United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
D. Mariani, United States District Judge
Stacy Butler, ("Butler"), an inmate currently
confined at the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg,
Pennsylvania, ("USP-Lewisburg"), filed the
above-captioned action pursuant to
Bivens.(Doc. 1). The matter is proceeding
via an amended complaint wherein Butler names Rodwan
K. Rajjoub, M.D., as the sole Defendant. (Doc. 13-1).
Previously by Memorandum and Order dated June 13, 2016, the
Court denied Butler's motion to clarify and motion to
appoint counsel. (Does. 43, 44). Pending before the Court is
Butler's motion (Doc. 46) for reconsideration of this
Court's June 13, 2016 Order. For the reasons set forth
below, the motion for reconsideration will be denied.
I. Motion for Reconsideration Standard of
motion for reconsideration is a device of limited utility. It
may be used only to seek remediation for manifest errors of
law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence which, if
discovered previously, might have affected the court's
decision. Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906
(3d Cir. 1985), cert, denied, 476 U.S. 1171 (1986).
Accordingly, a party seeking reconsideration must demonstrate
at least one of the following grounds prior to the court
altering, or amending, a standing judgment: (1) an
intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the
availability of new evidence that was not available when the
court granted the motion; or (3) the need to correct a clear
error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice.
Max's Seafood Cafe v. Quineros, 176 F.3d 669,
677 (3d Cir. 1999), citing North River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA
Reinsurance Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995).
motion for reconsideration is appropriate in instances where
the court has "...misunderstood a party, or has made a
decision outside the adversarial issues presented to the
Court by the parties, or has made an error not of reasoning
but of apprehension." Rohrbach v. AT & T Nassau
Metals Corp., 902 F.Supp. 523, 527 (M.D. Pa. 1995),
vacated in part on other grounds on reconsideration
915 F.Supp. 712 (M.D. Pa. 1996), quoting Above the Belt,
Inc. v. Mel Bohannan Roofing, Inc., 99 F.R.D. 99, 101
(E.D. Va. 1983). It may not be used as a means to reargue
unsuccessful theories, or argue new facts or issues that were
not presented to the court in the context of the matter
previously decided. Drysdaie v. Woerth, 153
F.Supp.2d 678, 682 (E.D. Pa. 2001). "Because federal
courts have a strong interest in the finality of judgments,
motions for reconsideration should be granted
sparingly." Continental Casualty Co. v. Diversified
Indus. Inc., 884 F.Supp. 937, 943 (E.D. Pa. 1995).
instant motion, Butler requests that the Court reconsider its
Order denying his request for counsel. (Docs. 46, 47). The
Court determines that Butler fails to establish any grounds
warranting reconsideration of the June 13, 2016 Memorandum
and Order. Rather, Butler restates his request for counsel
and requests that the Court appoint counsel or, in the
alternative, "suspend this cause of action until counsel
is obtained." (Doc. 47, p. 4). Butler again bases his
motion on the alleged complexity of the case, the inability
to investigate the facts of his case, and the inability to
obtain expert witnesses. (Doc. 47).
Court previously considered Butler's request for counsel
and determined that he failed to set forth any special
circumstances warranting the appointment of counsel. (Doc.
44, pp. 2-4) (citing Tabron v. Grace, 6 F.3d 147,
153, 155-56 (3d Cir. 1993)). The Court specifically found
that, despite Butler's incarceration, investigation of
the facts is not beyond his capabilities, he is familiar with
the facts of his case, and he demonstrates the ability to
present comprehensible arguments and to present his own case.
(Doc. 44, pp. 3-4).
has not demonstrated any need to reconsider the June 13, 2016
Memorandum and Order. He fails to advance an intervening
change in controlling law, to present newly found evidence,
or to establish that a clear error of law or fact exists. Nor
does he establish that the Court came to its conclusions by
way of some gross misunderstanding of the facts or law of
this case. Since the entry of the Order denying Butler's
request for counsel, he has continued to demonstrate a
reasonable ability to litigate this action pro se.
Furthermore, his latest motion fails to set forth sufficient
special circumstances or factors which would warrant the
appointment of counsel. See Tabron, 6 F.3d at 153,
155-57. Consequently, the motion for reconsideration will be
denied. Additionally, Butler's renewed request to stay
this action pending the appointment or retention of counsel
will be denied. The Court will not needlessly delay this
action until such time as Butler obtains counsel.
separate order shall issue.
Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents
of the Fed. Bureau of Narcotics,
403 U.S. 388 (1971).
Bivens stands for the proposition that "a
citizen suffering a compensable injury to a constitutionally
protected interest could invoke the general federal-question
jurisdiction of the district courts to obtain an award of
monetary damages against the responsible ...