United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky
OPINION AND ORDER
B. Russell, Senior Judge United States District Court
matter comes before the Court on pro se Plaintiff's,
Damien Anthony Sublett, Motion for Reconsideration. (R. 65).
Defendant, Mike McAlister, has responded. (R. 66). This
matter is now ripe for decision. For the reasons that follow,
Sublett's Motion for Reconsideration is HEREBY DENIED.
April of 2017, Damien Sublett, then an inmate at the Western
Kentucky Correctional Complex, supplemented an existing
complaint against Corrections Officer, Mike McAlister, to add
a First Amendment retaliation claim against Timothy Grimes,
Corrections Captain at Western Kentucky Corrections Complex.
In his Supplemental Complaint, Sublett contends that he filed
a verbal grievance with his Unit Administrator, Jacob Bruce,
after noticing that Officer Hamby, a female prison guard,
“was staring directly into” the men's
showers. (R. 13, Pl.'s Supplemental Compl.). Grimes
contends Sublett was disciplined for filing a frivolous
Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) claim-not a verbal
grievance. (R. 54-1, Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J.). Sublett
admits that he made a complaint with Unit Administrator
Bruce, who is a Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
investigator. Sublett also admits he was fully clothed at all
times, and that no sexual misconduct occurred.
(Id.). Grimes moved for summary judgment, asserting
that Sublett's retaliation claim must fail because
Sublett was not engaged in constitutionally protected conduct
when filling the frivolous claim. (Id.).
support his position, Grimes offered his own affidavit and
disciplinary records concerning the incident, both of which
indicate that after an internal affairs investigation, it was
determined that Sublett filed a frivolous PREA claim in bad
faith. (See R. 16, Def.'s Resp. to Mot. to Supplement
Compl., Ex. 2 & Ex. 4). Grimes also offered two separate
occasions on which Sublett admitted to filling the PREA at
issue: First, in appealing his prison disciplinary action,
and then again in a separate lawsuit he has pending before
this Court. (R. 57, Def.'s Reply). In response, Sublett
offered his own affidavit, in which he claimed that
“[he] did not write anything admitting to a PREA,
” and pointed out that Grimes had failed to provide the
“Offender Notification Form” to the Court. (R.
61, Sublett Aff.).
December 27, 2018, the Court granted Grimes's Motion for
Summary Judgment, finding that based on the evidence, no
reasonable jury could find in Sublett's favor. (R. 59).
Sublett now moves the Court to Reconsider. (R. 65).
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not provide expressly
for “motions for reconsideration, ” courts
generally construe such motions as motions to alter or amend
a judgment under Rule 59(e). E.g., Moody v.
Pepsi-Cola Metro. Bottling Co., 915 F.2d 201, 206 (6th
Cir. 1990); Taylor v. Colo. State Univ., 2013 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 52872, 2013 WL 1563233, at *8-9 (W.D. Ky. Apr.
12, 2013). The Sixth Circuit instructs that a motion for
reconsideration should only be granted on four grounds:
“Under Rule 59, a court may alter or amend a judgment
based on: ‘(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.'”
Leisure Caviar, LLC v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Serv., 616 F.3d 612, 615 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting
Intera Corp. v. Henderson, 428 F.3d 605, 620 (6th
Cir. 2005)). “Such motions are extraordinary and
sparingly granted” due to the strong interest in the
finality of judgments. Marshall v. Johnson, 2007 U.S. Dist.
LEXIS 29881, 2007 WL 1175046, at *2 (W.D. Ky. Apr. 19, 2007)
(citing Plaskon Elec. Materials, Inc. v. Allied-Signal,
Inc., 904 F.Supp. 644, 669 (N.D. Ohio 1995)); accord
Rottmund v. Cont'l Assurance Co., 813 F.Supp. 1104,
1107 (E.D. Pa. 1992).
Motion to Reconsider rehashes the same arguments made in his
Response to Grimes's Motion for Summary Judgement.
Without specifically pointing to any of the four grounds upon
which a motion to reconsider would be appropriate, Sublett
argues that the Court should reconsider its decision granting
Grimes summary judgment because Sublett made a verbal
grievance, not a PREA complaint, and because Grimes has not
produced a written PREA complaint filed by Sublett concerning
the incident in question. Sublett argued these same points in
his Response to Grimes's Motion for Summary Judgment.
the Court's December 27, 2018 Opinion and Order already
addressed these arguments, explaining that “the Court
is satisfied, even without the PREA Offender Notification
Form, given Sublett's two separate confessions to filling
the PREA complaint, one of which was a sworn statement made
to the Court, no reasonable jury could find that Sublet did
not file the frivolous PREA.” (R. 59). The Court's
opinion on the matter has not changed.
the Sixth Circuit has consistently held that a Rule 59 motion
should not be used either to reargue a case on the merits or
to reargue issues already presented, see Whitehead v.
Bowen, 301 Fed.Appx. 484, 489 (6th Cir. 2008) (citing
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians v.
Engler, 146 F.3d 367, 374 (6th Cir. 1998)), or otherwise
to “merely restyle or rehash the initial issues,
” White v. Hitachi, Ltd., 2008 U.S. Dist.
LEXIS 25240, 2008 WL 782565, at *1 (E.D. Tenn. Mar. 20, 2008)
(internal quotation marks and citation [*2] omitted).
“It is not the function of a motion to reconsider
arguments already considered and rejected by the
court.” Id. (citation omitted). Accordingly,
Sublett's Motion to Reconsider, (R. 65), is DENIED.
foregoing reasons, it is ...