Martin, et al. v. Giamanco
ORDER granting 71 Motion to Set Aside; granting 76 Motion to Alter Judgment; granting 77 Motion to Amend/Correct. Signed by Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr on 04/27/2021. (Mays, Samuel)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
CADE MILLER AND COLE MILLER,
NATIONWIDE AFFINITY INSURANCE
COMPANY OF AMERICA,
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT
Before the Court is Plaintiffs Cade Miller and Cole Miller’s
(“Plaintiffs”) December 8, 2020 Motion to Alter and/or Amend the
Court’s Judgment, or in the alternative, Motion for Relief from
Judgment (the “Motion”). (D.E. No. 71.) On December 9, 2020,
(“Affinity”) responded. (D.E. No. 75.) On December 16, 2020,
Plaintiffs filed a motion to file a reply. (D.E. No. 76.) On
December 17, 2020, Plaintiffs filed an amended motion to file a
reply. (D.E. No. 77.) During a telephone status conference on
April 15, 2021, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion to file a
reply, giving Plaintiffs until April 30, 2021. (D.E. No. 79.)
The reply is not due, but the Court does not need the reply to
decide the Motion. For the following reasons, the Motion is
On November 3, 2020, Plaintiffs filed a Notice of Settlement
representing that the claims of Cade Miller, Cole Miller, and
Sarah Holloway had been settled against Donald Giamanco only.
Stipulation of Dismissal of their claims against Giamanco only.
(D.E. No. 68.) Pursuant to that Stipulation, on November 10,
2020, the Court entered an Order of Dismissal with Prejudice of
the claims against “Defendant.” (D.E. No. 69.) Also on November
10, 2020, the Court entered a Judgment, “in accordance with” the
Order of Dismissal with Prejudice (the “Judgment”). (D.E. No.
70.) The Judgment was filed so that the case was closed. (See
On December 8, 2020, Plaintiffs filed the Motion. (D.E. No.
71.) Sarah Holloway never made a claim against Affinity and so
does not join the Motion. (See D.E. No. 1.) Plaintiffs argue
that they never stipulated that their claim against Affinity had
been resolved. (Id. at 183.) They seek an amendment or alteration
to the Judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), or,
in the alternative, relief from the Judgment under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 60(a), so that they can proceed with their
claim against Affinity. (Id. at 183-84.)
Affinity responded on December 9, 2020. (D.E. No. 75.) It
argues the merits of the case and says that Affinity did not
insure Plaintiffs, that Plaintiffs fall into an exclusion from
coverage, and that Affinity’s liability is limited to Giamanco’s
liability. (See id.) Affinity argues that the Motion should be
denied because there is no basis for Plaintiffs to recover
against Affinity. (Id. at 195.)
“It is axiomatic that courts have the power and the duty to
correct judgments which contain clerical errors or judgments
which have issued due to inadvertence or mistake.” American
Trucking Ass’ns v. Frisco Transp. Co., 358 U.S. 133, 145 (1958).
“[W]henever” a “clerical mistake or a mistake arising from an
oversight or omission” is found in a judgment, “[t]he [C]ourt
may correct” it. Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(a).
A clerical mistake was made in this case. That is apparent
from the filings. A stipulation of dismissal as to Giamanco only
was filed, and the Court entered an order giving effect to that
stipulation. (See D.E. Nos. 68, 69.) The Judgment was entered in
accordance with the order giving effect to the stipulation. (See
D.E. No. 70.) The Judgment was as to Giamanco only and should
not have closed the case as to Affinity.
The Court has the power and the duty to correct the clerical
mistake in its Judgment. It would abuse its discretion to fail
to correct the Judgment, which is “at odds with what the court
intended to accomplish.” Richards v. Ohio Civil Serv. Employees
Ass’n, 205 F. App’x 347, 355 (6th Cir. 2006).
The Motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(a) for
relief from the Judgment is GRANTED. An Amended Judgment will be
filed. The case against Affinity will proceed.
SO ORDERED this 27th day of April, 2021.
/s/ Samuel H. Mays, Jr.
SAMUEL H. MAYS, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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