Griffin v. New Orleans City et al
ORDER denying 59 Motion for New Trial; denying 60 Motion to reopen the evidence. Signed by Judge Lance M Africk on 6/5/2015. (blg)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
TRENT STEVEN GRIFFIN, SR.
NEW ORLEANS CITY ET AL.
On March 5, 2015, the Court granted defendants’ Rule 12 motions and dismissed
plaintiff’s claims with prejudice. 1 Presently before the Court are two pro se motions filed by
plaintiff which are styled as a “motion for new trial pursuant [to] Rule 59(e)” 2 and a “motion to
reopen the evidence.” 3 The Court construes plaintiff’s filings as motions to alter or amend the
March 5, 2015 judgment and, for the following reasons, plaintiff’s motions are DENIED.
The Court assumes familiarity with the background of this case. 4 See Griffin v. New
Orleans City, No. 14-559, 2015 WL 1012982, at *1-2 (E.D. La. Mar. 5, 2015) (Africk, J.).
A motion to alter or amend the judgment filed pursuant to Rule 59(e) 5 “serve[s] the
narrow purpose of allowing a party to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly
discovered evidence.” Waltman v. Int’l Paper Co., 875 F.2d 468, 473 (5th Cir. 1989). A district
court has “considerable discretion in deciding whether to reopen a case in response to a motion
for reconsideration under” Rule 59(e). Lavespere v. Niagara Mach. & Tool Works, Inc., 910 F.2d
See R. Doc. Nos. 55, 56.
R. Doc. No. 59, at 1 (emphasis and capitalization altered).
R. Doc. No. 60, at 1 (emphasis and capitalization altered).
See R. Doc. No. 55.
Rule 59(e) states, “A motion to alter or amend a judgment must be filed no later than 28 days
after the entry of the judgment.” Plaintiff’s motions were filed on March 27, 2015, twenty-two
days after the Court entered judgment dismissing his claims. See R. Doc. No. 56.
167, 174 (5th Cir. 1990), abrogated on other grounds by Little v. Liquid Air. Corp., 37 F.3d 1069
(5th Cir. 1994) (en banc).
A moving party must satisfy at least one of the following four criteria to prevail
on a Rule 59(e) motion: (1) the movant demonstrates the motion is necessary to
correct manifest errors of law or fact upon which the judgment is based; (2) the
movant presents new evidence; (3) the motion is necessary in order to prevent
manifest injustice; and, (4) the motion is justified by an intervening change in the
Jupiter v. BellSouth Telecomms., Inc., No. 99-0628, 1999 WL 796218, at *1 (E.D. La Oct. 5,
1999) (Vance, J.). “The Court must strike the proper balance between the need for finality and
the need to render just decisions on the basis of all the facts.” Edward H. Bohlin Co. v. Banning
Co., 6 F.3d 350, 355 (5th Cir. 1993).
Rule 59 does not provide litigants with a second chance to raise issues that previously
could have been addressed. See Templet v. HydroChem, Inc., 367 F.3d 473, 478-79 (5th Cir.
2004) (“[S]uch a motion is not the proper vehicle for rehashing evidence, legal theories, or
arguments that could have been offered or raised before the entry of judgment.”) (citing Simon v.
United States, 891 F.2d 1154, 1159 (5th Cir. 1990)); see also Arceneaux v. State Farm Fire &
Cas. Co., No. 07-7701, 2008 WL 2067044, at *1 (E.D. La. May 14, 2008) (Feldman, J.) (“Rule
59 motions should not be used to relitigate old matters, raise new arguments, or submit evidence
that could have been presented earlier in the proceedings.”).
Plaintiff contends that newly discovered evidence warrants a reconsideration of the
Court’s March 5, 2015 order and judgment.6 Plaintiff has submitted his own affidavit as well as
an affidavit by a passenger in plaintiff’s vehicle during the incident in question.7 Plaintiff’s
arguments do not entitle him to any relief for at least three reasons.
R. Doc. No. 59-1, at 2-6.
R. Doc. Nos. 59-2, 59-3.
First, the Court entered judgment based solely on the pleadings and it did not need to
consider any extraneous evidence in disposing of plaintiff’s claims. 8 Second, plaintiff’s newly
submitted affidavits do nothing more than restate facts contained in the pleadings which the
Court “accept[ed] . . . as true and liberally construe[d] . . . in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff.” 9 Third, the affidavits are dated March 25, 2015, twenty days after the entry of
judgment against plaintiff, but plaintiff does not state why such affidavits could not have been
prepared sooner. Such evidence clearly “could have been presented earlier in the proceedings,”
Arceneaux, 2008 WL 2067044, at *1 and, therefore, cannot serve as the basis for plaintiff’s Rule
Plaintiff also contends that reconsideration is necessary to correct manifest errors of law
and fact. 10 However, plaintiff merely rehashes the arguments that the Court rejected in its March
5, 2015 order and reasons and the Court need not allow relitigation of issues that it has already
fully considered and decided. Accordingly,
IT IS ORDERED that plaintiff’s motions are DENIED.
New Orleans, Louisiana, June 5, 2015.
LANCE M. AFRICK
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
For the same reason, the Court rejects plaintiff’s request that the Court allow him to engage in
discovery. See R. Doc. No. 60-1.
R. Doc. No. 55, at 5.
R. Doc. No. 59-1, at 6-9.
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