United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MICHAEL R. LITTLE, et al., Plaintiffs
B. MOTTERN, et al., Defendants
before the court is a motion for reconsideration filed by
Plaintiff Kareem H. Milhouse. Milhouse filed a brief in
support of the motion on March 27, 2007. Defendants field a
brief in opposition on April 6, 2017. The motion became ripe
for disposition on April 24, 2017, when Milhouse filed a
reply brief. The motion for reconsideration only relates to
this Court's Memorandum and separate Order issued on
March 7, 2017, granting Defendants' motion for summary
judgment as to five Defendants named in the operative third
amended complaint as a result of Milhouse's failure to
exhaust his administrative remedies. For the reasons set
forth below, the motion for reconsideration filed by Milhouse
will be denied.
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 Café 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)). A 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.” See
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.
Drysdale 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 Cas. Co.
v. Diversified Indus. Inc., 884 F.Supp. 937, 943 (E.D.
19, 2014, Plaintiffs Michael R. Little and Kareem H.
Milhouse, inmates confined at the United States Penitentiary
at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania (“USP-Lewisburg”),
filed a civil rights action pro se pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1331, the Federal Tort Claims Act
(“FTCA”), and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named
Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388
(1971). A third amended complaint was filed by Little and
Milhouse on September 2, 2014, raising claims under
Bivens and the FTCA. (Doc. No. 35.) The third
amended complaint focuses on three groups of defendants.
(Id.) As stated above, the motion for
reconsideration relates to one group comprised of five
defendants. Those five defendants are as follows: (1) Hamsa
Boussag, Correctional Officer; (2) Jerald Loyek, Correctional
Officer; (3) James Eck, Correctional Officer; (4) Daniel
Dowkus, Lieutenant; and (5) James Diltz, Correctional
motion for reconsideration, Milhouse challenges the
Court's entry of summary judgment in favor of those five
defendants on the grounds that Milhouse failed to exhaust his
administrative remedies. He contends that the Court should
not have granted summary judgment in favor of those
defendants without first allowing him to engage in discovery.
He further claims that the Court did not address an
outstanding motion he filed under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 56(d). Rule 56(d) provides as follows:
When Facts are Unavailable to the Nonmovant.
If a movant shows by affidavit or declaration that, for
specified reasons, it cannot present facts essential to
justify it opposition, the court may:
(1) defer considering the motion or deny it;
(2) allow time to obtain affidavits or declarations or to
take discovery; or
(3) issue any other appropriate order.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(d). Although the Court did not
specifically address the merits of Milhouse's Rule 56(d)
motion in its Memorandum of March 7, 2017, the Court did deny
the motion in the Order of the same date. (Doc. No. 221.)
Nevertheless, Milhouse has not met the standard for
reconsideration of the Memorandum and Order of March 7, 2017.
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has held
that in order to obtain relief under Rule 56(d) (formerly
Rule 56(f)), a party must file a motion and an affidavit that
specifies the information sought, how the information would
preclude summary judgment, and why the information had not
previously been obtained through discovery. Doe v.
Abington Friends School, 480 F.3d 252, 255 n.3 (3d Cir.
2007); Dowling v. City of Phila., 855 F.2d 136,
139-140 (3d Cir. 1988). In the present case, Milhouse failed
to file an affidavit in accordance with Rule 56(d).
Accordingly, the Court's denial of the Rule 56(d) motion
was not in error and did not result in manifest
the Court finds that Milhouse has failed to meet his burden
of demonstrating that the Court's Memorandum and Order of
March 7, 2017, exhibited manifest errors of law or fact.
Moreover, Milhouse has not presented any new evidence, which
if previously presented, might have affected the ...