United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
V. S. GRANADE SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's motion for
relief from judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 60(b)(6) (Doc. 63), opposition thereto filed by
Defendant Southern Intermodal Express and motion for
sanctions (Doc. 64), and Plaintiff's reply (Doc. 65). For
the reasons explained below, the Court finds that
Plaintiff's motion for relief should be denied. The Court
also finds that Defendant's motion for sanctions should
be denied at this time, but warns Plaintiff that if he files
frivolous or scurrilous motions in the future they will be
stricken and monetary sanctions may be considered.
filed this ERISA action, pro se, against Southern
Intermodal Xpress (“SIX”), Assurant Employee
Benefits (“Assurant”), and Union Security
Insurance Company (“Union”) on December 21, 2016,
seeking death benefits after the death of Gwendolyn Morris.
On January 31, 2017, SIX moved to dismiss pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Doc. 5). The motion to
dismiss was referred to the Magistrate Judge for Report and
February 17, 2017, Plaintiff filed two emergency motions: the
first for Court seizure of money he paid for the life
insurance at issue; the second asked the Court to seize a
copy of the life insurance policy. (Docs. 18, 19). The Court
denied both emergency motions noting that Plaintiff had
already attached a copy of the insurance policy to his
complaint and finding that Plaintiff had not explained why
emergency relief was necessary or warranted and had not made
the required showings for relief. (Doc. 26).
March 2, 2017, Plaintiff moved for sanctions against SIX and
SIX's counsel. (Doc. 25). This Court denied
Plaintiff's motion, finding SIX and its counsel had not
acted wrongfully or improper. (Doc. 27).
April 28, 2017, this Court entered an Order adopting the
Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge which
recommended dismissal of SIX pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6), but without prejudice to Plaintiff's ability to
file an amended complaint that properly alleged a claim by
not later than May 15, 2017. (Doc. 37). Plaintiff did not
file an amended complaint. Instead, Plaintiff filed a
“Motion to Reconsider Document Number 37; Or Certify
the Document Number 37 Resolution as a Final Matter Ripe for
Appellate Review.” (Doc. 38). On May 19, 2017, this
Court denied Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration.
13, 2017, the remaining Defendants filed a motion for
judgment on the record. (Doc. 43). On July 19, 2017,
Plaintiff filed an emergency motion to compel against SIX,
even though SIX had been dismissed and was no longer a party
to the action. (Doc. 40). That motion was denied on June 20,
2017. (Doc. 41). On September 14, 2017, this Court granted
Defendant's motion for judgment on the record and entered
an order dismissing this action against the remaining
Defendants with prejudice. (Docs. 47, 48).
September 25, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion entitled
“David Morris Motion for Judgment Pursuant to Document
Number Three (3) and Relief from Judgments Pronounced and
other wise Un-Pronounced” (Doc. 49), which the Court
construed as a motion for reconsideration. In the motion,
Plaintiff refers to the evidence he submitted in “Court
Docket - Document Number Three (3)” and contends that
SIX was not dismissed or released by the Court and that the
case should proceed. Plaintiff also sought reconsideration of
the ruling in favor of Defendants Assurant and Union. The
Court denied the motion on January 31, 2018. (Doc. 50).
filed a Notice of Appeal on February 28, 2019. (Doc. 51). The
Eleventh Circuit issued an opinion affirming the judgment
against Plaintiff on December 4, 2018. (Docs. 60, 67).
Plaintiff then filed two emergency motions in the Eleventh
Circuit, which the Eleventh Circuit denied. (Doc. 64-2).
Plaintiff also moved for rehearing in the Eleventh Circuit.
(Doc. 64-1). Plaintiff then moved to stay further appellate
proceedings. SIX moved for sanctions against Plaintiff in the
Eleventh Circuit. On April 9, 2019, the Eleventh Circuit
denied Plaintiff's motion to stay, denied SIX's
motion for sanctions and denied Plaintiff's motion for
current motion seeks reconsideration pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6). (Doc. 63). The motion states
that it is “Directed Against” SIX and SIX's
attorney - Lisa Cooper. The Court notes that SIX states in
its response that the case is currently on appeal. The
Eleventh Circuit issued an opinion affirming this Court's
judgment (Doc. 62), denied Plaintiff's motion for
rehearing, and on April 18, 2019, issued a mandate (Doc. 67).
Even if the case were still on appeal, a district court may
consider and deny a motion for reconsideration while the case
is on appeal or can state that it “would grant the
motion if the court of appeals remands for that purpose or
that the motion raises a substantial issue.” Fed. R
Civ. P. 62.1; Munoz v. United States, 451 Fed.Appx.
818, 819 (11th Cir. 2011) (finding that while a case is on
appeal a district court may address the merits of a Rule
60(b) motion and deny the motion or indicate its belief that
it is meritorious). Thus, it is clear that the motion for
reconsideration is properly before this Court.
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) is permitted ...