United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Macon Division
T. TREADWELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Smith, an inmate at Hancock State Prison who claims he is
prohibited from praying in the prison's dayroom, has
twice moved for reconsideration of the Court's Order
denying his motion to intervene. For the following reasons,
those motions (Docs. 87; 97) are DENIED.
previously moved to join this lawsuit pursuant to Rules 19
and 20 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Doc. 83 at
1-2. Smith is not a party to this case, and none of the
parties have moved to join him. Nor is he a required party
under Rule 19. His motion, therefore, should have been styled
as a motion to intervene under Rule 24, and the Court
construed it as such. The Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”) requires that prisoners bringing a
lawsuit pro se each file their own complaint and each pay the
full filing fee. Doc. 86 at 1; see Hubbard v. Haley,
262 F.3d 1194, 1197-98 (11th Cir. 2001). Movant Smith is a
prisoner and is subject to the PLRA, and he has not paid the
filing fee, so the Court denied his motion to intervene. Doc.
86 at 1-2. Smith has filed a motion for reconsideration (Doc.
87) and a “Motion to Rule on Timely Objections”
(Doc. 87), which the Court construes as a motion for
to Local Rule 7.6, “Motions for Reconsideration shall
not be filed as a matter of routine practice.” M.D.
Ga., L.R. 7.6 (emphasis added). Indeed,
“[r]econsideration of a previous order is an
extraordinary remedy to be employed sparingly.”
Bingham v. Nelson, 2010 WL 339806, at *1 (M.D. Ga.
Jan. 21, 2010) (quotation marks and citation omitted). It
“is appropriate only if the movant demonstrates (1)
that there has been an intervening change in the law, (2)
that new evidence has been discovered which was not
previously available to the parties in the exercise of due
diligence, or (3) that the court made a clear error of
law.” Id. “In order to demonstrate clear
error, the party moving for reconsideration must do more than
simply restate [his] prior arguments, and any arguments which
the party inadvertently failed to raise earlier are deemed
waived.” McCoy v. Macon Water Authority, 966
F.Supp. 1209, 1222-23 (M.D. Ga. 1997).
arguments for reconsideration are primarily contained in his
first motion; his second merely urges the Court to consider
the arguments in his first motion. Docs. 87; 97. Smith has
not argued there has been an intervening change in law or new
evidence, but instead argues the Court erred in its prior
Order. He makes two arguments, neither meritorious.
Smith claims the Court's reliance on Hubbard v.
Haley to bar a motion to intervene was misplaced because
Hubbard only explicitly reached Rule 20 motions.
Doc. 87 at 1-2. He takes issue with the Court's citation
to a case from the Southern District of Florida, which is not
binding on the Court. Id. at 2. He argues the
“language of the PLRA does not support the courts order
under Rule 24.” Id. However, the Court reads
the language of the PLRA and the reasoning of
Hubbard to apply to Rule 24 motions, and Smith has
not presented any arguments to the contrary. While of course
the Court is not bound by decisions from other district
courts, it is still persuaded by a point made in Daker v.
Ferrero, 2007 WL 1100463, at *3 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 3,
2007): that Hubbard would be a nullity if it did not
apply to Rule 24 motions, because a would-be coplaintiff
could avoid the filing fee by simply waiting until after the
complaint is filed to join the lawsuit.
second argument is that if he were to intervene, he could
bring claims under the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”) instead
of the Georgia Constitution, “which is what the court
has led on in its order for the dismissal of some of
plaintiff's claims.” Doc. 87 at 2. But Plaintiff
Sterling's complaint was construed to bring both
RLUIPA claims and Georgia constitutional claims. See
Doc. 78 at 3 (“the following claims were allowed to
proceed: . . . (2) the Plaintiff's RLUIPA claim against
the Defendants in their official capacities based on the
alleged restrictions on congregational prayer in the dayroom
and participation in the Eid feast.”). Thus,
Smith's argument that the Plaintiff “erroneously
raised [his claims] under state law, ” rather than
under RLUIPA, is wholly without merit. Doc. 87 at 2.
the Court's Order denying Smith's motion to intervene
noted that Smith's only allegations concern prayer in the
prison's dayroom, but the only remaining claims in this
case relate to alleged restrictions on the Plaintiff's
celebration of the Eid feast. Doc. 86 at 1-2. Smith has not
contested that ground for denying his motion.
has filed an additional motion “to Rule on Timely
Objections, ” which the Court construes as a second
motion for reconsideration. Doc. 97. That motion does not
contain any new arguments, and it fails for the same reasons
as his original motion for reconsideration. Finally, and
perhaps most importantly, this case has been settled and
dismissed. There is nothing in which to intervene.
reasons above, Smith's motions for reconsideration (Docs.
87; 97) are DENIED.