Petroleum Helicopters Inc v. Apical Industries Inc et al
RULING ON MOTION. IT IS ORDERED that the defendants' 262 Motion for Reconsideration re 256 Ruling on Motion in Limine, when construed as a ruling for relief under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b), is DENIED. Signed by Magistrate Judge Patrick J Hanna on 11/9/2017. (crt,Alexander, E)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
CIVIL ACTION NO. 6:13-cv-00015
MAGISTRATE JUDGE HANNA
APICAL INDUSTRIES, INC., ET AL.
BY CONSENT OF THE PARTIES
RULING ON MOTION
Currently pending is the motion for reconsideration (Rec. Doc. 262), which
was filed by the defendants, Apical Industries, Inc. and Offshore Helicopter Support
Services, Inc., with regard to the court’s recent ruling on motions in limine (Rec. Doc.
256). For the following reasons, the motion is DENIED.
There is no motion to reconsider found anywhere in the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Therefore, the Fifth Circuit has instructed that such motions should be
considered either as Rule 59(e) motions to alter or amend a judgment or as Rule 60(b)
motions for relief from a judgment, depending on the length of time between the
issuance of the order and the filing of the motion for reconsideration.
“While the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not provide for a motion for
reconsideration, such a motion may be considered either a Rule 59(e) motion to alter
or amend judgment or a Rule 60(b) motion for relief from judgment or order.
Hamilton Plaintiffs v. Williams Plaintiffs, 147 F.3d 367, 371 n. 10 (5th Cir.1998). If
the motion is filed within ten days of the judgment or order of which the party
complains, it is considered a Rule 59(e) motion; otherwise, it is treated as a Rule
60(b) motion. Id. (internal citations omitted). Because plaintiffs' motion for
reconsideration was filed more than ten days after the district court's order dismissing
the suit, it is treated as a Rule 60(b) motion.” Shepherd v. International Paper Co.,
372 F.3d 326, 328 n. 1 (5th Cir. 2004). See, also, e.g., Lavespere v. Niagara Mach.
& Tool Works, Inc., 910 F.2d 167, 173 (5th Cir. 1990) (holding that a motion to
reconsider a summary judgment ruling should be construed as a Rule 59(e) motion
if it is served within ten days after the rendition of the judgment, but a Rule 60(b)
motion if served after that); Charles L.M. v. Northeast Indep. School Dist., 884 F.2d
869, 869 (5th Cir. 1989) (treating a motion to reconsider a dismissal order served
within ten days of the order's issuance as a Rule 59(e) motion).
In this case, the defendants are seeking reconsideration of this Court’s ruling
on motions in limine, which was issued on October 26, 2017. The motion for
reconsideration was filed more than ten days later, on November 9, 2017. Therefore,
the motion for reconsideration must be treated as a Rule 60(b) motion.
Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure sets out five bases for relief
from a final judgment: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2)
newly discovered evidence; (3) fraud, misrepresentation, or misconduct of an adverse
party; (4) the judgment is void; and (5) satisfaction, discharge, or release of the
judgment. Rule 60(b)(6) also allows a court to relieve a party from a final judgment
for “any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment.” Relief
under Rule 60(b)(6) is granted only when it is not covered by the five enumerated
grounds and when “extraordinary circumstances” are present. Batts v. Tow–Motor
Forklift Co., 66 F.3d 743, 747 (5th Cir. 1995). “The district court enjoys considerable
discretion when determining whether the movant has satisfied any of these Rule 60(b)
standards.” Teal v. Eagle Fleet, Inc., 933 F.2d 341, 347 (5th Cir. 1991).
A motion to reconsider may not be used to relitigate matters, raise arguments,
or submit evidence that could have been presented before the judgment or order was
entered. See 11 Wright & Miller § 2810.1 at 127-28 (addressing Rule 59(e) motions
in particular). “A party seeking reconsideration must show more than disagreement
with the court's decision and recapitulation of the same cases and arguments already
considered by the court.” Texaco Exploration & Prod., Inc. v. Smackco, Ltd., No.
Civ. A. 98-2293, 1999 WL 539548, at *1 (E.D. La. July 26, 1999) (citing Plaskon
Elec. Materials, Inc. v. Allied–Signal, Inc., 904 F.Supp. 644, 669 (N.D. Ohio 1995)).
A motion for relief under Rule 60(b) is “not a substitute for the ordinary method of
redressing judicial error—appeal.” Chick Kam Choo v. Exxon Corp., 699 F.2d 693,
696 (5th Cir. 1983).
In this case, the defendants argued solely that this Court’s reasons for ruling
as it did were incorrect. More particularly, the defendants argued (1) that evidence
regarding “what Apical knew, when they knew it, and what was represented to PHI”
is not relevant to the breach of contract claim against OHS, (2) that evidence
concerning “actions Apical should have taken” or “the alleged insufficiency of the
actions of Apical” are irrelevant to the breach of contract claim against OHS, and (3)
that expert evidence concerning industry standards should not be admitted at trial.
These are not new arguments, and the defendants have not identified any
extraordinary circumstances necessitating that these arguments be relitigated. This
Court stands by the reasoning articulated in its earlier ruling, and declines the
defendants’ invitation to alter that ruling in any way.
IT IS ORDERED that the defendants’ motion for reconsideration (Rec. Doc.
262), when construed as a ruling for relief under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b), is DENIED.
Signed at Lafayette, Louisiana on this 9th day of November 2017.
PATRICK J. HANNA
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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