United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
JOHN DOE, a minor by and through his next friend, MARJORIE A. BRISTOL Plaintiff,
JENNIFER NICHOLS, et al., Defendants.
RICHARDSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for
Reconsideration (Doc. No. 33), to which the Sumner County
Defendants have filed a Response (Doc. No. 38).
Complaint alleged unconstitutional conditions of confinement
at the Sumner County Juvenile Detention Center
(“SCJDC”), where Plaintiff was allegedly kept in
solitary confinement. Plaintiff sought injunctive,
declaratory and compensatory relief.
this case was filed, but before the Court ruled on
Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order
(“TRO”), Plaintiff was transferred from the SCJDC
to the Knox County Juvenile Detention Center
(“KCJDC”). Based upon this transfer, Plaintiff
withdrew his Motion for TRO and stated:
Plaintiff does not concede that such a transfer in locale
releases the Defendants in their duty to maintain
constitutional conditions of confinement while [he is] in the
legal custody of DCS and the physical custody of Sumner
County, but has no evidence or information to suggest that
the conditions of the Knox County facility are contrary to
law. Should such a discovery be made or the Plaintiff is
returned to the Sumner County facility or any other facility
that engages in the pattern or practice of holding children
in solitary confinement indefinitely, appropriate remedies
are available for Plaintiff.
(Doc. No. 22). Plaintiff also stated that he “was moved
to the Knox County Juvenile Detention Center in Knoxville,
Tennessee thereby ending the conditions of confinement at
Sumner County Defendants (Weatherford, Troutt, and Howard)
then filed a Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim
upon Which Relief May Be Granted (Doc. No. 25), to which
Plaintiff filed no timely response. The Motion to Dismiss
asserted that Plaintiff's transfer from the SCJDC to the
KCJDC rendered the Court unable to grant the relief requested
as to the Sumner County Defendants, because Plaintiff's
claims against them were now moot. Although Defendants
brought their Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6), the Court held that Plaintiff's injunctive and
declaratory claims should be dismissed (as moot) for lack of
jurisdiction, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). (Doc. No.
32). The Court also dismissed Plaintiff's claims for
damages, based upon Plaintiff's failure to respond to the
Motion to Dismiss. (Id.)
Plaintiff asks the Court to reconsider its decision, the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not provide for motions
for reconsideration. Southall v. USF Holland, Inc.,
No. 3:15-cv-01266, 2019 WL 383998, at * 2 (M.D. Tenn. Jan.
30, 2019), appeal docketed, No. 19-5218 (6th Cir.
Mar. 7, 2019); Pettrey v. Enterprise Title Agency,
Inc., 242 F.R.D. 384, 385 (N.D. Ohio 2007). Instead,
such motions are considered motions to alter or amend
judgments pursuant to Rule 59(e). Id.
to alter or amend, brought pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e),
are entrusted to the Court's sound discretion. United
States v. Tenn. Walking Horse Breeders' and
Exhibitors' Ass'n, 263 F.Supp.3d 679, 681 (M.D.
Tenn. 2017). A motion under Rule 59(e) is not an opportunity
to re-argue a case. Id. Rather, the Court may grant
a Rule 59(e) motion only if there is: (1) a clear error of
law; (2) newly-discovery evidence; (3) an intervening change
in controlling law; or (4) a need to prevent manifest
relief under Rule 59(e) is an “extraordinary
remedy” restricted to those circumstances in which the
moving party has set forth facts or law of a strongly
convincing nature that indicate that the court's prior
ruling should be reversed. Harris v. Perry, No.
2:12-cv-02668, 2016 WL 5396701, at * 3 (W.D. Tenn. Sept. 27,
2016). Essentially, a showing of manifest injustice requires
that there exists a fundamental flaw in the court's
decision that without correction would lead to a result that
is both inequitable and not in line with applicable policy.
Id. The Sixth Circuit has made clear that the
standard for manifest injustice is “an exacting
standard” and that a successful Rule 59(e) motion must
“clearly establish a manifest error of law.”
Heithcock v. Tenn. Dep't of Children's
Servs., Civil No. 3:14-cv-2377, 2015 WL 5970894, at * 1
(M.D. Tenn. Oct. 14, 2015).
disagreement with a court's findings does not rise to the
level of manifest injustice under Rule 59(e). McDaniel v.
American Gen. Fin. Servs., Inc., No. 04-2667B, 2007 WL
20842776, at * 2 (W.D. Tenn. July 17, 2007). The
“manifest injustice” ground for a Rule 59(e)
motion is not meant to allow a disappointed litigant to
attempt to persuade the Court to change its mind.
Harris, 2016 WL 5396701, at * 3.