law or fact or present newly discovered evidence.’” Vesely v. Armslist LLC, 762 F.3d 661, 666
(7th Cir. 2014) (quoting Boyd v. Tornier, Inc., 656 F.3d 487, 492 (7th Cir. 2011)). The Seventh
Circuit has “held that a Rule 59(e) motion is not to be used to ‘rehash’ previously rejected
arguments” Id. (citing Oto v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir. 2000)). The
Plaintiff’s motion, with two exceptions, simply rehashes arguments that he made and the Court
considered in ruling on previous motions. The Court declines to consider those arguments again.
The first exception is the Plaintiff’s argument that he
did not realize that a Motion for Summary Judgment takes the place of a Trial,
and the Court weighs the evidence of injury or elements of Malice instead of the
Trier of Fact. If that were the case, I believe that this Summary Judgment Motion
is unconstitutional because it deprives me of my right to a fair trial.
Dkt. No. 99 at 2. The constitutionality of the summary judgment process is long settled. See,
e.g., BMG Music v. Gonzalez, 430 F.3d 888, 892 (7th Cir. 2005) (“When there are no disputes of
material fact, the court may enter summary judgment without transgressing the Constitution.”)
(citing Fidelity & Deposit Co. v. United States, 187 U.S. 315, 23 S.Ct. 120, 47 L.Ed. 194 (1902);
Galloway v. United States, 319 U.S. 372, 63 S.Ct. 1077, 87 L.Ed. 1458 (1943); Gasoline
Products Co. v. Champlin Refining Co., 283 U.S. 494, 51 S.Ct. 513, 75 L.Ed. 1188 (1931)). And
while the Plaintiff is correct that the Court may not “weigh evidence” on summary judgment,
that presupposes that there is evidence put forth by both sides on the issue in question. Here,
summary judgment was granted because the Plaintiff did not submit any evidence, despite
having received the notice required by this district’s Local Rule 56-1(k) that sets out a
nonmovant’s obligation to submit evidence in response to a motion for summary judgment.
The second new argument in the Plaintiff’s motion is as follows:
Or to take a step further; I should be able to move for a new trial if it applied or
file my complaint again in Federal Court to address the same Claims as whole
including the Feldman Claims since the Judgment have been set-aside. . . . Also,
I have not perused [sic] any of the Rooker vs. Feldman claims in State Court, I
believe this Court now have jurisdiction over the matter; Since the Judgment has
Dkt. No. 99 at 2-3. As best the Court can ascertain, Plaintiff is arguing that he is entitled to
pursue the claims that the Court dismissed on Rooker-Feldman grounds because the state court
judgment against him that made Rooker-Feldman applicable to his claims has now been
overturned by the state court. In light of the fact that the judgment has been overturned and the
Plaintiff is once again the owner of the property, it is not clear to the Court what claims the
Plaintiff believes remain. It is clear to the Court, however, that those claims are not properly
pursued in this case; judgment has been entered and this case is over. Any claim that was
dismissed on Rooker-Feldman grounds was dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and
therefore without prejudice, so if the Plaintiff believes there are claims that remain to be pursued,
the dismissal by this Court is no impediment to the Plaintiff pursuing them in another case.
However, judgment has been entered in this case and the Plaintiff is no longer entitled to amend
his complaint to pursue those or any other claims in this case.
That leads the Court to the Plaintiff’s request for clarification regarding whether his
claims were “dismissed” with or without prejudice. With the exception of the claims resolved on
summary judgment, all of the Plaintiff’s claims were either voluntarily dismissed by the Plaintiff
or dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Those dismissals were without prejudice.
However, the claims that were resolved on summary judgment were not “dismissed”; rather,
judgment was entered in favor of the Defendants on those claims. Those claims were the
Plaintiff’s claims seeking “compensation for injuries he sustained due to the alleged fact that he
was not given notice that he no longer owned the Property between March 20, 2014, and May
29, 2014” against Defendant the City of Indianapolis, Marion County, and the Marion County
Treasurer’s Office. Dkt. No. 65 at 8.
SO ORDERED: 4/12/17
Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
Copy by United States Mail to:
3319 Nowland Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46201
Copies to all counsel of record via electronic notification
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