United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
WELLS ROBY CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is a Motion for Rehearing/New Trial (R.
Doc. 83) filed by Plaintiffs, Jerry Joseph and
Merline Joseph, requesting that this Court reconsider its
Order on Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File Third
Supplemental and Amending Complaint (R. Doc. 80). The motion
is opposed. R. Doc. 86. The motion was submitted on September
13, 2017, and was heard on the briefs. For the following
reasons, the motion is DENIED.
action was filed in the District Court on March 9, 2015. R.
Doc. 1. The Plaintiffs allege that their son Keith Joseph
(“Deceased”) was booked as an inmate at the
Tangipahoa Parish Prison in Tangipahoa, Louisiana, on or
about February 19, 2014. Id. at p. 4. They assert
that the Deceased suffered from various health conditions,
including blood clots surrounding his lungs and a severe
heart condition, which, left untreated, caused him to suffer
intolerable chest pain. Id. at p. 5. According to
the Plaintiffs, prison officials failed to provide adequate
medical care, which subsequently resulted in the death of the
Deceased on March 11, 2014. Id. at pp. 6-7. As such,
the Plaintiffs have filed this action against the Louisiana
Department of Corrections and a number of other individuals
associated with the prison, seeking damages for mental pain,
anguish, distress, burial expenses, loss of love and
affection, and all other damages. Id. at p. 8.
28, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Leave to File Third
Supplemental and Amending Complaint (R. Doc. 73), seeking to
add Murinda Perez (“Perez”), the mother of Keith
Joseph's minor child, as Plaintiff in this action. The
Court denied the motion, finding that Perez's claim was
prescribed and would not relate back because there was no
showing that the Defendants knew or should have known of the
existence and involvement of the new plaintiff. Furthermore,
there was no evidence that the doctrine of contra non
valentem should have been applied. R. Doc. 80.
time, the Plaintiffs have filed a motion for rehearing/new
trial. R. Doc. 83. The Plaintiffs argue that they have
obtained the Affidavit of Murinda Perez, which asserts that
Perez did not learn of the Deceased's death until late
2016, and thus, contra non valentem should apply and
the Court's August 10, 2017, Order should be overturned.
R. Doc. 83.
Defendants oppose the motion, arguing that (1) the Plaintiffs
could have presented Perez's Affidavit at the time of the
original hearing, and thus, are not entitled to a new
trial/new hearing and (2) the “new evidence” is
insufficient to support the application of contra non
valentem. R. Doc. 86.
Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 54(b) provides
that an order adjudicating fewer than all the claims among
all the parties “may be revised at any time”
before the entry of a final judgment adjudicating all the
claims and all the parties' rights and liabilities. Under
Rule 54, a district court “possesses the inherent
procedural power to reconsider, rescind, or modify an
interlocutory order for cause seen by it to be
sufficient.” Melancon v. Texaco, Inc., 659
F.2d 551, 553 (5th Cir. Unit A 1981). Although the district
court's discretion, in this regard, is broad, it is
exercised sparingly in order to forestall the perpetual
reexamination of orders and the resulting burdens and delays.
Castrillo v. Am. Home Mortg. Servicing, Inc., Civil
Action No. 09-4369, 2010 WL 1424398, at *3 (E.D. La. Apr. 5,
been the general practice of this Court to evaluate motions
to reconsider interlocutory orders under the same standards
that govern Rule 59(e) motions to alter or amend a judgment.
See S. Snow Mfg. Co. v. SnowWizard Holdings, Inc.,
921 F.Supp.2d 548, 565 (E.D. La. 2013) (citing
Castrillo, 2010 WL 1424398, at *3; Rosemond v.
AIG Ins., No. 08-1145, 2009 WL 1211020, at *2 (E.D. La.
May 4, 2009); In re Katrina Canal Breaches, No.
05-4182, 2009 WL 1046016, at *1 (E.D. La. Apr. 16, 2009)).
The proper inquiry is whether the moving party has
“clearly established either a manifest error of law or
fact or . . . present[ed] newly discovered evidence. Ross
v. Marshall, 426 F.3d 745, 763 (5th Cir. 2005). A motion
to reconsider is “not the proper vehicle for rehashing
evidence, legal theories, or arguments that could have been
offered or raised before the entry of [the order].”
Templet v. HydroChem Inc., 367 F.3d 473, 478-79 (5th
Cir. 2010). The Court must “strike the proper balance
between two competing imperatives: (1) finality and (2) the
need to render just decisions on the basis of all the
facts.” Edward H. Bohlin Co. v. Banning Co., 6
F.3d 350, 355 (5th Cir. 1993).
deciding motions under Rule 59(e), this Court has considered
the following factors: (1) whether the movant demonstrates
the motion is necessary to correct manifest errors of law or
fact upon which the judgment is based; (2) whether the movant
presents new evidence; (3) whether the motion is necessary in
order to prevent manifest injustice; and (4) whether the
motion is justified by an intervening change in the
controlling law. See, e.g., Castrillo, 2010
WL 1424398, at *4. Where there exists no independent reason
for reconsideration other than mere disagreement with a prior
order, reconsideration is a waste of judicial time and
resources and should be denied. See FDIC v. Cage,
810 F.Supp. 745, 747 (S.D.Miss. 1993) (refusing consideration
where the motion merely disagreed with the court and did not
demonstrate clear error of law or manifest injustice).
Court earlier denied Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File
Third Amending and Supplemental Petition for Damages (R. Doc.
73) because the addition of Perez was prescribed and
Plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that the addition of Perez
related back, nor did they demonstrate that contra non
valentem applied. R. Doc. 80. Plaintiffs now submit
Perez's affidavit, which asserts that she did not learn
of her ...