Williams et al v. State of North Carolina et al
ORDER DENYING 35 Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration and a New Trial, DENYING 37 Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment, and DENYING 39 Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Signed by Chief U.S. Judge James C. Dever, III, on 7/18/2014. Copy mailed to pro se plaintiffs via US Mail. (Fisher, M.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
DANIEL D. WILLIAMS, and
PATTIE D. WILLIAMS,
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, et al.,
On October 5, 2012, Daniel D. Williams and Pattie D. Williams (collectively "plaintiffs"),
proceeding pro se, filed a "request to appeal [in] forma pauperis" together with copies of documents
concerning a foreclosure proceeding in the Nash County Superior Court [D.E. 1, 1-1]. On
December 26, 2012, plaintiffs filed amended motions to proceed in forma pauperis [D.E. 3-4]. On
the same date, plaintiffs filed a form complaint asserting "federal question of discrimination due to
personal bias" based on purported deficiencies in the state-court proceeding, and naming as
defendants BLB Trading ("BLB"), the State ofNorth Carolina (''the State"), and Nash County [D.E.
5]. On November 14, 2013, the court granted defendants' motions to dismiss and denied several
motions by plaintiffs, including a motion for a preliminary injunction [D.E. 33].
On November 25, 2013, plaintiffs moved for reconsideration [D.E. 35]. On December 2,
2013, plaintiffs moved for summary judgment [D.E. 37]. On December 9, 2013, plaintiffs moved
for a preliminary injunction [D.E. 40]. On December 19, 2013, BLB responded in opposition to the
motions [D .E. 41].
Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a court to alter or amend a
judgment. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e). The decision to alter or amend a judgment pursuant to Rule
59(e) is within the sound discretion of the district court. See,~. Dennis v. Columbia Colleton
Med. Ctr.. Inc., 290 F.3d 639,653 (4th Cir. 2002); Hughes v. Bedsole, 48 F.3d 1376, 1382 (4th Cir.
1995). The Fourth Circuit has recognized three reasons for granting a motion to alter or amend a
judgment under Ru1e 59(e): "(1) to accommodate an intervening change in controlling law; (2) to
account for new evidence not available [previously]; or (3) to correct a clear error oflaw or prevent
manifest injustice." Zinkand v. Brown, 478 F.3d 634,637 (4th Cir. 2007) (quotation omitted); see
Bogart v. Chapell, 396 F.3d 548, 555 (4th Cir. 2005); Pac. Ins. Co. v. Am. Nat'l Fire Ins. Co., 148
F.3d 396, 403 (4th Cir. 1998). A party's dissatisfaction alone does not give a court reason to
reconsider its decision. See Hutchinson v. Staton, 994 F.2d 1076, 1082 (4th Cir. 1993) ("mere
disagreement does not support a Ru1e 59(e) motion").
Ru1e 60(b) authorizes the court to "relieve a party ... from a final judgment, order, or
proceeding for . . . mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; . . . [or] fraud . . . ,
misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party .... " Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(1), (3). Under
Ru1e 60(b), "a moving party must show that his motion is timely, that he has a meritorious [claim
or defense], and that the opposing party will not be unfairly prejudiced by having the judgment set
aside." Nat'l Credit Union Admin. Bd. v. Gray, 1 F.3d262, 264 (4thCir. 1993)(quotationomitted);
see Augusta Fiberglass Coatings. Inc. v. Fodor Contracting Corp., 843 F.2d 808, 811 (4th Cir. 1988)
(per curiam). If a party meets these threshold conditions, the party must then "satisfy one of the six
enumerated grounds for relief under Ru1e 60(b)." Gray, 1 F.3d at 266.
Plaintiffs cite ''newly discovered evidence that [w ]asn't considered, yet was produced at trial"
and claim "surprise by the court[']s challenge [to subject-matter jurisdiction] on its own initiative."
Mot. Recons. [D.E. 35] 1; see also Mem. Supp. Pis.' Mot. Summ. J. [D.E. 38] 1. Contrary to
plaintiffs' assertion, the court did not address either the merits of plaintiffs' claims or subject-matter
jurisdiction sua sponte, but only after defendants filed motions to dismiss and plaintiffs were
provided an opportunity to respond. Thus, plaintiffs' motion fails. See, ~' Green v. Harriso!!, No.
5:12-CV-480-BO, 2013 WL 2257448, at *1 (E.D.N.C. May 22, 2013) (unpublished); Wachovia
Bank, N.A. v. Ellison, 1:07CV00018, 2007 WL 2111578, at *2 (M.D.N.C. July 19, 2007)
(unpublished); Clayton v. Ameriguest Mortgage Co., 388 F. Supp. 2d 601,609 (M.D.N.C. 2005).
In sum, the court DENIES plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration [D.E. 37]. Plaintiffs'
motions for summary judgment [D.E. 37] and a preliminary injunction [D.E. 39] likewise lack merit
and are DENIED.
SO ORDERED. This l.B_ day of July 2014.
Chief United States District Judge
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