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Midfirst Bank v. Craige

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

August 11, 2017


         SECTION "L" (5)

          ORDER & REASONS

         Before the Court is pro se Third-Party Plaintiff Kristian Craige's ("Craige") Motion to Reconsider the Court's denial of Plaintiff s motion for a default judgment against counter-defendant MidFirst Bank. R. Doc. 41. While no party has yet entered an opposition to the motion, the Court has reviewed Plaintiffs arguments and the applicable law, and now issues this Order and Reasons.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This tort case involves a dispute arising out of a promissory note executed by Kristian Craige, dated June 16, 2003, regarding an Act of Mortgage executed on the same date. R. 1-1 at 1. The note was executed in favor of New Freedom Mortgage Corporation in the principal amount $73, 369.00 and stipulating 6% interest per annum on the unpaid balance. R. 1-1 at 1. While the viability of the transfers is disputed, the record indicates that New Freedom Mortgage endorsed the mortgage note to Citimortgage, Inc., and Citimortgage, Inc. in turn endorsed the note to Midfirst Bank. R. 1-1 at 2. On December 17, 2014, Midfirst Bank instituted foreclosure proceedings in state court to collect on the unpaid principal on the note, $65, 795.39. R. 1-1 at 3. According to the Petition filed in state Court, Craige had not made his scheduled mortgage payments since May 1, 2014. R. 1-1 at 4.[1]

         On March 15, 2016, Craige filed apro se counterclaim in state court against Midfirst Bank ("Midfirst"), Citimortgage, Inc., Citibank N.A., and Citigroup Inc ("the Citi Entities"). Craige argues the Defendants conspired to commit fraud against him, and deprive him of his property. The counterclaim alleges numerous procedural errors committed by Midfirst during the foreclosure process, and also claims that the assignment of the note "has yet to be verified." R. 1-2 at 3.

         On July 26, 2016, the Court held that Plaintiffs tort claims were prescribed, but granted leave for Plaintiff to amend his complaint and re-assert any non-prescribed claims. R. 19. On August 24, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion to "re-urge any non-prescribed claims, " but did not specify any of the new claims he wished to assert against Defendants. R. 21. The Court denied the Motion and explained that Plaintiff was barred from re-urging the claims in the initial Complaint, as the Court already determined those claims had prescribed. R. 23. The Court granted Plaintiff a third opportunity to file another Complaint alleging a non-prescribed claim, if such a claim exists. R. 23.

         In response, Plaintiff filed a motion to re-urge a Complaint with non-prescribed claims against any of the parties. R. 26. Plaintiff asserted four additional claims, which he argued were not prescribed. First, Plaintiff brought a breach of contract claim against the Citi Entities. R. 26 at 3. Second, Plaintiff asserted claims for violations of the Uniform Commercial Code §3-305 and Recoupment. R. 26 at 3-4. Third, Plaintiff argued that the Citi Entities violated Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. R. 26 at 4-5. Fourth, Plaintiff alleged that he was entitled to quiet title to the property, because of the Citi Entities fraudulent conduct, and that he had adverse possession rights. R. 26 at 5-6. In connection to these claims, Plaintiff sought $4, 000, 000.00 in damages. R. 26 at 6.

         On May 26, 2017, the Court granted the Citi Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, finding that Plaintiff had failed to plead factual allegations which entitled him to relief against the Citi Entities. R. Doc. 38. Plaintiff then filed a motion for default judgment against counter-defendant MidFirst Bank. R. Doc. 39. The Court denied the motion, finding that Plaintiff had failed to comply with the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55. R. Doc. 40.

         II. Plaintiffs Motion for Reconsideration (R. 41)

         On July 28, 2017, Plaintiff filed a "Motion to Rebut the Court's Order." R. Doc. 41. The Court will interpret this filing as a motion for reconsideration. In his motion, Plaintiff re-asserts many of the same arguments he had previously raised in this litigation. He contends he is a Native American Choctaw and thus entitled to equal protection rights under the United Nations Declaration of the Right of Indigenous Peoples. R. 34 at 1. He alleges that as a pro se Plaintiff, he is entitled to the less stringent pleading standards afforded to pro se litigants. R. 34 at 2. He argues that MidFirst Bank violated his right to Due Process, as well as his First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment Rights. R. 34 at 2. Further, Plaintiff alleges that MidFirst Bank has failed to file an answer in this Court. R. 41 at 2.[2]


         As an initial matter, the Court finds it necessary to emphasize that Plaintiff seeks reconsideration of the Court's Order denying his motion for default. Plaintiffs claims against MidFirst were not dismissed. While Plaintiff is certainly entitled to the more lenient standard afforded to pro se litigants, this Court is not required to prosecute this case on his behalf[3]

         A. Motion for Reconsideration Standard

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not specifically recognize a motion for reconsideration. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co. v. Fair Grounds Corp.,123 F.3d 336, 339 (5th Cir. 1997). However, when a movant seeks review of a judgment, such as in the present case, courts treat a motion for reconsideration as either a Rule 59(e) motion to alter or amend judgment, or as a Rule 60(b) motion for relief from a judgment or order. Harcon Barge Co. v. D & G Boat Rentals, Inc.,784 F.2d 665, 666 (5th Cir. 1986). The motion is considered a Rule 59(e) motion if filed no later than 28 days from the entry of a judgment, and a Rule 60(b) motion if filed after this time period. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e). Here, ...

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