Matthews v. Roberts
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER denying 86 Motion for Reconsideration. Signed by Senior Judge Thomas B. Russell on 3/17/2014. cc:counsel (KJA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:13-CV-00503
JESSICA BROWN ROBERTS
This matter is before the Court upon Plaintiff Elaine Matthews’s Motion for
Reconsideration, (Docket No. 86). Defendant Jessica Brown Roberts has responded, (Docket
No. 93). For the reasons that follow, Matthews’s Motion for Reconsideration will be DENIED.
The underlying facts and allegations of this case are well known to the parties and are
detailed in the Court’s previous opinions; the Court need not recount them here. At issue here is
the Court’s February 14, 2014 order granting summary judgment to Roberts. (Docket No. 84.)
Matthews has since filed several motions and notices in the instant case. (Docket Nos. 88 and
91). She has also filed a Notice of Appeal. (Docket No. 90.)
“District courts have inherent power to reconsider interlocutory orders and reopen any
part of a case before entry of a final judgment.” In re Saffady, 524 F.3d 799, 803 (6th Cir. 2008).
“A district court may modify, or even rescind, such interlocutory orders.” Mallory v. Eyrich, 922
F.2d 1273, 1282 (6th Cir. 1991). Although the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not provide
expressly for “motions for reconsideration,” courts generally construe such motions as motions
to alter or amend a judgment under Rule 59(e). E.g., Moody v. Pepsi-Cola Metro. Bottling Co.,
915 F. 2d 201, 206 (6th Cir. 1990); Taylor v. Colo. State Univ., 2013 WL 1563233, at *8-9 (W.D.
Ky. Apr. 12, 2013).
The Sixth Circuit has consistently held that a Rule 59 motion should not be used either to
reargue a case on the merits or to reargue issues already presented, see Whitehead v. Bowen, 301
F. App’x 484, 489 (6th Cir. 2008) (citing Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians v. Engler,
146 F.3d 367, 374 (6th Cir. 1998)), or otherwise to “merely restyle or rehash the initial issues,”
White v. Hitachi, Ltd., 2008 WL 782565, at *1 (E.D. Tenn. Mar. 20, 2008) (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted). “It is not the function of a motion to reconsider arguments already
considered and rejected by the court.” Id. (citation omitted). As another district court in this
circuit noted, “Where a party views the law in a light contrary to that of this Court, its proper
recourse is not by way of a motion for reconsideration but appeal to the Sixth Circuit.” Hitachi
Med. Sys. Am., Inc. v. Branch, 2010 WL 2836788, at *1 (N.D. Ohio July 20, 2010) (internal
quotation marks and citations omitted).
Accordingly, the Sixth Circuit instructs that a motion for reconsideration should only be
granted on four grounds: “Under Rule 59, a court may alter or amend a judgment based on: ‘(1)
a clear error of law; (2) newly discovered evidence; (3) an intervening change in controlling law;
or (4) a need to prevent manifest injustice.’” Leisure Caviar, LLC v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serv.,
616 F.3d 612, 615 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting Intera Corp. v. Henderson, 428 F.3d 605, 620 (6th
Cir. 2005)). If the purpose of a movant’s Rule 59(e) motion is merely to obtain a total reversal of
the Court’s judgment by offering essentially the same arguments presented in the original
motion, the proper vehicle for relief is an appeal. Helton v. ACS Group, 964 F. Supp. 1175, 1182
(W.D. Ky. 1997). Furthermore, because there is an interest in the finality of a decision, this
Court and other district courts have held that “[s]uch motions are extraordinary and sparingly
granted.” Marshall v. Johnson, 2007 WL 1175046, at *2 (W.D. Ky. Apr. 19, 2007) (citing
Plaskon Elec. Materials, Inc. v. Allied-Signal, Inc., 904 F. Supp. 644, 669 (N.D. Ohio 1995));
accord Rottmund v. Cont’l Assurance Co., 813 F. Supp. 1104, 1107 (E.D. Pa. 1992).
Upon reviewing Matthews’s argument for reconsideration of its Order, the Court notes
that Matthews has made no allegation regarding a change in the law governing this case.
Additionally, she has not come forward with new evidence that would impact the outcome of the
Court’s determination that Roberts is entitled to summary judgment.
Finally, the Order
dismissing the above-captioned case contained no clear errors of law.
The arguments articulated in Matthews’s motion to reconsider are the same arguments
that she advanced unsuccessfully in her complaint and subsequent filings. Because Matthews
failed to present any permissible ground for reconsideration under Rule 59(e), her motion for
reconsideration will be denied.
Matthews has also submitted a “Motion for an American Judicial Public Servant to
Clarify for an American Senior Citizen Member of the American Public in the Interest of
Constitutional Law & Order,” (Docket No. 91), and a “Plaintiff’s Notice,” (Docket No. 88.)
Neither presents any new relevant evidence nor a change in the governing law. Accordingly, in
light of the Court’s ruling upon the Motion to Reconsider, these remaining motions will be
denied as moot.
Conclusion and Order
The Court finds no justifiable ground for altering, amending, or vacating its prior
judgment. Therefore, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Matthews’s Motion to Reconsider,
(Docket No. 86), is DENIED. Furthermore, Matthews’s additional motions (Docket Nos. 88 and
91) are DENIED as MOOT.
March 17, 2014
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