Stooksbury v. Ross et al
ORDER granting in part and denying in part 826 the Motion to Reconsider Memorandum and Order and Motion for Clarification. Signed by Magistrate Judge H Bruce Guyton on January 10, 2013. (mailed to Mr. Ross) (AYB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
ROBERT T. STOOKSBURY, JR.,
MICHAEL L. ROSS, et al.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This case is before the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636, the Rules of this Court,
and the referral order of the District Judge [Doc. 827]. Now before the Court is Defendants
Rebecca Ross Jordan, Patricia Ross, and Rarity Management Company, LLC’s Motion to
Reconsider Memorandum and Order and Motion for Clarification [Doc. 826]. In the instant
motion, Defendants Rebecca Ross Jordan, Patricia Ross, and Rarity Management Company,
LLC, ask the Court to reconsider a previous Order [Doc. 817], in which the Court the Court
denied these Defendants’ Motion to Compel [Doc. 792]. Alternatively, the Defendants request
clarification of the Court’s previous Orders. The Receiver has filed a response in opposition.
“District courts have authority both under common law and Rule 54(b) to reconsider
interlocutory orders and to reopen any part of a case before entry of final judgment.” Rodriguez
v. Tenn. Laborers Health & Welfare Fund, 89 Fed. App’x 949, 959 (6th Cir. 2004) (citing
Mallory v. Eyrich, 922 F.2d 1273, 1282 (6th Cir. 1991)). Traditionally, courts will reconsider
orders when there is: “(1) an intervening change of controlling law; (2) new evidence available;
or (3) a need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice.” Rodriguez, 89 Fed. App’x at
959 (citing Reich v. Hall Holding Co., 990 F. Supp. 955, 965 (N.D. Ohio 1998)). 1
The Defendants have not cited the Court to an intervening change in controlling law, nor
have they directed the Court to new evidence that is now available for reference in the Court’s
decision. The Defendants instead appear to argue that the Court must reconsider its previous
order in order to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice. The Court finds that the
Defendants have not demonstrated clear error, and to the extent the Defendants have argued that
manifest injustice may occur, the Court will clarify its previous Orders below. Accordingly, the
Defendants’ request to reconsider is DENIED.
The Defendants have posed three questions in their effort to obtain clarification of the
Court’s previous Orders [Doc. 586, 817]. The Court finds this request is well-taken, and it is
GRANTED, as follows. The Court answers all three of the questions posed by stating:
The United States Constitution affords to defendants in criminal cases the right to
legal counsel. The Constitution, however, does not afford the same right to
defendants in civil cases. Defendants, of course, retain the right to hire counsel,
and they may contract to hire counsel to represent them in this and other cases.
They may hire counsel of their choosing using liquid assets available to them. To
the extent Defendants will finance retention of counsel through liquidating real
property or investment accounts that may be subject to the Judgment obtained in
this case, they shall file notice of their intent to liquidate five (5) business days
Judgment in this case was entered March 6, 2012. This motion does not predate the judgment
and does not fit the classic definition of an interlocutory motion. Further, the instant motion does not
request that the Court reconsider Judgment or another dispositive order under Rule 59. The motion,
therefore, presents a procedurally odd request for relief. The Court finds that the standard described in
Rodriguez v. Tenn. Laborers Health & Welfare Fund, 89 Fed. App’x 949, 959 (6th Cir. 2004) is an
appropriate standard for addressing the motion.
prior to any liquidation.
The Receiver will not supervise the relationship between counsel and the
Defendants. He is only to take note of any inappropriate liquidation of assets.
Accordingly, the Motion to Reconsider Memorandum and Order and Motion for Clarification
[Doc. 826] is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s H. Bruce Guyton
United States Magistrate Judge
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