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Lodge v. Brown

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division

December 11, 2019

KHAMANI LODGE, Plaintiff,
v.
APRIA M. BROWN, TOYA STEVENSON, KATRANA LUELLEN, SANDRA ALLEN, SANDRA DESHAIZER, and STERLING WIMBERLY, Defendants.

          ORDER

          J. RANDAL HALL, CHIEF JUDGE

         Several of Plaintiff's motions are before the Court. First, within Plaintiff's October 28, 2019 filing (Oct. 28, 2019 Filing, Doc. 39), he made the following motions: (1) Plaintiff's motion for an extension of time to respond to the Court's September 27, 2019 Order (Oct. 28, 2019 Filing, at 2), and (2) Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of the Court's September 27, 2019 Order (id. at 2-3).[1] Next, Plaintiff filed a motion requesting a three-judge panel. (Doc. 41.) The Court addresses each in turn.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On September 27, 2019, the Court entered an Order addressing the Parties7 numerous motions. (Sept. 27, 2019 Order, Doc. 38.) The Court concluded that Defendants Stevenson, Luellen, and Wimberly were not properly served and dismissed them from the lawsuit. (Id. at 4, 6-7.) The Court further determined that Plaintiff's complaint amounted to a shotgun pleading under Eleventh Circuit precedent and ordered Plaintiff to refile the complaint within fifteen days of the date of the September 27, 2019 Order. (Id. at 4-5, 8.) Finally, the Court ordered Plaintiff to provide good cause for his failure to serve Defendant Brown within fifteen days of the date of the Order. (Id. at 8.) Saturday, October 12, 2019, marked the fifteenth day following the Court's Order. Because the deadline fell on a Saturday, Plaintiff had until Monday, October 14, 2019, to comply with the Order. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(a)(3)(A). Plaintiff filed the present motions on October 28 (Doc. 39) and October 30 (Doc. 41). Plaintiff asserts that he did not receive the Court's Order until October 23, 2019, due to an issue with the mailing.[2] (Oct. 28, 2019 Filing, at 2; Exs. to Oct. 28, 2019 Filing, Doc. 39-1, at 1.)

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Motion for Extension of Time

         It is unclear from which date Plaintiff seeks a ten-day extension to respond to the Court's September 27, 2019 Order. The September 27, 2019 Order did not require Plaintiff to respond; it required Plaintiff to amend his complaint. Plaintiff filed the response (Doc. 40) the same day he filed the motion for an extension of time, and the motions contained in Plaintiff's October 28, 2019 filing and response to the September 27, 2019 Order did not require additional time. Plaintiff, however, did not file an amended complaint, which would have required an extension of time. Therefore, because Plaintiff's October 28, 2019 filing contains no motions requiring additional time, Plaintiff's motion for an extension of time is moot.

         B. Motion for Reconsideration

         Plaintiff fails to specify whether he seeks reconsideration under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59 or 60. When a movant fails to specify the rule under which he seeks reconsideration, the Court looks to the timing of the motion. A motion for reconsideration following a final judgment "falls within the ambit of either Rule 59(e) (motion to alter or amend a judgment) or Rule 60(b) (motion for relief from judgment or order)." Region 8 Forest Serv. Timber Purchasers Council v. Alcock, 993 F.2d 800, 806 n.5 (11th Cir. 1993). Generally, when a motion for reconsideration is filed within twenty-eight days of the judgment, the motion is treated as a motion pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) . See Mahone v. Ray, 326 F.3d 1176, 1177 n.1 (11th Cir. 2003) (analyzing Rule 59 under former ten-day deadline). Plaintiff filed his motion for reconsideration on October 28, 2019, thirty-one days after the Court entered the September 27, 2019 Order. Nevertheless, because the Order was served upon Plaintiff via mail, Plaintiff claims he did not receive the September 27, 2019 Order until October 23, 2019, and Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court interprets Plaintiff's motion as pursuant to Rule 59. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 6 (d).

         With the foregoing decided, "the only grounds for granting a Rule 59 [(e)] motion are newly-discovered evidence or manifest errors of law or fact." Arthur v. King, 500 F.3d 1335, 1343 (11th Cir. 2007) (per curiam). The Court keeps in mind that reconsideration of an earlier order is an extraordinary remedy, which should be used sparingly. Ceja v. United States, No. 115-018, 2017 WL 3401459, at *1 (S.D. Ga. Aug. 8, 2017) (citing Williams v. Cruise Ships Catering & Serv. Int'l, N.V., 320 F.Supp.2d 1347, 1358 (S.D. Fla. 2004)). A reconsideration motion should not be used “to relitigate old matters, raise argument or present evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of judgment." Wilchombe v. TeeVee Toons, Inc., 555 F.3d 949, 957 (11th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted). Whether to grant a motion for reconsideration is within the sound discretion of the district court. Ebanks v. Samsung Telecomm. Am., LLP, 667 Fed.Appx. 74 0, 741 (11th Cir. 2016) (per curiam) (citing Lamonica v. Safe Hurricane Shutters, Inc., 711 F.3d 1299, 1317-18 (11th Cir. 2013)).

         Plaintiff's request for reconsideration focuses on the Court's dismissal of three defendants for improper service of process. Plaintiff primarily makes the same arguments made in opposing the defendants' motions to dismiss - that the defendants were served. Plaintiff does not address the fact that the September 27, 2019 Order concluded that even assuming the defendants in question were served, they were improperly served by Plaintiff himself. Plaintiff submits no new evidence showing the Court's conclusion that he improperly served the three defendants was incorrect or that the Court committed a manifest error of law or fact in reaching its conclusion. Accordingly, Plaintiff fails to show any justification for altering the September 27, 2019 Order.

         C. Motion for a Three-Judge Panel

         Plaintiff's motion for a three-judge panel offers no legal basis for the relief requested. "A district court of three judges shall be convened when otherwise required by Act of Congress, or when an action is filed challenging the constitutionality of the apportionment of congressional districts or the apportionment of any statewide legislative body." 28 U.S.C. § 2284(a). Plaintiff's motion primarily focuses on his disagreements with the doctrine of qualified immunity. Qualified immunity, however, had no bearing on the Court's September 27, 2019 Order and has no bearing on this Order. The Court finds no authority compelling a three-judge panel in this case.

         D. ...


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