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MacIntyre v. JP Morgan Chase Bank

United States District Court, D. Colorado

March 19, 2015

HOLLY MacINTYRE, Plaintiff,
v.
JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO ALTER OR AMEND JUDGMENT

WILLIAM J. MARTÍNEZ, Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Holly MacIntyre's ("Plaintiff") Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), Or Alternatively to Certify Issues for Interlocutory Appeal Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291 ("Motion"). (ECF No. 128.) Plaintiff asks the Court to amend the judgment in this matter pursuant to Rule 59(e) on the grounds that the Court misconstrued the facts and law. ( Id. ) For the following reasons, Plaintiff's Motion is granted in part and denied in part.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff brings this action for quiet title and slander of title in relation to Defendant's attempt to foreclose on the property located at 13025 W. 63rd Place, #E, Arvada, Colorado 80004 ("Property"). (ECF No. 35.) Plaintiff states that she has owned the Property since March 31, 1995. ( Id. at 6.) On June 25, 2013, Defendant terminated its non-judicial foreclosure proceeding, and on November 21, 2013, it filed a judicial foreclosure proceeding in Jefferson County District Court (the "Foreclosure Proceeding"). ( See ECF Nos. 82-1 & 110-10.)

On December 2, 2013, with leave of Court, Plaintiff filed her Third Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 108.) On February 21, 2014, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty entered a Recommendation that Defendant's Motion to Dismiss be granted based on Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971), or alternatively, based on Colorado River Water Conservation District v. United States, 424 U.S. 800 (1976). (ECF No. 117.) On July 31, 2014, the Court overruled Plaintiff's objections to the Recommendation, adopted the Recommendation to abstain based on Younger, and declined to address the Magistrate Judge's alternative recommendation under Colorado River. (ECF No. 126.) Final Judgment was entered the same day. (ECF No. 127.)

On August 28, 2014, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion under Rule 59(e). (ECF No. 128.) Defendant filed a Response (ECF No. 129), and Plaintiff a Reply (ECF No. 131).

On December 2, 2014, a trial was held in the Foreclosure Proceeding, and on December 16, 2014, the state court entered a judgment in favor of Defendant, foreclosing on the Property. (ECF Nos. 135 & 135-1.) Plaintiff filed a Notice of Appeal of the judgment in the Colorado Court of Appeals on January 23, 2015. (ECF No. 135 at 2.)

II. DISCUSSION

Rule 59(e) permits a Court to alter or amend a judgment on timely motion by a party. Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). "Rule [59(e)] was adopted to make clear that the district court possesses the power to rectify its own mistakes in the period immediately following the entry of judgment." White v. N.H. Dep't of Emp't Sec., 455 U.S. 445, 450 (1982) (internal quotation marks omitted). Accordingly, the Court may amend the judgment in its discretion where there has been an intervening change in the controlling law, new evidence that was previously unavailable has come to light, or the Court sees a need to correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice. Servants of Paraclete v. Does, 204 F.3d 1005, 1012 (10th Cir. 2000). "A motion for reconsideration is appropriate where the court has misapprehended the facts, a party's position, or the controlling law." Id. However, motions to alter or amend the judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e) "are regarded with disfavor... [and are] not appropriate to revisit issues already addressed or advance arguments that could have been raised in prior briefing.'" Kerber v. Qwest Group Life Ins. Plan, 727 F.Supp.2d 1076, 1076 (D. Colo. 2010) (quoting Servants of the Paraclete, 204 F.3d at 1012).

Plaintiff argues that the Court erred in its Order adopting the Recommendation because the Younger abstention doctrine does not apply to this case under Sprint Communications v. Jacobs 134 S.Ct. 584 (2013), and further argues that the Magistrate Judge's alternative basis for the Recommendation, the Colorado River doctrine, also does not apply to this case. (ECF No. 128.) Plaintiff makes no argument that there has been a change in law or that new evidence has become available since the Court's order was entered; thus, the Court must find clear error or manifest injustice in order to grant Plaintiff's Motion. See Servants of the Paraclete, 204 F.3d at 1012. The Court will consider the Younger and Colorado River doctrines in turn.

A. Younger Abstention

The Court's Order adopting the Recommendation found that three factors requiring mandatory abstention under Younger were satisfied here: (1) the Foreclosure Proceeding is an ongoing state civil proceeding; (2) the state court provides an adequate forum to hear the claims Plaintiff raises; and (3) the Foreclosure Proceeding involves important state interests. (ECF No. 126 at 5-7.) Plaintiff failed to cite Sprint in both her response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and her Objection to the Recommendation, but now contends that Sprint altered the third factor analysis such that Younger does not apply here. (ECF No. 128 at 2-8.)

The Magistrate Judge's analysis relied on Amanatullah v. Colorado Board of Medical Examiners, 187 F.3d 1160 (10th Cir. 1999), which held that the three factors of a Younger abstention analysis are as follows:

(1) [T]here is an ongoing state criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding, (2) the state court provides an adequate forum to hear the claims raised in the federal complaint, and (3) the state proceedings "involve important state interests, matters which traditionally look to state law ...

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