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Ayers v. Anderson

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky

July 3, 2018

WILLIAM AYERS PLAINTIFF
v.
TIM ANDERSON, et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          CHARLES R. SIMPSON III, SENIOR JUDGE

         This matter is before the court on motion of the Plaintiff, William Ayers (“Ayers”), pro se, for reconsideration of the memorandum opinion and order denying the Plaintiff's motion to reconsider recusal and granting the Defendants' motion for summary judgment. For the reasons stated, the Plaintiff's motion to reconsider will be DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The court previously recounted the facts of this case at length in its memorandum opinion entered on March 22, 2018. (DN 37.) Essentially, this case concerns the conditions of Ayers' probation as ordered by the Jefferson Circuit Court after his conviction in the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the crime of failing to file state tax returns. Ayers' Complaint alleges that the arrest and subsequent detainment of the Plaintiff on September 15, 2015 by his probation officer, for the alleged non-compliance of parole conditions, amount to violations of KRS § 439.553 and the administrative guidelines on graduated sanctions. Ayers' Complaint alleges that these violations resulted in deprivations of his constitutional rights, among other claims.

         The Defendants jointly filed a partial motion for summary judgment on Ayers' claims of Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“Section 1983”). The court granted the Defendants' motion for summary judgment as to Ayers' Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment claims against the Defendants in their official capacities, as such claims are barred by sovereign immunity. The court further granted the Defendants' motion for summary judgment as to the same claims against the Defendants in their individual capacities, finding that the parties were insulated from suit under qualified immunity.

         Also addressed in the court's March 22 memorandum opinion was Ayers' motion for reconsideration of the Magistrate Judge's order denying the Plaintiff's motion to recuse. Because the court found that the Magistrate Judge's finding was not clearly erroneous, Ayers' motion for reconsideration on this issue was denied.

         Ayers has moved for reconsideration both on the court's opinion and order granting the Defendants' motion for summary judgment and on its opinion and order denying the Plaintiff's motion to reconsider. The Defendants did not file a response to Ayers' motion, which is now ripe for the court's review.

         II. STANDARD

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 59(e), a party may move to alter or amend a judgment within twenty-eight days of its entry. Rule 59(e) motions allow district courts to correct their own errors, “sparing the parties and appellate courts the burden of unnecessary appellate proceedings.” Howard v. United States, 533 F.3d 472, 475 (6th Cir. 2008). Granting a Rule 59(e) motion is appropriate when 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.” Schlaud v. Snyder, 785 F.3d 1119, 1124 (6th Cir. 2015) (citation omitted).

         Alternatively, Rule 60(b) provides that a court “may relieve a party or its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding” for such reasons as: “mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;” “fraud… misrepresentation, or misconduct by the opposing party;” or “any other reason that justifies relief.” Like Rule 59(e), the burden of showing entitlement to relief under Rule 60(b) is on the moving party.

         Neither Rule 59(e) nor 60(b) is to be construed as allowing a party to “reargue” a case. See Whitehead v. Bowen, 301 Fed. App'x 484, 489 (6th Cir. 2008) (finding that a Rule 59(e) motion is not “an opportunity to reargue a case.”). “Motions to alter or amend must clearly establish either a manifest error of law or fact or must present newly discovered evidence.” Fernandez v. Gulick, 2008 WL 4163252, at *1 (W.D. Ky. Sept. 4, 2008) (citing Turner v. Baylor Richardson Med. Ctr., 2007 WL 122003 (5th. Cir. 2007)). Like Rule 59(e), “Rule 60(b) does not allow a defeated litigant a second chance to convince the court to rule in his or her favor by presenting new explanations, legal theories, or proof.” Tyler v. Anderson, 749 F.3d 499, 509 (6th Cir. 2014).

         As Ayers filed his motion within 28 days of the entry of the court's opinion and order, the court will consider his motion under both Rules 59(e) and 60(b).

         III. DISCUSSION

         1. Ayers' successive motions ...


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