United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division
RANDAL HALL Jr. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
before the Court are Plaintiffs Motion to be Relieved of the
Court's Order, which he has made pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 60, (doc. 113), and Plaintiffs Motion for
Evidentiary Hearing, (doc. 122). Defendants filed Responses.
(Docs. 117, 130.) Plaintiff contends the new evidence he has
attached to his Rule 60 Motion demonstrates fraud or
misrepresentation, and he cites to Rule 60(b)(3). For the
reasons which follow, the Court DENIES
Rule 60(b)(3) Motion
"may relieve a party . . . from a final judgment . . .
for . . . fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or
extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing
party [.]" Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(3). The movant has the
burden of proving that assertion by clear and convincing
evidence. Attea v. Univ. of Miami. 678 Fed.Appx.
971, 974 (11th Cir. 2017) (citing Rozier v. Ford Motor
Co.. 573 F.2d 1332, 1339 (5th Cir. 1978)).
"Evidence of an opposing party's carelessness is
insufficient to justify relief." Id. (citing
First Nat'1 Life Ins. Co. v. Cal. Pac. Life Ins.
Co.. 876 F.2d 877, 883 (11th Cir. 1989)). "The
moving party must also demonstrate the alleged conduct
prevented [him] from fully presenting [his] case."
Guthrie v. Wells Fargo Home Mortg. NA. 706 Fed.Appx.
975, 977 (11th Cir. 2017) (citation omitted).
Court's Order dated May 26, 2017, (doc. 62), is not a
final judgment. Rather, the Court granted Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss, disposing of some-but not all-of
Plaintiffs claims. However, the Court made clear in its Order
that Plaintiffs: (1) denial of access to courts claims
against Defendants Fountain, Toole, and Smith; (2) claims
that Defendants Upton and Toole retaliated against Plaintiff
by placing him on long-term disciplinary segregation; and (3)
First Amendment free exercise of religion claims against all
Defendants remain pending. (IcL at p. 2.) Consequently,
Plaintiff cannot use Rule 60(b)(3) as a means by which to
attack this Court's May 26, 2017, Order.
Plaintiff could use Rule 60(b)(3) to attack this Order, he
still is not entitled to his requested relief. A review of
the documents Plaintiff submitted in support of his Motion
fails to reveal by clear and convincing evidence that
Defendants committed fraud, misrepresentation, or misconduct
during the pendency of their motion to dismiss. Plaintiff
filed his Complaint on January 19, 2016, (doc. 1), and
detailed events occurring on or before September 16, 2014,
(see doc. 4, pp. 2-5.) On September 26, 2016,
Defendants moved to dismiss certain of Plaintiff s claims
based on their assertion Plaintiff failed to exhaust his
administrative remedies as to these claims and because
Plaintiffs transfer from Georgia State Prison mooted certain
other claims. (Doc. 25.)
addressing Defendants' motion, the Magistrate Judge
detailed and assessed five (5) of Plaintiffs grievances to
determine whether Plaintiff had exhausted his administrative
remedies, and the latest of those grievances was dated July
21, 2014. (Doc. 60, pp. 12-25.) The Magistrate Judge
specifically discussed Plaintiffs Grievance Number 173334,
which is dated April 29, 2014, wherein Plaintiff complained
about being denied vegan meals and access to the grievance
procedures, as well as a purported unnumbered grievance filed
on October 2, 2014, detailing the lack of physical therapy.
(Id. at pp. 13, 17-20, 22, 24-25; Doc. 113, pp.
13-14, 23.) The Magistrate Judge thoroughly reviewed
Plaintiffs grievance history filings, and he made detailed
findings as to Plaintiffs credibility as to his contentions
regarding the filing and/or alleged destruction of
grievances. Plaintiff appears to make many of the same
arguments in the instant Motion as he already has on previous
occasions. The Magistrate Judge rejected Plaintiffs
assertions, and the Court concurred with the Magistrate
Judge's findings when conducting its independent and
de novo review of Defendants' motion to dismiss.
What is more, Plaintiffs instant filing-as the Court has
determined on previous occasions-contains unverifiable and
non-enumerated grievance receipts. Even if the Court were to
accept the filings as being verifiable, these receipts
provide no support for Plaintiffs seeming contention that he
exhausted his administrative remedies as to all of his
claims. Rather, the most these grievance receipts show is
that Plaintiff may have filed these grievances at the
institutional level. However, these receipts offer no support
for any contention Plaintiff properly completed the
administrative remedies process as to any of these
grievances, as the Magistrate Judge detailed.
Plaintiff fails to meet his burden under Rule 60(b).
Accordingly, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs
Motion for Reconsideration
present Motion actually appears to be one moving for
reconsideration of the Court's May 26, 2017, Order. A
motion for reconsideration, or a Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 59(e) motion, is "an extraordinary remedy, to
be employed sparingly." Smith ex rel. Smith v.
Augusta-Richmond County. No. CV 110-126, 2012 WL
1355575, at *1 (S.D. Ga. Apr. 18, 2012) (internal citation
omitted). "A movant must set forth facts or law of a
strongly convincing nature to induce the court to reverse its
prior decision." Id. (internal citation
omitted). "The only grounds for granting a Rule 59
motion are newly-discovered evidence or manifest errors of
law or fact." Jacobs v. Tempur-Pedic Intern..
Inc.. 626 F.3d 1327, 1344 (11th Cir. 2010) (quoting
In re Kellogg. 197 F.3d 1116, 1119 (11th Cir. 1999)
(internal punctuation omitted)). "A Rule 59(e) motion
cannot be used to relitigate old matters, raise argument or
present evidence that could have been raised prior to the
entry of judgment." Id. (quoting Michael
Linet. Inc. v. Village of Wellington. 408 F.3d 757, 763
(11th Cir. 2005) (alterations omitted)).
Court discerns no reason to grant Plaintiffs Motion. He fails
to present any newly-discovered, material evidence in support
of his Motion, and he does not demonstrate that the
Court's previously-entered Order represents a manifest
error of law or fact. In fact, Plaintiff offers no reason for
the Court to reconsider its previously-entered Order.
Accordingly, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs
Motion for Reconsideration. The Court's Order dated May
26, 2017, remains the Order of the Court. As the Magistrate
Judge has already advised, the parties shall have
twenty-one (21) days from
the date of this Order to file any desired dispositive
Motion for Evidentiary Hearing
Motion for an Evidentiary Hearing, (doc. 122), Plaintiff
requests that the Court hold an evidentiary hearing in
support of his Motion for Jury Instructions, (doc. 115), and
Motion for Relief from Court Order and to oppose
Defendants' not-yet-filed motion for summary judgment.
Through the parties' briefing on Plaintiffs Motions, the
Court already has sufficient information to assess these
Motions. Accordingly, the Court exercises its discretion to
decide these Motions without a hearing. See Local R. 7.2
("Motions shall generally be determined upon the motion
and supporting documents filed as prescribed herein.").
The Court DENIES Plaintiffs Motion for an
Evidentiary Hearing regarding his Motion for Jury
Instructions and Motion to be Relieved of Court Order. To the
extent Plaintiff seeks an evidentiary hearing regarding a
motion for summary judgment, the Court DISMISSES as
premature this portion of Plaintiffs Motion, as no
motion for summary judgment is currently pending before the