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Davis v. Federal Bureau of Prisons

United States District Court, D. Colorado

December 28, 2018

ALTON DAVIS, Plaintiff,
v.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S NOVEMBER 19, 2018 MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

          WILLIAM J. MARTINEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's November 19, 2018 Motion for Reconsideration (“Motion” or “Motion for Reconsideration”; ECF No. 297.) Plaintiff asks the Court to reconsider its order (ECF No. 289) denying Plaintiff's previous motion for reconsideration (ECF No. 288). For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's Motion is denied.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Plaintiff, an inmate in Defendant's custody, is currently incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility (“ADX”). (ECF No. 90 at 3.) Plaintiff filed this action against Defendant on April 27, 2015.[1] (ECF No. 1.)

         On June 15, 2015, Defendant moved to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 25.) On March 24, 2016, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's claims pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), but gave him the opportunity to seek leave to amend his complaint. (ECF No. 50 at 17.) Plaintiff subsequently amended his complaint on two different occasions. (ECF Nos. 63 & 90.)

         On August 29, 2016, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the operative complaint (“Second Motion to Dismiss”) pursuant to Rules 12(b)(1), 12(b)(2), and 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 98.) The Court granted the motion in part (the “Order”) and dismissed all of Plaintiff's claims except for one, a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) claim against Defendant. (ECF No. 144 at 27.)

         On March 30, 2018, Defendant filed a third motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 41(b), seeking dismissal of Plaintiff's sole remaining claim. While this motion was pending, Plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration, asking the Court to reconsider its Order that had granted in part Defendant's Second Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 288.) The Court denied that motion as it failed to state any ground that warranted reconsideration. (ECF No. 289.)

         On November 16, 2018, the Court granted Defendant's third motion to dismiss, dismissed Plaintiff's only remaining claim, and terminated this action. (ECF No. 295.) Final judgment in favor of Defendant was entered that same day. (ECF No. 296.) On November 19, 2018, the Clerk of Court docketed Plaintiff's instant Motion, requesting the Court to reconsider its order denying Plaintiff's previous motion for reconsideration. (ECF No. 297.) Plaintiff apparently mailed this motion from prison on November 14, 2018 (see Id. at 13), before the Court had dismissed the case.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not specifically provide for motions for reconsideration. Hatfield v. Bd. of Cnty. Comm'rs for Converse Cnty., 52 F.3d 858, 861 (10th Cir. 1995). Where, after judgment has entered in a case, a party files a motion for reconsideration, courts generally construe such a motion as invoking Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 59(e) and 60(b). Id.

         On the other hand, where a party files a motion for reconsideration, prior to the entry of judgment, Rules 59(e) and 60(b) do not apply. Houston Fearless Corp. v. Teter, 313 F.2d 91, 92 (10th Cir. 1962). Instead, the motion falls within a court's plenary power to revisit and amend interlocutory orders as justice requires. See Paramount Pictures Corp. v. Thompson Theatres, Inc., 621 F.2d 1088, 1090 (10th Cir. 1980) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b)); see also Houston Fearless Corp., 313 F.2d at 92. The Court finds Plaintiff's November 19, 2018 Motion for Reconsideration to fall within this category, because even though it was filed after judgment was entered on November 16, Plaintiff deposited the Motion in the prison's internal mail system on November 14. (ECF No. 297 at 14.) See Price v. Philpot, 420 F.3d 1158, 1163-64 (10th Cir. 2005) (discussing prison mailbox rule).

         A motion for reconsideration is appropriate where there is “(1) an intervening change in the controlling law, (2) new evidence previously unavailable, [or] (3) the need to correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice.” Servants of the Paraclete v. Does, 204 F.3d 1005, 1012 (10th Cir. 2000). “Thus, a motion for reconsideration is appropriate where the court has misapprehended the facts, a party's position, or the controlling law.” Id.

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, however, do not offer an opportunity for a party to reargue its case after the court has rendered a decision. Id. (holding that a party moving to reconsider a prior ruling should not “revisit issues already addressed or advance arguments that could have been raised in prior briefing”); see also All W. Pet Supply Co. v. Hill's Pet Prods. Div., 847 F.Supp. 858, 860 (D. Kan. 1994) (“A motion to reconsider or to alter or amend may not be used as a vehicle for the losing party to rehash arguments previously considered and rejected by the district court.”). The Court, however, is mindful of Plaintiff's pro se status, and accordingly, construes his Motion for Reconsideration liberally. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991).

         III. ...


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