United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Eastern Division
LIBERTY CORPORATE CAPITAL LIMITED, Plaintiff/Counterclaim Defendant,
CLUB EXCLUSIVE, INC., Defendant/Counterclaim Plaintiff.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Defendant Liberty Corporate Capital Limited
(“Liberty”) initiated this insurance action on
May 13, 2016. (Doc. 1). Liberty sued Defendant/Counterclaim
Plaintiff Club Exclusive, Inc., (“Club
Exclusive”) for a declaratory judgment of its rights
and obligations under a commercial insurance policy (the
“Policy”) issued to Club Exclusive.
(Id.; doc. 6). Club Exclusive answered Liberty's
complaint and, inter alia, counterclaimed against
Liberty on June 22, 2016. (Doc. 12).
October 17, 2016, Liberty filed a Motion for Summary Judgment
(the “Rule 56 Motion”). (Doc. 36). Club Exclusive
failed to respond to the Rule 56 Motion. The Court then
granted the Rule 56 Motion. (Doc. 38; doc 39). Subsequently,
however, Club Exclusive moved to set aside the Rule 56
judgment in accordance with the excusable neglect standard
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). (Doc. 40). The
Court granted Club Exclusive's request for post-judgment
relief (doc. 43) and thus vacated its prior summary judgment
opinion (doc. 38) and final judgment order (doc. 39).
Exclusive then filed its opposition (doc. 44) to the Rule 56
Motion on December 12, 2017. Liberty filed its reply (doc.
46) in support of its Rule 56 Motion on January 5, 2018.
25, 2018, the Court granted in part the Rule 56 Motion. (Doc.
49; doc. 50). The Court declared that Liberty owed no duty or
obligation to Club Exclusive under the Policy, rescinded the
Policy as void ab initio, dismissed with prejudice
all of Club Exclusive's counterclaims against Liberty,
and, there being no pending claims remaining, dismissed the
entire action with prejudice. (Doc. 50).
case comes once again before the Court on Club
Exclusive's Motion To Alter, Amend or Vacate the Judgment
of July 25, 2018 (the “Rule 59(e)
Motion”). (Doc. 51). Club Exclusive filed its Rule
59(e) Motion and its Memorandum (doc. 51-1) in support of its
Rule 59(e) Motion on August 22, 2018. Liberty filed its
opposition (doc. 53) to the Rule 59(e) Motion on August 31,
2018. The Court did not permit Club Exclusive to file a reply
in support of its Rule 59(e) Motion. (See doc. 52).
Thus, the Rule 59(e) Motion is ripe for review. For the
reasons stated in this opinion, the Rule 59(e) Motion is due
to be DENIED.
decision to alter or amend judgment [pursuant to Rule 59(e)]
is committed to the sound discretion of the district judge .
. . .” Am. Home Assurance Co. v. Glenn Estess &
Assocs., Inc., 763 F.2d 1237, 1238-39 (11th Cir. 1985)
(citing Futures Trading Comm'n v. Am. Commodities
Grp., 753 F.2d 862, 866 (11th Cir. 1984); McCarthy
v. Mason, 714 F.2d 234, 237 (2d Cir. 1983); Weems v.
McCloud, 619 F.2d 1081, 1098 (5th Cir.
1980)). However, “reconsideration of a
judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e) . . . is ‘an
extraordinary remedy which should be used
sparingly.'” Daker v. Warren, No. 10-3815,
2012 WL 2403437, at *4 (N.D.Ga. June 25, 2012) (quoting 11
Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice
and Procedure § 2810.1). In fact, “[t]he
extremely limited nature of the Rule 59(e) remedy
cannot be overstated.” Lee v. Thomas, No.
10-587, 2012 WL 3137901, at *2 n.1 (S.D. Ala. Aug. 1, 2012)
(emphasis added); Jenkins v. Dunn, No. 08-869, 2017
WL 1927861, at *2 (N.D. Ala. May 10, 2017) (emphasis added)
(quoting Lee, 2012 WL 3137901, at *2 n.1) (stating
that there is only a “limited scope of relief that is
available to a litigant under Rule 59(e)”). “The
only grounds for granting [a Rule 59] motion are
newly-discovered evidence or manifest errors of law or
fact.” Jones v. Thomas, 605 Fed.Appx. 813, 814
(11th Cir. 2015) (alteration in original) (emphasis added)
(quoting Arthur v. King, 500 F.3d 1335, 1343 (11th
Cir. 2007) (alteration in original)). “In order to
demonstrate clear error, the party must do more than simply
restate his previous arguments, and any arguments the party
failed to raise in the earlier motion will be deemed
waived.” Atl. Mut. Ins. Co. v. Am. Cas. Co. of
Reading, Pa., No. 08-1737, 2010 WL 11508266, at *1 (M.D.
Fla. Mar. 23, 2010) (quoting O'Neill v. Home Depot
U.S.A., Inc., 243 F.R.D. 469, 483 (S.D. Fla. 2006)).
Rule 59 motion cannot be used ‘to relit[i]gate
old matters, raise argument or present evidence that could
have been raised prior to the entry of judgment.'”
Jones, 605 Fed.Appx. at 814 (emphasis added)
(quoting Arthur, 500 F.3d at 1343); see also
Stone v. Wall, 135 F.3d 1438, 1442 (11th Cir. 1998)
(“The purpose of a Rule 59(e) motion is not to raise an
argument that was previously available, but not
pressed.”); O'Neal v. Kennamer, 958 F.2d
1044, 1047 (11th Cir. 1992) (“Motions to amend should
not be used to raise arguments which could, and should, have
been made before the judgment was issued.” (citing
Lussier v. Dugger, 904 F.2d 661, 667 (11th Cir.
1990))). “Denial of a motion to amend is
‘especially soundly exercised when the party has failed
to articulate any reason for the failure to raise the issue
at an earlier stage in the litigation.'”
O'Neal, 958 F.2d at 1047 (quoting
Lussier, 904 F.2d at 667).
Rule 59(e) Motion and its Memorandum in support of its Rule
59(e) Motion, Club Exclusive argues that the Court's
judgment on the Rule 56 Motion was “based on  clear
error and  [was] manifestly unjust.” (Doc. 51 at 2;
doc. 51-1 at 1). However, the Court need not separately
consider Club Exclusive's argument that the Court's
judgment on the Rule 56 Motion was “manifestly
unjust” because Club Exclusive never explains how the
judgment was “manifestly unjust” beyond stating
that the Court committed clear errors of fact and law.
(See doc. 51-1 at 5, ¶ 25) (“[The
Court's] decision was manifestly unjust in that the Court
made conclusions as to law and fact that were not supported
by the evidence.”). Thus, the Court will only address
Club Exclusive's argument that the Court committed
Exclusive appears to make two arguments as to how the Court
committed clear error. (See Id. at 5, 7-8,
¶¶ 27-28, 31-33, 35). First, Club Exclusive argues
27. Mrs. White testified that she used money that she had
acquired and that she appropriated for business purposes. The
Court segregated the funds used for the building and contents
and, despite Mrs. White's testimony to the contrary,
concluded that she used her ...