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Potter v. Robert

United States District Court, S.D. New York

December 20, 2019

DONALD J. POTTER, Plaintiff,
HON. FREEHILL ROBERT, et al., Defendants.



         Plaintiff filed this action pro se. On November 5, 2019, the Court dismissed the complaint under the doctrines of judicial and prosecutorial immunity. On November 27, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion for relief (ECF No. 11), challenging the November 5, 2019 order.

         The Court liberally construes this submission as a motion under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) to alter or amend judgment and a motion under Local Civil Rule 6.3 for reconsideration, and, in the alternative, as a motion under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b) for relief from a judgment or order. See Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006); see also Tracy v. Freshwater, 623 F.3d 90, 101 (2d Cir. 2010) (The solicitude afforded to pro se litigants takes a variety of forms, including liberal construction of papers, “relaxation of the limitations on the amendment of pleadings, ” leniency in the enforcement of other procedural rules, and “deliberate, continuing efforts to ensure that a pro se litigant understands what is required of him”) (citations omitted). After reviewing the arguments in Plaintiff's submission, the Court denies the motion.


         The standards governing Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) and Local Civil Rule 6.3 are the same. R.F.M.A.S., Inc. v. Mimi So, 640 F.Supp.2d 506, 509 (S.D.N.Y. 2009). The movant must demonstrate that the Court overlooked “controlling law or factual matters” that had been previously put before it. Id. at 509 (discussion in the context of both Local Civil Rule 6.3 and Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e)); see Padilla v. Maersk Line, Ltd., 636 F.Supp.2d 256, 258-59 (S.D.N.Y. 2009). “Such motions must be narrowly construed and strictly applied in order to discourage litigants from making repetitive arguments on issues that have been thoroughly considered by the court.” Range Road Music, Inc. v. Music Sales Corp., 90 F.Supp.2d 390, 391-92 (S.D.N.Y. 2000); see also SimplexGrinnell LP v. Integrated Sys. & Power, Inc., 642 F.Supp.2d 206 (S.D.N.Y. 2009) (“A motion for reconsideration is not an invitation to parties to ‘treat the court's initial decision as the opening of a dialogue in which that party may then use such a motion to advance new theories or adduce new evidence in response to the court's ruling.'”) (internal quotation and citations omitted).

         Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate in his motion that the Court overlooked any controlling decisions or factual matters with respect to the dismissed action. Plaintiff's motion under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) and Local Civil Rule 6.3 is therefore denied.

         Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b), a party may seek relief from a district court's order or judgment 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 under Rule 59(b); (3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an opposing party; (4) the judgment is void; (5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged; it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or applying it prospectively is no longer equitable; or (6) any other reason justifying relief.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b).

         The Court has considered Plaintiff's arguments, and even under a liberal interpretation of his motion, Plaintiff has failed to allege facts demonstrating that any of the grounds listed in the first five clauses of Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b) apply. The Court therefore denies the motion under any of these clauses.

         To the extent that Plaintiff seeks relief under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(6), the motion is also denied. “[A] Rule 60(b)(6) motion must be based upon some reason other than those stated in clauses (1)-(5).” United Airlines, Inc. v. Brien, 588 F.3d 158, 175 (2d Cir. 2009) (quoting Smith v. Sec'y of HHS, 776 F.2d 1330, 1333 (6th Cir. 1985)). A party moving under Rule 60(b)(6) cannot circumvent the one-year limitation applicable to claims under clauses (1)-(3) by invoking the residual clause (6) of Rule 60(b). Id. A Rule 60(b)(6) motion must show both that the motion was filed within a “reasonable time” and that “‘extraordinary circumstances' [exist] to warrant relief.” Old Republic Ins. Co. v. Pac. Fin. Servs. of America, Inc., 301 F.3d 54, 59 (2d Cir. 2002) (per curiam) (citation omitted). Plaintiff has failed to allege any facts demonstrating that extraordinary circumstances exist to warrant relief under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(6). See Ackermann v. United States, 340 U.S. 193, 199-202 (1950).


         Plaintiffs motion for relief (ECF No. 11) is denied. The Clerk of Court is directed to mail a copy of this order to Plaintiff and note service on the docket.

         The Court certifies under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that any appeal from this Order would not be taken in good faith, and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for the purpose of an appeal. ...

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