Reo v. Lindstedt
Opinion and Order. The Court determines that Defendant Martin Lindstedt has not shown that reconsideration of, or relief from the Court's March 29, 2021 Opinion and Order (ECF DKT # 92 ) granting summary judgment against him on Plaintiff 's Defamation and False Light claims is warranted. Therefore, the Magistrate Judge's Report & Recommendation (ECF DKT # 104 ) is ADOPTED and the Motion (ECF DKT # 100 ) of Defendant Martin Lindstedt to Alter or Amend under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) or for Relief from Judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b) is DENIED. Judge Christopher A. Boyko on 11/18/21. (S,HR)
Case: 1:19-cv-02589-CAB Doc #: 119 Filed: 11/18/21 1 of 7. PageID #: 1212
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
BRYAN ANTHONY REO,
CASE NO. 1:19CV2589
CHRISTOPHER A. BOYKO
OPINION AND ORDER
CHRISTOPHER A. BOYKO, SR. J.:
This matter comes before the Court upon the Magistrate Judge’s Report &
Recommendation (ECF DKT #104) recommending that the Court deny the Motion (ECF
DKT #100) of Defendant Martin Lindstedt to Alter or Amend under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) or for
Relief from Judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b), directed at the Court’s Opinion and Order
(ECF DKT #92) granting Plaintiff Bryan Anthony Reo’s Motion for Summary Judgment. For
the following reasons, the Court adopts the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation and denies
Defendant’s Motion (ECF DKT #100).
I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND
Plaintiff Bryan Anthony Reo is an Ohio resident who is authorized to practice law in
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Ohio. Defendant is a pastor at the Church of Jesus Christ Christian/Aryan Nations of
Missouri located in Granby, Missouri. Defendant is representing himself in this action.
Plaintiff filed a previous lawsuit for Defamation per se and False Light Invasion of Privacy
against Defendant and his church in the Lake County Court of Common Pleas. Judge
Patrick Condon presided over the Lake County trial. In June 2019, a jury awarded Plaintiff
$105,000 in damages against Defendant and his church. Defendant has appealed that
In August 2019, statements accusing Plaintiff of bribing a Missouri state judge with
sexual favors appeared on a white nationalist website. In September, more statements were
published accusing Plaintiff of an incestuous relationship with his father and of having
an extramarital affair. In response to the publication of these statements, Plaintiff filed
two more actions against Defendant in state court, alleging Common Law Defamation, False
Light and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress and seeking compensatory and punitive
damages. Plaintiff’s wife and father filed two separate state court actions asserting the same
claims. Defendant subsequently removed all four cases pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441 on
federal question and diversity grounds. Defendant contends that these four cases represent a
coordinated effort by Plaintiff, his family and his lawyers to “steal” Defendant’s 1800-acre
property in South Dakota.
During the course of discovery, Plaintiff served Defendant with Requests for
Admissions, to which Defendant never responded. Two of the Requests specifically asked
Defendant to admit that Plaintiff suffered $250,000 in compensatory damages and should be
awarded $500.000 in punitive damages.
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Plaintiff moved for summary judgment on the basis that Defendant’s silence admitted
the factual allegations and legal conclusions in his Complaint. (ECF DKT #49). Plaintiff also
separately moved for voluntary dismissal of Count III - Intentional Infliction of Emotional
Distress and Count IV - Injunctive Relief of his Complaint. (ECF DKT #87). The Court
dismissed Counts III and IV on March 26, 2021.
On March 29, 2021, the Court adopted the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation that
because Defendant never responded to Plaintiff’s Requests for Admission, nor moved to
withdraw them as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(b), the Requests are deemed admitted. The
admissions demonstrate that there are no genuine issues of fact and that Plaintiff is entitled to
judgment in his favor on the Defamation (Count I) and False Light (Count II) claims. In
addition, over Defendant’s objections, the Court ordered that Plaintiff is entitled to judgment
on these claims in the amount of $250,000 compensatory damages and $500,000 punitive
damages based upon the same admissions. (ECF DKT #92).
In Defendant’s Motion for Relief under Rules 59(e) and 60(b), he repeats his previous
assertions that he “withdrew” the “implied admissions.” Defendant asserts violations of his
constitutional rights to freedom of speech, to jury trial and to be free from excessive fines.
Defendant argues for dismissal of all four Reo cases, for an award of damages in his favor and
for disbarment of Plaintiff and his associated attorneys.
In his Objection (ECF DKT #107), Defendant refers to his Answer and Counterclaims
and repeats that he made no admissions. He contends that Plaintiff suffered no damages and
decries that he was denied his right to a jury trial. (ECF DKT #107 at 3). Defendant
disparages the federal and state courts. He calls the courts “corrupt” and “tyrannical;” and
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points to the “precedent of what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah.” (ECF DKT #107 at 2).
Defendant insists that the Court has no jurisdiction over him. (ECF DKT #107 at 4).
Defendant threatens the “chernobylization” of the Perry Nuclear Power Plant and insists that
Northeastern Ohio must be exterminated and sterilized. (ECF DKT #107 at 6).
II. LAW AND ANALYSIS
Standard of Review
Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b) and 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(c), the District Court shall
review de novo any finding or recommendation of the Magistrate’s Report and
Recommendation to which specific objection is made. A party who fails to file an objection
waives the right to appeal. U.S. v. Walters, 638 F.2d 947, 950 (6th Cir. 1981). In Thomas v.
Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985), the Supreme Court held: “[i]t does not appear that Congress
intended to require district court review of a magistrate judge’s factual or legal conclusions,
under a de novo or any other standard, when neither party objects to those findings.”
Local Rule 72.3(b) recites in pertinent part:
The District Judge to whom the case was assigned shall make a de novo
determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or
recommendations to which objection is made and may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the
Put another way, 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rule 72.3 authorize the District Court
Judge to address objections by conducting a de novo review of relevant evidence in the record
before the Magistrate Judge.
The rules governing objections to magistrate judges’ reports require parties to
specifically object to the problematic aspects of the report and recommendation. See 28
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U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(2) & (b)(3); LR 72.3(b). A party’s failure to do so
could result in the loss of appellate rights. Andres v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 733 F. App’x 241,
244 (6th Cir. Apr. 30, 2018). Overly-generalized objections do not satisfy the
specific-objection requirement. Spencer v. Bouchard, 449 F.3d 721, 725 (6th Cir. 2006)
abrogated on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007). Neither does the
regurgitation of the same merit brief before the magistrate judge constitute a sufficient
objection. Andres, 733 F. App’x at 243.
A party may obtain relief from judgment for various reasons including mistake, newly
discovered evidence, fraud, a void judgment, or a satisfaction or release from a prior
judgment. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1–5). Additionally, a party is entitled to relief upon a
showing of exceptional or extraordinary circumstances. See Fed.R.Civ.P.60(b)(6). A Rule
60(b) motion is properly denied where the movant attempts to use such a motion to relitigate
the merits of a claim and the allegations are unsubstantiated. Barnes v. Clinton, 57 F. App’x
240, 241 (6th Cir. 2003).
Motion to Reconsider
“District courts possess the authority and discretion to reconsider and modify
interlocutory judgments any time before final judgment.” Rodriguez v. Tenn. Laborers
Health & Welfare Fund, 89 F. App’x 949, 952 (6th Cir. 2004). See also Moses H. Cone
Mem’l Hosp. v. Mercury Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 12 (1983) (“every order short of a final
decree is subject to reopening at the discretion of the district judge”). “District courts have
authority both under common law and Rule 54(b) to reconsider interlocutory orders and to
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reopen any part of a case before entry of final judgment.” Rodriguez, 89 F. App’x at 959.
However, reconsideration is disfavored:
Although motions to reconsider are not ill-founded step-children of
the federal court’s procedural arsenal, they are extraordinary in
nature and, because they run contrary to notions of finality and
repose, should be discouraged. To be sure, a court can always take
a second look at a prior decision; but it need not and should not do
so in the vast majority of instances, especially where such motions
merely restyle or re-hash the initial issues.
McConocha v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Mutual of Ohio, 930 F.Supp. 1182, 1184
(N.D.Ohio 1996) (internal citations and quotations omitted).
Motions for reconsideration “serve a limited purpose and should be granted for one of
three reasons: (1) because of an intervening change in controlling law; (2) because evidence
not previously available has become available; or (3) because it is necessary to correct a clear
error of law or preventing manifest injustice.” Boler Co. v. Watson & Chalin Mfg. Inc., 372
F.Supp.2d 1013, 1025 (N.D.Ohio 2004), quoting General Truck Drivers, Local No. 957 v.
Dayton Newspapers, Inc., 190 F.3d 434, 445 (6th Cir. 1999) (Clay, J. dissenting), cert.
denied, 528 U.S. 1137 (2000).
Neither in his Motion for Relief nor in his Objection has Defendant discussed a
legitimate reason why Fed.R.Civ.P. 36 does not apply to him or shown that he properly
withdrew the admissions. Defendant has not demonstrated a change in applicable law, newlyavailable evidence, clear legal error or the need to prevent manifest injustice. Rather, he
repeats the accusations set out in his Answer and his severe critiques of the American judicial
system. Regardless of whether Defendant couches his arguments as a prayer for
reconsideration or for relief from judgment, he cannot legitimately use either vehicle to
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relitigate his case. O’Connel v. Miller, 8 F. App’x 434, 435 (6th Cir. 2001) (“A Rule 60(b)
motion must be denied if . . . it is merely an attempt to relitigate the case.”); Sault Ste. Marie
Tribe of Chippewa Indians v. Engler, 146 F.3d 367, 374 (6th Cir. 1998) (stating that a Rule
59(e) motion “is not an opportunity to re-argue a case”); McConocha, supra at 1184.
The Court carefully considered and rejected Defendant’s contentions protesting the
judgment rendered in Plaintiff’s favor. The Court will not tolerate the scandalous, scurrilous,
vitriol-laced and threatening language used by Defendant in his Motion (ECF DKT #100) and
in his Objection (ECF DKT #107). The Court refuses to treat Defendant’s filing as a valid
objection warranting the Court’s consideration.
For these reasons, the Court determines that Defendant Martin Lindstedt has not
shown that reconsideration of, or relief from the Court’s March 29, 2021 Opinion and Order
(ECF DKT #92) granting summary judgment against him on Plaintiff’s Defamation and False
Light claims is warranted. Therefore, the Magistrate Judge’s Report & Recommendation
(ECF DKT #104) is ADOPTED and the Motion (ECF DKT #100) of Defendant Martin
Lindstedt to Alter or Amend under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) or for Relief from Judgment under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b) is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATE: November 18, 2021 ___________
s/Christopher A. Boyko
CHRISTOPHER A. BOYKO
Senior United States District Judge
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