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Pearson v. Taylor

United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Valdosta Division

January 6, 2015

JERMICHAEL PEARSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CEDRIC TAYLOR, et al., Defendant.

ORDER

HUGH LAWSON, Senior District Judge.

This case is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration to Alter Judgment (Doc. 100), Motion for Relief from the Judgment and Order of the District Court (Doc. 101), and Motion for Relief from Judgment and Order (Doc. 111). For the following reasons, the Court denies each of Plaintiff's motions.

I. Motion for Reconsideration to Alter Judgment (Doc. 100)

In Plaintiff's first motion for reconsideration (Doc. 100), he asks the Court to reconsider its May 30, 2014 orders (Docs. 85, 86) adopting United States Magistrate Judge Thomas Q. Langstaff's recommendation to grant Defendants Taylor, Orr, and Philbin's motions to dismiss (Doc. 74) and Defendant Weston's motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 75). Plaintiff contends that the Court misapplied the legal standard for an excessive force claim, which resulted in manifest injustice to Plaintiff.

Local Rule 7.6 provides:

Motions for Reconsideration shall not be filed as a matter of routine practice. Whenever a party or attorney for a party believes it is absolutely necessary to file a motion to reconsider an order or judgment, the motion shall be filed with the Clerk of court within fourteen (14) days after entry of the order or judgment.

M.D. Ga. L.R. 7.6.

Alternatively, under Rule 59(e), a party may file a motion to alter or amend a judgment no later than 28 days after the entry of the judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). The Eleventh Circuit has held that the only grounds for granting such a motion are newly-discovered evidence or manifest errors of law or fact. Stabb v. GMAC Mortg., LLC, 2014 U.S.App. LEXIS 16081, at *6 (11th Cir. Aug. 21, 2014) (citing Arthur v. King, 500 F.3d 1335, 1343 (11th Cir. 2007)). A Rule 59(e) motion is not an appropriate mechanism to "relitigate old matters, raise arguments, or present evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of judgment." Id .; see also Pennamon v. United Bank, 2009 WL 2355816, at *1 (M.D. Ga. July 28, 2009) (quoting Am. Ass'n of People with Disabilities v. Hood, 278 F.Supp.2d 1337, 1340 (M.D. Fla. 2003)) ("[A] motion for reconsideration does not provide an opportunity to simply reargue the issue the Court has once determined.").

The Court denies Plaintiff's motion for two reasons. First, Plaintiff's motion is untimely under the timeframes established by both the local rules and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court entered the orders in question on May 30, 2014. Judgment was entered in favor of all Defendants on that same date. In the case of a pro se inmate, the Eleventh Circuit requires application of the mailbox rule when determining when an inmate filed a pleading. Day v. Hall, 528 F.3d 1315, 1318 (11th Cir. 2008). A prisoner's pleading is considered filed on the date he delivers the document to the prison mailroom. Id . The Court may presume that the prisoner delivered the pleading for filing the same day he signed the document: "Absent evidence to the contrary in the form of prison logs or other records, we will assume that [the prisoner's] motion was delivered to prison authorities the day... signed." Washington v. United States, 243 F.3d 1299, 1301 (11th Cir. 2001). Here, Plaintiff signed his motion for reconsideration on October 25, 2014, almost three months after entry of the judgment, well outside the 14 or 28 day requirements. The Court therefore denies Plaintiff's motion as untimely.

Further, Plaintiff has not produced any new evidence or pointed to any manifest error of law or fact in the Court's order. Rather, Plaintiff merely rehashes old arguments against Defendants' dispositive motions. Finding no other basis on which the court should alter or amend the judgment, Plaintiff's motion is denied.

II. Motion for Relief from the Judgment and Order of the District Court (Doc. 101)

Plaintiff next moves pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) for relief from the Court's May 30, 2014, Judgment (Doc. 87), in which he reiterates in large part the same arguments as those set forth in his motion for reconsideration. Plaintiff also takes issue with the Court granting Defendants' dispositive motions based on his contention that the Magistrate abused his discretion by not granting Plaintiff's motions for default judgment against Defendants Taylor and Weston.

Rule 60(b) provides that the court may relieve a party from a final judgment for ...


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