United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
KENNETH D. BAKER, Petitioner,
BRIANNE M. BAKER, Respondent.
H. SHARP, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Petitioner's Motion to Alter or Amend
(Docket Entry No. 54). For the reasons set forth below, the
Petitioner's motion will be granted in part and denied in
brought this claim pursuant to the Hague Convention on the
Civil Aspect of International Child Abduction and the
implementing legislation in the United States, the
International Child Abduction Remedies Act, set forth in 42
U.S.C. § 11601, et seq., requesting the Court
enter an Order directing that the parties' minor children
be returned to Germany. Petitioner alleged that Respondent
unlawfully removed the children has wrongfully retained them
in the United States.
Court held a bench trial in this matter on September 14-15,
2016 and October 13, 2016, after which the parties were
instructed to file post-trial briefs. Those briefs were filed
on November 21, 2016. The Court found that Respondent had
established by a preponderance of the evidence that
Petitioner gave his consent for Respondent to return to the
United States with the minor child. The Court denied the
Verified Petition, and the children were not ordered to be
returned to Germany. See (Docket Entry Nos. 51 and
motion to alter or amend judgment under Rule 59(e) may be
granted if there is ‘(1) a clear error of law; (2)
newly discovered evidence; (3) an intervening change in
controlling law; or (4) a need to prevent manifest
injustice.'” Intera Corp. v. Henderson,
428 F.3d 605, 620 (6th Cir. 2005) (quoting GenCorp, Inc.
v. Am. Int'l Underwriters, 178 F.3d 804, 834 (6th
Cir. 1999)). “Rule 59(e) allows for reconsideration; it
does not permit parties to effectively ‘re-argue a
case.'” Howard v. United States, 533 F.3d
472, 475 (6th Cir. 2008) (quoting Sault Ste. Marie Tribe
v. Engler, 146 F.3d 367, 374 (6th Cir. 1998)).
“[T]he purpose of Rule 59(e) is to allow the district
court to correct its own errors, sparing the parties and
appellate courts the burden of unnecessary appellate
proceedings.” Howard v. United States, 533
F.3d 472, 475 (6th Cir. 2008).
purports that there are inconsistencies between the proof in
the record and the Court's finding “that Respondent
met her burden of proof in regard to the consent defense,
which ultimately served to defeat Mr. Baker's Petition
for return of the children.” (Docket Entry No. 54 at
1). The Court has thoroughly reviewed the Petitioner's
motion, and Petitioner makes absolutely no mention of an
intervening change in law or the availability of new
evidence, leading the Court to conclude that Petitioner seeks
amendment or alteration to remedy a perceived error of law.
The Court has already exhaustively considered and rejected
Petitioner's contention regarding Respondent's
consent defense, and Petitioner has presented no persuasive
authority that would lead the Court to alter its decision.
The Sixth Circuit has repeatedly held that a Rule 59(e)
motion “may not be used to re-litigate issues
previously considered” and rejected by the Court.
Am. Marietta Corp. v. Essroc Cement Corp., 59
Fed.App'x 668, 671 (6th Cir. 2003). Petitioner fails to
satisfy the Rule 59(e) standard and thus has given the Court
no reason to alter or amend the judgment.
also notes that on page 7 of the Court's Opinion, the
Petitioner and Respondent references are incorrect -
“For example, the Court's decision states that the
‘Petitioner removed the children' from Germany and
also that the ‘Petitioner flew with the children to the
U.S.[, ]' when in fact the Respondent, Ms. Baker, did
those things.” The proper channel for seeking relief
for a clerical error should be done through Rule 60 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,  not Rule 59(e).
Nevertheless, the Court will grant the request and issue an
Amended Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law to correct
this clerical error.
of the reasons stated, the Court will grant in part and deny
in part Petitioner's Motion to Alter or Amend
(Docket Entry No. 54). The motion will be granted with
respect to the clerical error and denied as to the remaining
appropriate Order shall be entered.