United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Chattanooga
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
RONNIE GREER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
prisoner, Thomas Daniel Eugene Hale (“Plaintiff”)
initiated this action on October 3, 2016 when he filed a
civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
[Doc. 1]. Now before the Court is Plaintiff's motion to
reconsider this Court's previous memorandum and order
filed on July 24, 2017 [Doc. 8]. For the reasons that follow
Plaintiff's motion will be denied.
accordance with its duty to liberally construe pro se
plaintiff's pleadings and filings, the Court will
construe Plaintiff's motion to reconsider as being a
motion to reconsider pursuant to Rule 54(b) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court has authority, both under
common law and Rule 54(b), to reconsider interlocutory orders
and to reopen any part of a case before entry of final
judgment. Rodriguez v. Tenn. Labors Health & Welfare
Fund, 89 Fed. App'x 949-959 (6th Cir. Feb. 6, 2004).
This authority allows district courts “to afford such
relief from [interlocutory orders] as justice
requires.” Citibank (South Dakota), N.A. v.
FDIC, 857 F.Supp. 976, 981 (D.D.C. 1994); see also
Melancon v. Texaco, Inc., 659 F.2d 551, 553 (5th Cir.
1981). Traditionally, courts will find justification for
reconsidering interlocutory orders when there is (1) an
intervening change of controlling law; (2) new evidence
available; or (3) a need to correct a clear error or prevent
manifest injustice. Reich v. Hall Holding Co., 990
F.Supp. 955, 965 (N.D. Ohio 1998).
motion to reconsider under Rule 54(b) may not “serve as
a vehicle to identify facts or raise legal arguments which
could have been, but were not, raised or adduced during the
pendency of the motion of which reconsideration was
sought.” Grozdanich v. Leisure Hills Health Ctr.,
Inc., 48 F.Supp.2d 885, 888 (D. Minn. 1999) (citation
omitted); see also Hagerman v. Yukon Energy Corp.,
839 F.2d 407, 414 (8th Cir. 1988) (“Motions for
reconsideration serve a limited function: to correct manifest
errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered
evidence. Such motions cannot in any case be employed as a
vehicle to introduce new evidence that could have been
adduced during pendency of the [original motion] . . . Nor
should a motion for reconsideration serve as the occasion to
tender new legal theories for the first time.”).
absence of newly discovered, non-cumulative evidence, the
parties should not be permitted to reargue previous rulings
made in the case in a motion to reconsider pursuant to Rule
54(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Oritani S
& L v. Fidelity & Deposit, 744 F.Supp. 1311,
1314 (D.N.J. 1990), rev'd on other grounds, 989
F.2d 635 (3d Cir. 1993). A movant has no right to
reconsideration of an interlocutory order simply because the
movant makes the motion in good faith. Rodriguez, 89
Fed. App'x at 959.
Court has reviewed Plaintiff's motion to reconsider the
memorandum and order filed on July 24, 2017 [Doc. 8] and
finds that Plaintiff has failed to provide a legal basis upon
which the Court may revisit its earlier ruling.
Court's July 24, 2017 memorandum and order concluded that
Plaintiff's claims were barred pursuant to the
three-dismissal rule in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), which
prohibits an inmate from bringing a new civil action in
forma pauperis if he has, three or more times in the
past, while incarcerated, brought a civil action or appeal in
federal court that was dismissed because it was frivolous.
malicious, or failed to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted [Doc. 7]. In that previous order, the
Court further found that none of the contentions set forth in
Plaintiff's complaint could qualify for §
1915(g)'s “serious physical injury” exception
[Id. at 2]. However, the Court allowed Plaintiff
thirty days from the date of the memorandum and order to pay
the entire $400.00 filing fee in order to proceed with the
August 23, 2017, Plaintiff filed the instant motion for
reconsideration [Doc. 8]. Plaintiff does not dispute that he
has accumulated three strikes. Instead, Plaintiff argues that
he is a mental health patient in segregation, and thus
“the state is suppose[d] to pay for all legal
affairs” because he is incapable of making decisions
[Id. at 1].
Court finds that Plaintiff does not provide a legal basis for
it to revisit its July 24, 2017 order. As previously stated,
a Rule 54(b) motion must be supported by a showing that a
federal district court made an error, an intervening change
of controlling law, or by newly discovered evidence.
Rodriguez, 89 Fed. App'x at 959. Plaintiff's
motion lacks any evidence to support a Rule 54(b) motion.
Insofar as Plaintiff argues that his allegations fall within
the imminent-danger exception to the three-strikes rule, the
Court finds that Plaintiff failed to provide any “facts
from which a court, informed by its judicial experience and
common sense, could draw the reasonable inference that [he]
was under an existing danger at the time he filed his
complaint.” Taylor v. First Med. Mgmt., 508
Fed.Appx. 488, 492 (6th Cir. 2012).
on the above analysis, this Court finds that Plaintiff's
motion to reconsider [Doc. 8] is DENIED.
However, the Court will allow Plaintiff an additional
fourteen (14) days to pay the entire $400.00
filing fee in order to proceed with this action. If Plaintiff
fails to timely pay the filing fee, this case will be
DISMISSED and, despite the dismissal of the
case, he will be assessed the filing fee. See In re
Alea, 286 F.3d 378, 381 (6th Cir. 2002) (noting that a
prisoner's obligation to the filing fee arises when the
complaint is delivered to the district court clerk);
id. at 382 (explaining that “[t]he subsequent
dismissal of the action under § 1915(g) for failure to
pay the fee does not negate or nullify the litigant's
continuing obligation to pay the fee in full”).
IS SO ...