United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
D MARIANI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Jeremy Pinson, an inmate formerly confined at the Allenwood
United States Penitentiary ("USP-Allenwood"), in
White Deer, Pennsylvania, initiated this action pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1331. (Doc. 1). Previously by Order dated
December 19, 2016, the Court dismissed this action pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) based on
Pinson's failure to comply with an Order of Court
directing him to notify the Court as to whether he intended
to pursue this action. (Doc. 38).
before the Court is Pinson's motion (Doc. 43) for
reconsideration pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
59 and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60. For the reasons
set forth below, the Court will grant the motion.
Standard of Review
threshold matter, the Court notes that Pinson styled his
motion (Doc. 43) as a motion for reconsideration under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59 and Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 60. The Court will consider the motion as a motion
to alter or amend judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e). When a
motion is filed within 28 days of the entry of judgment, it
must be considered under Rule 59(e), not Rule 60(b).
See FED. R. CIV. P. 59(e) advisory committee's
note (2009 amend.) (expanding the former 10 day time period
for filing a motion to alter or amend a judgment to 28 days).
See Rankin v. Heckler, 761 F.2d 936, 942 (3d
Cir.1985) (holding that "[r]egardless how it is styled,
a motion filed within ten days of entry of judgment
questioning the correctness of a judgment may be treated as a
motion to alter or amend the judgment under Rule
59(e)"). In this case, the Court entered judgment on
December 19, 2016. (Doc. 38). Pinson's motion was filed
on January 3, 2017, within 28 days of entry of judgment.
Accordingly, the Court will consider the motion under the
rubric of Rule 59(e).
to alter or amend a judgment under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 59(e) serve primarily to correct analytical errors
in a prior decision of the court. See FED. R. ClV.
P. 59(e); United States v. Fiorelli, 337 F.3d 282,
287-88 (3d Cir. 2003). Under Rule 59(e), "a judgment may
be altered or amended if the party seeking reconsideration
shows at least one of the following grounds: (1) an
intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the
availability of new evidence that was not available when the
court granted the motion for summary judgment; or (3) the
need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent
manifest injustice." Max's Seafood Cafe ex rel.
Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir.
1999). "A motion for reconsideration is not to be used
as a means to reargue matters already argued and disposed
of... [n]or is it to be used to put forth additional
arguments which could have been made but which the party
neglected to make before judgment." Waye v. First
Citizen's Nat. Bank, 846 F.Supp. 310, 314 (M.D. Pa.
1994) (citation omitted). 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."
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).
Reconsideration of a judgment is an extraordinary remedy, and
the court grants such motions sparingly. D'Angio v.
Borough of Nescopeck, 56 F.Supp.2d 502, 504 (M.D. Pa.
instant motion, Pinson requests that the Court reopen this
action based on the Court's inadvertent failure to
receive his mail.
procedural history of this case is as follows. On June 22,
2016, the Court received a complaint purportedly filed by
Plaintiffs Pinson and Beckwith. (Doc. 1). By Memorandum and
Order dated September 19, 2016, the Court screened
Plaintiffs' complaint and found that it violated Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 8 and 20, and granted Plaintiffs the
opportunity to file an amended complaint. (Docs. 13, 14). On
September 6, 2016, the Court received an amended complaint
purportedly filed by Plaintiffs Pinson and Beckwith. (Doc.
20). On November 28, 2016, Plaintiff Beckwith notified the
Court that he never filed the instant action, that
co-Plaintiff Pinson illegally used his name, and that he
never consented or gave permission to co-Plaintiff Pinson to
use his name in the instant action. (Doc. 31). Accordingly,
by Order dated November 30, 2016, the Court granted
Beckwith's request to be removed from this action, and
directed Plaintiff Pinson to file a notice with the Court
indicating whether he intended on pursuing this action. (Doc.
35). The Order warned Pinson that failure to apprise the
Court of his position in this matter may result in dismissal
of this action without further notice of Court.
(Id.). Pinson failed to reply. Therefore, the Court
dismissed this action pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 41(b) for failure to comply with an Order of Court.
(Doc. 38). Subsequent to the dismissal of this action, Pinson
filed a notice with the Court indicating that he wished to
pursue this matter, and a motion for reconsideration of the
Court's Order dismissing this case. (Docs. 40, 43).
Pinson asserts that his personal mail log reflects that he
sent documents to the Court, but the Court may not have
received his filings. (Doc. 43, p. 3).
an abundance of caution and in order to prevent manifest
injustice, the motion for reconsideration will be granted and
this action will be reopened. Because the amended complaint
was purportedly signed and filed by Plaintiffs Pinson and
Beckwith, Pinson will be directed to file an all-inclusive
second amended complaint on his own behalf.
on the foregoing, Pinson's motion (Doc. 43) pursuant to
Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure will be