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Madden v. Chattanooga City Wide Service Dep't

July 25, 2007

RONALD L. MADDEN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CHATTANOOGA CITY WIDE SERVICE DEPARTMENT, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Chief Judge Curtis L. Collier

MEMORANDUM

On May 31, 2007 the Court entered an order and accompanying memorandum denying pro se Plaintiff Ronald L. Madden's ("Plaintiff") motion/request for entry of default against Defendants Chattanooga City Wide Service Department, James Templeton, Bill Neighbors, Tony Boyd, Wayne Wilkerson, LuAnn Hawk, Jerome Wiggins, George Claiborne, Jr., Albert Lloyd, Anthony Mitchell, Steve Leach, Lee Norris, and Joe Shaw (Court File Nos. 77 & 78). Before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of this order (Court File No. 88).

After the Court entered its order denying an entry of default, Plaintiff filed another request for entry of default against Defendant Chattanooga City Wide Service Department ("City of Chattanooga" or "City") (Court File No. 90) as well another document entitled "motion objecting to answer of defendants" in which he argues default should be entered (Court File No.97).*fn1

Pursuant to this request, the Clerk entered default on July 12, 2007 (Court File No. 99). Subsequently, Plaintiff filed a motion for default judgment (Court File No. 100) as well as a supporting affidavit (Court File No. 101). The City of Chattanooga then filed a motion to set aside default (Court File No. 102) as well as a supporting memorandum of law and affidavit (Court File Nos. 103 & 104). Plaintiff filed a response to the City's motion to set aside default (Court File No. 106) as well as a supporting affidavit (Court File No. 107).

For the following reasons, the Court will DENY Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of its previous order denying default (Court File No. 88). The Court will GRANT the City of Chattanooga's motion to set aside the entry of default (Court File No. 102) and the Clerk's entry of default dated July 12, 2007 will be ORDERED set aside (Court File No. 99). Additionally, the Court will DENY Plaintiff's motion for default judgment (Court File No. 100) and will ORDER Plaintiff to refrain from filing any other pleading or document relating to default.

I. RELEVANT FACTS

Plaintiff filed his complaint in this Court on October 4, 2006 seeking damages for racial harassment on the job and employment discrimination on the basis of race pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983 against Chattanooga City Wide Service Department, several of its employees, and an employee of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), LuAnn Hawk, who investigated Plaintiff's employment discrimination claim (Court File No. 3). Pursuant to the order granting Plaintiff's application to proceed In Forma Pauperis (Court File No. 2), the United States Marshal was charged with serving process on the Defendants. The United States Marshal's process receipt and return has been docketed for each of the Defendants (Court File Nos. 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, & 33). Attached to these process receipts are certified mail return receipts dated October 23, 2006 and October 24, 2006, which are signed by persons other than Defendants (id.).

The City of Chattanooga as well as its employees who were named as Defendants filed a motion to dismiss on December 14, 2006 (Court File No. 40) as well as a supporting affidavit and memorandum (Court File Nos. 41 & 42). Plaintiff filed a motion/request for entry of default against all Defendants on March 16, 2007 (Court File No. 58). Defendants subsequently filed their responses in opposition to entry of default (Court File Nos. 57, 61).*fn2 Subsequently, Plaintiff filed several documents in relation to his request for entry of default (Court File Nos. 63, 66, 67, 74).

The Court issued an order and accompanying memorandum denying Plaintiff's request for entry of default on May 31, 2007 (Court File Nos. 77 & 78). The next day, the Court entered an order which: (1) grated in part and denied in part Defendants Chattanooga City Wide Service Department, Steve Leach, Lee Norris, Joe Shaw, James Templeton, Bill Neighbors, Tony Boyd, Wayne Wilkerson, Jerome Wiggins, George Claiborne, Jr., Albert Lloyd and Anthony Mitchell's motion to dismiss, (2) granted Defendant LuAnn Hawk's motion to dismiss, and (3) dismissed Plaintiff's claims against Steve Leach, Lee Norris, Joe Shaw, James H. Templeton, Bill Neighbors, Tony L. Boyd, Wayne Wilkerson, Jerome Wiggins, George Claiborne, Jr., Albert Lloyd, Anthony Mitchell, and LuAnn Hawk in both their individual and official capacities (Court File Nos. 79 & 80).*fn3 After the entry of this order the only remaining Defendant is the City of Chattanooga (Court File No. 80). On June 15, 2007, Plaintiff filed a motion to reconsider the Court's order denying default against the City of Chattanooga as well as the other individual Defendants (Court File No. 88).*fn4

On June 25, 2007, Plaintiff entered a second request for entry of default against the City of Chattanooga (Court File No. 90) as well as a supporting affidavit (Court File No. 91). Thereafter, on June 27, 2007 the City of Chattanooga filed an answer to Plaintiff's complaint (Court File No. 92). On July 11, 2007 Plaintiff filed a "motion objecting to answer of defendants" in which he again argues default should be entered against the City of Chattanooga (Court File No. 97).

On July 12, 2007, despite the fact that there was an answer on file, the Clerk entered default against the City of Chattanooga (Court File No. 99). Thereafter, Plaintiff filed a motion for default judgment (Court File No. 100). On the same day, Defendant City of Chattanooga filed a motion to set aside default (Court File No. 102).

II. DISCUSSION

A. Plaintiff's Motion to Reconsider Previous Order Denying Default

Plaintiff filed a motion requesting this Court to reconsider its previous order of May 31, 2007, which denied Plaintiff's request for entry of default against all the Defendants in this case (Court File No. 78) ( "May 31 Order"). Plaintiff does not cite any law in support of his motion to reconsider. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) ("Rule 59(e)") and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60 ("Rule 60") both address requesting relief from a court order. Rule 59(e) authorizes motions to alter or amend a judgment if filed within ten days after entry of the judgment. As indicated the Court's order was entered on May ...


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