United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
L. HAYES MAG. JUDGE.
G. JAMES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is R & L Properties of Oak Grove,
LLC's (“Properties”) “Motion for New
Trial on the Issue of Negligence, R. Doc. 293, Concerning
Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant, Prewett
Enterprises, Inc. [R. Doc. 182] and Motion for Summary
Judgment filed by Defendant, Hulcher Services, Inc. [R. Doc.
187]” (“Rule 54(b) Motion”) [Doc. No. 294].
Properties moves the Court to reconsider its April 20, 2017
ruling [Doc. No. 293] granting partial summary judgment to
Defendants Prewett Enterprises, Inc. (“Prewett”)
and Hulcher Services, Inc. (“Hulcher”) and
dismissing Properties' negligence claims against these
Defendants. Properties argues that
The defendants have not demonstrated that they had permission
to enter the Church Street property, and, in fact, have
admitted that they never sought to obtain any such permission
from the property owners.
2315 would define that instrumental conduct as negligence:
“Every act whatever of man that causes damage to
another obliges him by whose fault it happened to repair
Prewett and Hulcher were required to obtain landowner
permission in their contracts with UPRC. See,
Contract between UPRC and Prewett, R.Doc. 224-20. Therefore,
these defendants not only had the legal obligation to not
trespass on private property, but also had the contractual
obligation to not do so. R & L Properties was a
third-party beneficiary of that contractual obligation.
[Doc. No. 294-2, p. 4]. Accordingly, Properties argues that
summary judgment should not have been granted on its
17, 2017, Prewett filed a memorandum in opposition to the
pending motion. [Doc. Nos. 316 & 319]. Prewett responds
that Properties failed to state a basis for any modification
to the Court's Judgment because the argument has already
been addressed. To the extent that Properties has tried to
recharacterize its argument as “a
‘contractual' duty ‘to not trespass,
'” Prewett points out that the argument has been
presented and addressed and that the trespass allegation is
the basis of a separate motion that the Court has also ruled
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not recognize a motion
for reconsideration per se. Instead, a motion
challenging a judgment or order may be filed under Rules 54,
59, or 60. Rules 59 and 60 apply only to final judgments.
Rule 54(b) provides that any order “that adjudicates
fewer than all the claims... [among] all the parties... may
be revised at any time before the entry of a [final]
judgment.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b). “Under Rule
54[(b)], a district court has the inherent procedural power
to reconsider, rescind, or modify an interlocutory order for
cause seen by it to be sufficient.” Iturralde v.
Shaw Grp., Inc., 512 F. App'x 430, 432 (5th Cir.
2013) (quoting Melancon v. Texaco, Inc., 659 F.2d
551, 553 (5th Cir. 1981)) (citations omitted); see
generally Moses H. Cone Mem'l Hosp. v. Mercury Const.
Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 12 n. 14 (1983) (holding that
“virtually all interlocutory orders may be altered or
amended before final judgment if sufficient cause is
shown”). An “order granting partial summary
judgment [is] interlocutory, ” and, therefore, the
Court must “analyze the motion for reconsideration
under Rule 54(b) . . . instead of Rule 59(e), which applies
to final judgments.” Cabral v. Brennan, 853
F.3d 763, 766 (5th Cir. 2017). Courts evaluate motions to
reconsider interlocutory orders under a “less
exacting” standard than Rule 59(e), but, nevertheless,
look to similar considerations for guidance. See HBM
Interests, LLC v. Chesapeake Louisiana, LP, No. 12-1048,
2013 WL 3893989 (W.D. La. July 26, 2013) (quoting
Livingston Downs Racing Ass'n, Inc. v. Jefferson
Downs Corp., 259 F.Supp.2d 471');">259 F.Supp.2d 471, 475 (M.D. La. 2002));
Sw. Louisiana Hosp. Ass'n v. BASF Const.
Chemicals, LLC, No. 2:10-CV-902, 2013 WL 1858610 (W.D.
La. Apr. 29, 2013) (quoting Livingston Downs, 259
F.Supp.2d at 475). Therefore, in determining whether to grant
the motion, the Court must evaluate whether there are
“manifest errors of law or fact upon which judgment is
based[, ]” whether “new evidence” is
available, whether there is a need “to prevent manifest
injustice, ” or whether there has been “an
intervening change in controlling law.” HBM
Interests, 2013 WL 3893989, at *1 (internal quotation
marks and citations omitted).
case, the Court finds no basis to reconsider or rescind its
previous Ruling and Judgment. The Court has properly
considered and rejected Properties' negligence arguments.
The act of trespassing is an intentional tort or delict, not
negligence. To the extent that there was an action for
trespass, such action was considered in a separate ruling,
and there is a separate motion for reconsideration pending on
that ruling and judgment. Therefore, IT IS ORDERED that the
motion is DENIED.
Prewett argues that Properties
improperly brought the instant motion as a motion for new
trial, but that it should be considered as a motion to alter
or amend judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
59(e). [Doc. No. 316]. Prewett filed a second memorandum
amending its statement of the law to clarify that motions for
reconsideration filed within 28 days of
final judgment, not 10 days, are considered under Rule 59
(e). However, as discussed below, neither party is correct. A
motion asking ...