United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. RUSSELL, SENIOR JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff James Ratliff's
Motion to Alter, Amend, or Vacate. [R. 98.] Defendant Jo Ann
De Baun responded. [R. 99.] Defendants Donnie Hall, Jr.,
Mandy Graves, and Ballard County, Kentucky (“County
Defendants”) also responded. [R. 100.] This matter is
now ripe for adjudication. For the reasons stated herein,
Plaintiff Ratliff's Motion to Alter, Amend, or Vacate,
[R. 98], is DENIED.
general facts and procedural history of this case are set out
in the Court's prior Memorandum Opinion, [R. 96]. In
short, Ratliff's claims against the defendants arise out
of an incident in which Deputy Jailer JoAnn De Baun used a
stun gun on Ratliff while he was incarcerated at Ballard
County Jail. [R. 35-2 at 4, 10:9-11 (Ratliff Depo.); see also
R. 96 at 2.] On September 29, 2017, the Court granted De
Baun's Motion for Summary Judgment, [R. 35], and granted
the Motion for Summary Judgment by County Defendants, [R.
40]. On October 27, 2017, Ratliff filed a Motion to Alter,
Amend, or Vacate the Court's Order of September 29, 2017,
[R. 98], which is currently before the Court.
court may grant a Rule 59(e) motion to alter or amend if
there is: (1) a clear error of law; (2) newly discovered
evidence; (3) an intervening change in controlling law; or
(4) a need to prevent manifest injustice.” Intera
Corp. v. Henderson, 428 F.3d 605, 620 (6th Cir. 2005)
(citing GenCorp, Inc. v. Am. Int'l
Underwriters, 178 F.3d 804, 834 (6th Cir. 1999).
motion under Rule 59(e) is not intended to be utilized to
relitigate issues previously considered.” Foreman
v. United States, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 187012 *3 (W.D.
Mich. 2012) (citing Equal Emp't Opportunity
Comm'n v. Argent Indus., Inc., 746 F.Supp. 705,
706 (S.D. Ohio 1989)). “Neither should it be used as a
vehicle for submitting evidence which in the exercise of
reasonable diligence could have been submitted before.”
Id. (citing Weyerhaeuser Corp. v.
Koppers Co., 771 F.Supp. 1406, 1419 (D. Md. 1991)).
grant or denial of a Rule 59(e) motion is within the informed
discretion of the district court, reversible only for
abuse.” Huff v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 675 F.2d
119, 122 (6th Cir. 1982).
moves to alter, amend, or vacate the Court's order
entered on September 29, 2017, [R. 98], on three different
grounds. First, Ratliff argues that exhaustion of
administrative remedies was not necessary because “the
grievance process was effectively rendered unavailable to
him.” [R. 98-1 at 4.] Second, Ratliff asserts that
Defendants “should be estopped from asserting the
defense of failure to exhaust administrative remedies.”
[Id. at 6.] Third, Ratliff argues that “the
Court made factual determinations that should have been made
by a jury.” [Id.] The Court will address each
initial matter, the Court notes that, despite the
requirements of Rule 59(e), Ratliff does not once contend
that there is a clear error of law, newly discovered
evidence, an intervening change in controlling law, or that
his Motion must be granted to prevent manifest injustice.
Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
PLRA states: “No action shall be brought with respect
to prison conditions under section 1983 of this title, or any
other Federal law, by a prisoner confined in any jail,
prison, or other correctional facility until such
administrative remedies as are available are
exhausted.” Prisoner Litigation Reform Act of 1995, 42
U.S.C. § 1997e(a) (2013). This statute requires a
prisoner to exhaust all available administrative remedies
before filing any action “with respect to prison
conditions” under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 or any other
federal law. Id. In order to bring a sharp rise of
prisoner litigation in the federal courts under control,
Congress fortified the PLRA with provisions like a mandatory
requirement of exhaustion, § 1997e(a), and a required
showing of physical injury, § 1997e(e). See Woodford
v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 84 (2006).
Court explained in its Memorandum Opinion, the United States
Supreme Court described a textual exception to mandatory
exhaustion that hinges on the “availab[ility]” of
administrative remedies in the case of Ross v. Blake. See
Ross, 136 S.Ct. 1850, 1858 (2016) (citing §
1997e(a)). The Supreme Court described three ...