Bray v. Bank of America
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to reconsider [Doc. #52] is denied. re: 52 MOTION for Reconsideration re 50 Memorandum & Order, 51 . Signed by District Judge Carol E. Jackson on 12/19/14. (KKS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
PATRICK RYAN BRAY,
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.,
Case No. 4:14-CV-01336-CEJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on plaintiff’s motion to reconsider the order
dismissing this case with prejudice. The issues are fully briefed. For the reasons
that follow, the Court denies the motion.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) allows a district court to correct its own
mistakes in the time period immediately following entry of judgment. Norman v.
Ark. Dep’t of Educ., 79 F.3d 748, 750 (8th Cir. 1996) (citing White v. N.H. Dep’t of
Emp’t Sec., 455 U.S. 445, 450 (1982)). Rule 59(e) motions serve a limited
function: correcting “manifest errors of law or fact” and allowing the movant “to
present newly discovered evidence.” Innovative Home Health Care, Inc. v. P.T.-O.T.
Assocs. Black Hills, 141 F.3d 1284, 1286 (8th Cir. 1998) (internal quotation and
citations omitted). “Such motions cannot be used to introduce new evidence, tender
new legal theories, or raise arguments which could have been offered or raised
prior to entry of judgment.” Id.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) sets forth grounds for relief from a final
judgment, order, or proceeding. Rule 60(b)(2) allows the Court to grant relief
based on “newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not
have been discovered [before].” Additionally, Rule 60(b)(3) allows the Court to
grant relief based on “fraud . . . , misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing
party.” Finally, Rule 60(b)(6) “provides for extraordinary relief which may be
granted only upon an adequate showing of exceptional circumstances.” Robinson v.
Armontrout, 8 F.3d 6, 7 (8th Cir. 1993). Under Rule 60(b)(6), the catch-all
provision, the “exceptional circumstances” must have “denied the movant a full and
fair opportunity to litigate his/her claims and have prevented the movant from
receiving adequate redress.” Hodge v. Burlington N. & Santa Fe Ry. Co., 461 F.
Supp. 2d 1044, 1054 (E.D. Mo. 2006) (citing Harley v. Agostini, 413 F.3d 866, 871
(8th Cir. 2005)).
Bray first seeks reconsideration based on Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(3) asserting
that BoA committed fraud on the Court. “The ‘fraud on the court’ standard is
distinct from the more general fraud standard of Rule 60(b)(3).” Greiner v. City of
Champlin, 152 F.3d 787, 789 (8th Cir. 1998). “‘A finding of fraud on the court is
justified only by the most egregious misconduct directed to the court itself, such as
bribery of a judge or jury or fabrication of evidence by counsel.’” Id. (quoting
Landscape Properties, Inc. v. Vogel, 46 F.3d 1416, 1422 (8th Cir. 1995)). Here,
Bray has not met the standard to succeed on a fraud on the court claim because he
has made no allegation, nor has he provided any evidence, that BoA committed any
of the kinds of egregious acts that the Eighth Circuit has said would qualify for relief
under that standard. Bray’s fraud on the court claim, accordingly, fails.
Moreover, “[t]o prevail under Rule 60(b)(3), the movant must show by clear
and convincing evidence that his opponent engaged in a fraud or misrepresentation
that prevented the movant from fully and fairly presenting his case.” Id. (citing
Atkinson v. Prudential Property Co., 43 F.3d 367, 372–73 (8th Cir. 1994)). Here,
Bray has not put forth clear and convincing evidence that he was prevented from
fully and fairly presenting his case. In fact, the opposite is true. The only
documents that Bray claims he was prohibited from producing are from the FINRA
arbitration against Merrill Lynch (not BoA) and are covered by a confidentiality
agreement between Bray and Merrill Lynch. Nevertheless, Bray attached those
documents as exhibits to an earlier motion. The Court examined them before, and
it has done so again.
The documents are irrelevant to the § 1972 question of
whether Bray was a competitor with BoA. In sum, Bray was provided with a full
and fair opportunity to present his case, and BoA did not engage in any fraud or
misrepresentation by pointing out that certain irrelevant documents should not
have been submitted.
Bray next challenges the Court’s factual findings and legal conclusions. The
Court has carefully considered Bray’s arguments and finds them to be without
Bray has pointed to no “manifest errors of law or fact” in the dismissal
order. Bray’s mere disagreement with the Court’s findings and conclusions and his
re-stating arguments previously made do not establish a basis for reconsideration
under either Rule 59 or Rule 60. Additionally, Bray has not presented any newlydiscovered evidence that would entitle him to relief. His attempts to present new
allegations and tender new legal theories that could have been offered before the
entry of judgment are insufficient to entitle him to relief under Rule 59(e). See
Innovative Home Health Care, 141 F.3d at 1286; see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e).
Finally, there are no exceptional circumstances present that would warrant
relief under Rule 60(b)(6). Such circumstances exist only where a movant presents
conditions that “denied the movant a full and fair opportunity to litigate his/her
claims and have prevented the movant from receiving adequate redress.” Hodge,
461 F. Supp. 2d at 1054 (citation omitted). As discussed above, Bray was given a
full and fair opportunity to present evidence sufficient to establish that he had
constitutional or statutory standing.
For the reasons discussed above,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion to reconsider [Doc. #52] is
CAROL E. JACKSON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 19th day of December, 2014.
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