United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah
WILLIAM J. DAUGHERTY, PLAINTIFF
KSP MEDICAL DEPARTMENT, et al., DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. RUSSELL, SENIOR JUDGE
matter is before the Court on pro se Plaintiff William
Daugherty's “Motion to the Court.” [DN 89].
Defendants Dr. Shastine Tangilag and Correct Care Solutions
did not respond and the deadline to do so has passed.
Therefore, this matter is ripe for adjudication. For the
reasons stated herein, Daugherty's Motion to the Court,
[DN 89], is DENIED.
December 2018, Daugherty filed a Motion to the Court arguing
that the handling of his case was unfair, and his claim
should not have been dismissed due to his failure to exhaust
administrative remedies. [DN 87]. The Court analyzed the
motion as a Rule 59 Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment and
found that the previous judgment did not need to be altered
in order to prevent manifest injustice. [DN 88]. Daugherty
filed the current motion in response to the Court's
Memorandum Opinion and Order. [DN 89]. He claims that the
ruling is an injustice and takes specific offense to the fact
that Defendants were not penalized for failing to respond to
Daugherty's first Motion to the Court. Id. at
547. As the Court has already dismissed this action in a
previous order and judgment, [DN 86], the Court interprets
Daugherty's motion as a Rule 59 Motion to Alter or Amend
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 WL 782565, at
*1 (E.D. Tenn. Mar. 20, 2008) (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted). “It is not the function of a motion
to reconsider arguments already considered and rejected by
the court.” Id. (citation omitted). As another
district court in this circuit put it: “Where a party
views the law in a light contrary to that of this Court, its
proper recourse is not by way of a motion for reconsideration
but appeal to the Sixth Circuit.” Hitachi Med. Sys.
Am., Inc. v. Branch, 2010 WL 2836788, at *1 (N.D. Ohio
July 20, 2010) (internal quotation marks and citations
omitted). Accordingly, 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)). Furthermore, because there is an interest in the
finality of a decision, this Court and other district courts
have held that “[s]uch motions are extraordinary and
sparingly granted.” Marshall v. Johnson, 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).
Daugherty does not specify any of the four grounds listed
above, the Court finds the most applicable are “a clear
error of law” and “a need to prevent manifest
injustice.” Daugherty's claims of legal error and
manifest injustice center around the Court's introductory
statement in its prior Memorandum Opinion and Order:
This matter is before the Court on pro se Plainitff William
Daugherty's Motion to the Court. Remaining defendants Dr.
Shastine Tangilag and Correct Care Solutions did not respond
and the deadline to do so has passed. Therefore, this matter
is ripe for adjudication.
[DN 88 at 543]. Daugherty argues that if a party to a lawsuit
fails to respond to a court order, a default judgement should
be entered against that person for the relief demanded in the
complaint. [DN 89 at 547]. Because Defendants Dr. Tangilag
and Correct Care Solutions did not respond to his Motion to
the Court, Daugherty believes that the Court should have
entered a default judgment against them. Id. at 548.
Daugherty claims that the Court's willingness to overlook
the Defendants' failure to respond is particularly unjust
given the fact that his claim was dismissed for failure to
exhaust administrative remedies. Id. Specifically,
Daugherty states: “The Court over look[s] one thing for
another, it said one thing and means something else, the
Court has made it[s] point, I cannot win against this Doctor
[no] matter what I do or what they don't do.”
Court finds that its previous judgment need not be altered
due to a clear error in law or manifest injustice. Pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(a), “[w]hen a
party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is
sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend, and that
failure is shown by affidavit or otherwise, the clerk must
enter the party's default.” A default judgment may
then be entered either by the Clerk or by the Court depending
on whether the plaintiff's claim is for a sum certain.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(1)-(2). Generally, default judgments are
entered against parties who fail to respond to a complaint or
otherwise defend a case. See Phillip Morris USA Inc. v. A
& V Minimarket, Inc., 592 F.Supp.2d 669 (S.D.N.Y.
2009); Carpenters Labor-Management Pension Fund v.
Freeman-Carder LLC, 498 F.Supp.2d 237 (D.C.C. 2007).
Here, Defendants answered Daugherty's Complaint, [DN 78],
and successfully defended the case, [DN 86]. Therefore, Rule
55 is inapplicable and Daugherty is not entitled to a default
judgment for Defendants' failure to respond to his Motion
to the Court. Further, it was not unjust for the Court to
rule on his Motion to the Court despite the Defendants
failure to respond. Accordingly, there was no clear error of
law or manifest injustice that requires the Court to amend
its prior judgment.
reasons stated herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: Daugherty's