United States District Court, S.D. Florida
Damian A. Fletcher, Plaintiff,
S. Miller, and others, Defendants.
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
N. Scola, Jr. United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on Damian A. Fletcher's motion
for reconsideration of the Court's Order Adopting
Magistrate's Report and Recommendation, which adopted
Magistrate Judge White's recommendation that the Court
dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted. (Mot., ECF No. 25.) Judge White
construed the Complaint as challenging the lawfulness of
Fletcher's arrest, his continued detention, the criminal
charges against him, and the actions of the state
prosecutors. (Report, ECF No. 7.) Judge White recommended
that the Court dismiss the Complaint because Fletcher's
criminal case was still pending at the time he filed the
Complaint. (Id. at 6-12.) In addition, Judge White
noted that prosecutors are immune from § 1983 suits
relating to activities that are intimately associated with
the judicial phase of the criminal process, and found that
the Complaint failed to state a claim for a constitutional
violation against the prosecutor's supervisor.
(Id. at 12-13.) Finally, Judge White opined that
Fletcher's slander claim did not rise to the level of a
due process violation. (Id. at 15.)
59(e) permits a motion to alter or amend a judgment.
“The only grounds for granting a Rule 59 motion are
newly-discovered evidence or manifest errors of law or fact.
A Rule 59(e) motion cannot be used to relitigate old matters,
raise argument or present evidence that could have been
raised prior to the entry of judgment.” Arthur v.
King, 500 F.3d 1335, 1343 (11th Cir. 2007) (internal
quotations omitted). Rule 60(b) permits a court to relieve a
party from a final judgment or order for the following
reasons: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable
neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable
diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for
a new trial . . .; (3) fraud . . ., misrepresentation, or
other misconduct of an adverse party; (4) the judgment is
void; (5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or
discharged . . .; or (6) any other reason justifying relief
from the operation of the judgment.
decision to grant or deny a motion for reconsideration is
committed to the district court's sound discretion.
See Chapman v. AI Transport, 229 F.3d 1012, 1023-24
(11th Cir. 2000) (reviewing reconsideration decision for
abuse of discretion). Reconsideration is appropriate only in
very limited circumstances, such as where “the Court
has patently misunderstood a party, where there is an
intervening change in controlling law or the facts of a case,
or where there is manifest injustice.” See Vila v.
Padron, 2005 WL 6104075, at *1 (S.D. Fla. Mar. 31, 2005)
(Altonaga, J.). “Such problems rarely arise and the
motion to reconsider should be equally rare.” See
Id. (citation omitted). In order to obtain
reconsideration, “the party must do more than simply
restate its previous arguments, and any arguments the party
failed to raise in the earlier motion will be deemed
waived.” See id. “[A] motion for
reconsideration should not be used as a vehicle to present
authorities available at the time of the first decision or to
reiterate arguments previously made.” Z.K. Marine
Inc. v. M/V Archigetis, 808 F.Supp. 1561, 1563 (S.D.
Fla. 1992) (Hoeveler, J.).
filed a Description of Violations and Facts to Support Claim
(the “Description”) in support of his motion for
reconsideration (ECF No. 26). As a threshold matter, the
Court notes that multiple pages of the Description are
illegible. (Id. at 20-29.) However, the majority of
the pages that are legible simply elaborate on the
allegations set forth in the Complaint and Amended Complaint.
Fletcher has not alleged that he has discovered new evidence,
and he has not demonstrated that the Court's previous
decision was based on a manifest error of law or fact.
only new piece of information in the motion is that
Fletcher's criminal case has been dismissed. (Mot. 1.)
However, the dismissal of the criminal case does not
constitute newly-discovered evidence, nor does it justify
reconsideration under any of the Rule 60(b) factors.
Moreover, a review of the state court record reveals that
Fletcher's case was nolle prossed. To the extent that
Fletcher is attempting to utilize the dismissal of his case
to revive his malicious prosecution claim, he must
“present evidence that the nol pros was not the result
of a negotiated plea or bargain.” Alamo Rent-A-Car,
Inc. v. Mancusi, 632 So.2d 1352, 1356 (Fla. 1994). It is
unclear from Fletcher's allegations whether the nol pros
was the result of a negotiated plea or bargain.
the Court denies the motion for
reconsideration, as well as Fletcher's request that the
Court appoint an attorney to represent him (ECF No.
25). If Fletcher wishes to re-assert the claims that
were dismissed because his criminal case was still pending at
the time he filed the Complaint, he must file a new complaint
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 3.