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Maqablh v. Heinz

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

April 6, 2017

ALI AL MAQABLH, PLAINTIFF
v.
CRYSTAL L. HEINZ et al., DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Joseph H. McKinley, Jr., Chief Judge

         Plaintiff moves (DN 13) this Court pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) to alter or amend the Court's Memorandum Opinion and Order (DN 10) entered on December 12, 2016. The Court's Memorandum Opinion and Order (DN 10), among other things, dismissed Trimble County as a Defendant; dismissed Plaintiff's claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1985; allowed official-capacity claims to go forward against Trimble County Attorney Crystal Heinz regarding the constitutionality of certain statutes; and dismissed the 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims against Defendants Heinz, Perry Arnold, and Vittitow based on prosecutorial immunity. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion will be denied.

         I.

         Propriety of invoking Rule 59(e)

         Subsection (e) of Rule 59 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides: “Motion to Alter or Amend a Judgment. A motion to alter or amend a judgment must be filed no later than 28 days after the entry of the judgment.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). For purposes of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “judgment” is defined to “include[] a decree and any order from which an appeal lies.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(a). Thus, “judgment” encompasses both a final judgment and an appealable interlocutory order. Because an order dismissing fewer than all claims or parties, like the Court's Memorandum Opinion and Order at issue here, is not a final judgment, “a Rule 59(e) motion to challenge such an order may only be filed after the district court enters the final judgment.” Auto Servs. Co. v. KPMG, LLP, 537 F.3d 853, 856 (8th Cir. 2008); WSM, Inc. v. Wheeler Media Servs., Inc., 810 F.2d 113, 115 n.2 (6th Cir. 1987).

         Thus, Plaintiff's invocation of Rule 59(e) is improper. Nonetheless, the Court has considered the arguments put forth in Plaintiff's motion and finds no reason to alter or amend its prior Memorandum Opinion and Order.

         Trimble County

         In his motion to reconsider, Plaintiff argues that Trimble County is a person for purposes of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. However, the Court did not dismiss Trimble County as a Defendant because it was not a “person” under § 1983 but rather because all of the official-capacity claims against the employees of Trimble County had been dismissed. Therefore, no claims remained against Trimble County, and dismissal of Trimble County was appropriate.

         42 U.S.C. § 1985 claims

         The second clause of 42 U.S.C. § 1985(2) provides that a cause of action for conspiracy to interfere with civil rights exists where:

two or more persons conspire for the purpose of impeding, hindering, obstructing, or defeating, in any manner, the due course of justice in any State or Territory, with intent to deny to any citizen the equal protection of the laws, or to injure him or his property for lawfully enforcing, or attempting to enforce, the right of any person, or class of persons, to the equal protection of the laws[.]

42 U.S.C. § 1985(2).

         Plaintiff's complaint alleged that Defendants conspired to deter him from filing complaints with Kentucky agencies, conspired to interfere with his correspondence with a government agency, and intimidated him and retaliated against him for attempting to be a witness in a criminal investigation.[1] He alleged that the interference occurred “by intimidation and threats to continue to prosecute him and conspired to interfere with Plaintiff's correspondence with a government agency.” In this section of the complaint, Plaintiff did allege that the interference was due to his race or nationality, but did not state what his race or nationality is. Elsewhere in his complaint, he stated that he is a “lawfully admitted alien.”

         In its Memorandum Opinion and Order (DN 10), the Court found that Plaintiff included “only conclusory allegations that the Defendants acted in concert and did not allege that an agreement between two or more persons existed to discriminate against [him] based on [his] membership in a constitutionally protected class, ” such as ...


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