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Morris v. Southern Intermodal Xpress

United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division

May 19, 2017

DAVID MORRIS, Plaintiff,

          ORD ER


         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs motion for reconsideration of Document 37 or to certify Document 37 as a final matter. (Doc. 38). For reasons that will be explained below, the Court finds Plaintiff has not met his burden of demonstrating clear error, manifest injustice, or that any other reason justifies relief. The Court further finds below that there is just reason at this time for delaying entry of final judgment dismissing Defendant Southern Intermodal Xpress. Therefore, Plaintiffs motion will be denied.

         Document 37 of Plaintiffs case is an Order by the undersigned judge, adopting the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge and dismissing Plaintiffs claims against Defendant Southern Intermodal Xpress ("SIX"), but without prejudice to Plaintiffs ability to file an amended complaint against SIX under 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B) by May 15, 2017. (Doc. 37). To date, Plaintiff has not filed an amended complaint against SIX.

         Plaintiff filed this ERISA action, pro se, against SIX and others seeking death benefits he alleges he is entitled to after the death of Gwendolyn Morris. SIX is Plaintiffs employer and is alleged to have deducted wages from Plaintiffs paycheck for the premiums for the life insurance policy at issue. The Report and Recommendation found that Plaintiff had not stated a claim against SIX because it had not alleged any factual allegations that plausibly suggest SIX took any action with respect to his claim for benefits that would be analogous to a breach or "that plausibly suggest SIX failed to discharge its role under the ERISA plan in a proper way." (Doc. 28, p. 14). The documents attached to Plaintiffs complaint indicate that Union Security Insurance Company, under the brand name Assurant Employee Benefits, is the entity that denied Plaintiffs initial claim and determined the appeal of Plaintiffs claim. (Doc. 1, pp. 5-8). The Magistrate Judge found that "nothing in the complaint's well-pleaded factual allegations or attached exhibits plausibly suggests that the denial of ERISA benefits was caused by any impropriety on SIX's part." (Doc. 28, p. 13).

         Plaintiff moves for reconsideration alleging generally that the Report and Recommendation was wrongfully adopted and that the Magistrate "disrespect[ed] the rules of civil procedure" and engaged in discriminatory behavior and "defacto counseling for the Defendants." Plaintiff complains that he was not afforded the right to amend his complaint before the complaint was dismissed and that he was not asked what statute he desired to proceed under. Plaintiff further asserts that the undersigned judge failed to manage or oversee the Magistrate Judge and failed to seize the life insurance payments and life insurance group policy held by Defendant. Plaintiff also accuses the court of trickery, manipulation, and "disruptive and mean spirited" behavior.

         A motion to reconsider under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 59(e) is available only "when a party presents evidence of an intervening change in controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or the need to correct clear error or manifest injustice." Summit Med. Ctr. of Alabama, Inc. v. Riley, 284 F.Supp.2d 1350, 1355 (M.D. Ala. 2003). Reconsideration under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) is permitted for the following reasons:

(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence which by due 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 other misconduct of 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 prospectively is no longer equitable; or
(6) any other reason that justifies relief.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). Plaintiff has not alleged an intervening change in law, newly discovered evidence, clerical or inadvertent mistake, fraud by the opposing party, or that the judgment is void, has been satisfied, or is no longer equitable. Instead Plaintiffs stated reasons for reconsideration appear to fall under a claim of clear error or manifest injustice or 6O(b)'s catchall "any other reason that justifies relief."

         A motion to reconsider based upon clear error is appropriate "when the Court has patently misunderstood a party ... or has made a mistake, not of reasoning, but of apprehension." Wendy's Int'l, Inc. v. Nu-Cape Constr., Inc.,169 F.R.D. 680, 684 (M.D. Fla. 1996). "A motion to reconsider is not a vehicle for rehashing arguments the Court has already rejected or for attempting to refute the basis of the Court's earlier decision." Lamar Advertising of Mobile, Inc. v. City of Lakeland, Fla.,189 F.R.D. 480 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 7, 1999). Nor does a motion for reconsideration provide an opportunity to simply reargue-or argue for the first time-an issue the Court has once determined. Arthur v. King,500 F.3d 1335, 1343 (11th Cir. 2007). Court opinions "are not intended as mere first drafts, subject to revision and reconsideration at a litigant's pleasure." Quaker Alloy Casting Co. v. Gulfco Indus., Inc.,123 F.R.D. 282, 288 (N.D. 111. 1988). Thus, "[t]he burden is upon the movant to establish the extraordinary circumstances supporting reconsideration." Mannings v. Sch. Bd. of Hillsborough Cnty., 149 F.R.D. ...

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