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Kryder v. Estate of Rogers

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Columbia Division

January 5, 2018

PATRICIA PORTER KRYDER, Plaintiff,
v.
ESTATE OF JAMES KEMMLER ROGERS, JENNIFER ROGERS-ETCHEVERRY, Defendants. JENNIFER ROGERS-ETCHEVERRY, as administrator for the ESTATE OF JAMES KEMMLER ROGERS, Counter-Plaintiff,
v.
PATRICIA PORTER KRYDER, Counter-Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          WAVERLY D. CRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On November 2, 2017, the Court entered an Order (Doc. No. 178) and accompanying 28-page Memorandum Opinion (Doc. No. 177), familiarity with which is assumed. The Court (1) granted Jennifer Rogers-Etcheverry's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 136) on all of the claims set forth in Patricia Kryder's Amended and Restated Complaint, and (2) granted Etcheverry's Counterclaims for breach of contract and request for an equitable lien.

         Kryder has filed a Motion to Alter or Amend. (Doc. No. 182). That motion, which has been fully briefed by the parties (Doc. Nos. 183, 184 & 185-1), will be denied.

         I. Applicable Rule

         Kryder brings her Motion under Rules 52(b), 59(e) and 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Her reliance on Rules 52(b) and 59(e), however, is misplaced.

         Rule 52(b) provides that, within 28 days of a final judgment after a bench trial, a party can request additional findings. Rule 59(e) allows for the filing of a motion to alter or amend within “28 days after the entry of judgment.” There was no bench trial in this case, and, as yet, no final judgment has entered. See CGH Transp., Inc. v. Quebecor World, Inc., 261 F. App'x 817, 823 n. 10 (6th Cir. 2008) (observing that Rule 59(e) only applies to a final judgment and is inapplicable where the court merely grants summary judgment on one or more claims); Kline v. Archuleta, 309 F.R.D. 91, 93 (D.D.C. 2015) (collecting cases for the proposition that, because a court does not engage in fact-finding on a motion for summary judgment, a 52(b) motion is not the appropriate vehicle to alter or amend a summary judgment ruling).

         As for Rule 60(b), that rule is cited in Kryder's Motion, but not addressed in her accompanying Memorandum of Law. The Rule provides:

(b) Grounds for Relief from a Final Judgment, Order, or Proceeding. On motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party or its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons:
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party;
(4) the judgment is void;
(5) the judgment has been satisfied, released or discharged; it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or applying it ...

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