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Green v. USP Cannan

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

May 24, 2018

GLENVERT GREEN, Plaintiff
v.
USP CANNAN, et al., Defendants

          MEMORANDUM

          A. RICHARD CAPUTO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         On April 4, 2018, the Court granted the Defendants' motion for summary judgment based on Plaintiff's failure to properly exhaust his available administrative remedies with respect to his claim that various medical staff members at USP-Canaan were deliberately indifferent to his ongoing medical needs following the rupture of his Achilles tendon. (ECF Nos. 41 and 42.) On May 1, 2018, Mr. Green filed a motion for reconsideration asserting that: (1) he never received a copy of Defendants' proposed statement of material facts; and (2) the Bureau of Prisons' administrative remedy program was unavailable to him as defendants refused to process his BP-9 and “was given a[n] Administrative Tort Claim Form” instead. (ECF No. 44.) Mr. Green never filed a brief in support of his motion as required by Pa. M.D. Local Rule 7.5. Defendants filed a brief in opposition to Mr. Green's motion. (ECF No. 45.)

         For the reasons that follow, Mr. Green's motion for reconsideration will be denied.

         II. Standard of Review

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) gives a district court the discretion to grant a party relief if a “final judgment, order, or proceeding” was the product of “mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1). The scope of a motion for reconsideration is extremely limited. Blystone v. Horn, 664 F.3d 397, 415 (3d Cir. 2011). “Such motions are not to be used as an opportunity to relitigate the case”. (Id.) (citing Howard Hess Dental Labs, Inc., v. Dentsply Int'l Inc., 602 F.3d 237, 251 (3d Cir. 2010)).

         To prevail on a motion for reconsideration filed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b), a party must show: (1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was previously unavailable; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice. Astrazeneca v. Pharma. L.P., 769 F.3d 837, 848 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting Max's Seafood Café ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)). “New evidence” for the purpose of this inquiry “does not refer to evidence that a party ... submits to the court after an adverse ruling. Rather, new evidence in this context means evidence that a party could not earlier submit to the court because that evidence was not previously available.” Howard Hess Dental Labs. Inc., 602 F.3d at 252.

         III. Discussion

         A. Mr. Green's Motion is Deemed Withdrawn

         Mr. Green filed his motion for reconsideration on April 26, 2018. (ECF No. 44.) Pursuant to Local Rule 7.5, Plaintiff had fourteen days to file a brief in support of his motion. The Court forwarded Mr. Green a copy of this district's Standing Practice Order in pro se plaintiff cases cautioning him that when a moving party does not file a brief in support of a motion within the 14-day deadline, the “party shall be deemed to have withdrawn the motion.” (ECF No. 2.)[1] Accordingly, because Mr. Green never filed a brief in support of his motion for reconsideration, the Court will deem the motion withdrawn.

         B. Mr. Green's Motion for Reconsideration

         Alternatively, even if the Court were to consider the arguments presented in Mr. Green's motion, the motion would be denied.

         On May 1, 2018, Mr. Green filed a motion for reconsideration asserting that: (1) he never received a copy of Defendants' proposed statement of material facts; and (2) the Bureau of Prisons' administrative remedy program was unavailable to him as defendants refused to process his BP-9 and “was given a[n] Administrative Tort Claim Form” instead. Of these arguments, neither demonstrates an intervening change in law, the availability of previously unavailable evidence, or a need to correct a clear error of law or fact, and thus he is not entitled to relief.

         As for Mr. Green's claim that he did not receive a copy of the Defendants' Statement of Material Facts and thereby prevented him from properly responding to their motion, the Court finds this theory unsupported by the record. (ECF No. 44.) Mr. Green was on notice of the Defendants' obligation to file a statement of material facts with their motion for summary judgment per Local Rule 56.1, and aware that Defendants relied on such a statement as referenced in their April 2017 supporting brief and reply brief. (ECF No. 33, p. 3 and ECF No. 37, p. 2.) Moreover, the Defendants' summary judgment brief also summarized the facts and documents relied upon when advancing their affirmative defense that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his medical claim. (ECF No. 33., p. 7.) The Court has examined Mr. Green's brief in opposition to Defendants' summary motion as well as a sur-reply brief. (ECF Nos. 35 and 38.) At no time did Mr. Green alert the Defendants, or the Court, that he did not receive Defendants' Statement of Material Facts, or supporting documents, referenced in their briefs. If Mr. Green failed to receive a copy of them, Plaintiff did not exercise due diligence and promptly alert the Defendants, or the Court, of the issue. Based on the record before the Court, Mr. Green's lack of diligence to protect his own interests does not demonstrate good cause for justifying the disturbance of the Court's granting of the Defendants' summary judgment motion. Moreover, given Mr. Green's failure to brief his ...


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