United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
OPINION AND ORDER ON RECONSIDERATION
RICHARD A. LANZILLO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Order dated July 16, 2019, this Court granted Plaintiff
Trevor Mattis' request for reconsideration of a prior
order granting summary judgment to the Defendants.
See ECF No. 132. In granting summary judgment to the
Defendants, the Court faulted Mattis for failing to comply
with the Local Rules by not attaching and/or filing various
exhibits upon which he relied in opposing the Defendants'
motion. See ECF No. 120. Mattis, in his motion for
reconsideration, claimed that he had indeed filed the
exhibits and served copies of them upon opposing
counsel. ECF No. 131, p.1-2. The Court granted his
request to reconsider and instructed Mattis to file the
missing exhibits and re-serve them on opposing counsel. ECF
No. 132. Mattis has complied. See ECF Nos. 133, 134,
135. The Court then afforded the Defendants an opportunity to
respond to the filing of these exhibits should they choose to
do so. ECF No. 137.. Defendants Hasper and McNeely did so and
the other Defendants did not. ECF Nos. 138, 139. Having
reviewed the exhibits, the Court concludes that it did not
err in its prior Order granting summary judgment.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not specifically address
requests for reconsideration. Rodriguez v. City of
Cleveland, 2009 WL 1565956, *l-2 (N.D. Ohio 2009). Such
motions are generally considered under Rule 59(e). Weist
v. Lynch, 710 F.3d 121, 127 (3d Cir. 2013) (citing
Fed. Kemper Ins. Co. v. Rauscher, 807 F.2d 345, 348
(3d Cir. 1986)). See also Blystone v. Horn, 664 F.3d
397, 415-16 (3d Cir. 2011). However, "[t]he scope of a
motion for reconsideration ... is extremely limited."
Id. A party seeking reconsideration must show at
least one of the following: "(1) an intervening change
in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence
unavailable when the court dismissed the motions; or (3) the
need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent
manifest injustice." Keifer v. Reinhart
Foodservices, LLC, 563 Fed.Appx. 112, 114-115 (3d Cir.
2014) (quoting Max's Seafood Cafe ex rel. Lou-Ann,
Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)).
"Because federal courts have a strong interest in
finality of judgments, motions for reconsideration should be
granted sparingly." Bolick v. DFS Servs., LLC,
2012 WL 13018253, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 25, 2012) (citing
United States v. Babalola, 248 Fed.Appx. 409, 411
(3d Cir. 2007)); see also Mack v. Yost, 2014 WL
12710689, at *1(W.D. Pa. Apr. 3, 2014).
Anthony, Best, Cummins, Gustafsoh, Kennedy, Mealy, Overmyer,
and Sheesley filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on October
23, 2018, as did Defendant McNeely. ECF No. 100, 104.
Defendant Hasper filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on
October 24, 2018. ECF No. 108. Mattis filed a Consolidated
Response in Opposition to the motions on December 17, 2018.
(ECF No. 114). Mattis also filed a Response in Opposition to
the Concise Statements of Material Fact (ECF No. 115) and a
Brief in Support of Response in Opposition (ECF No. 117). He
also filed an Appendix to his Response in Opposition (ECF No.
pages of exhibits were attached to Mattis' filings. For
example, appended to his Response in Opposition (ECF No. 114)
were copies of Defendant Shawn Anthony's Responses to
Plaintiffs Request for Admissions (Second Set) (ECF No.
114-1), Defendant Hasper's Answers to Plaintiffs Request
for Admissions/Interrogatories (Second Set) (ECF No. 114-2),
Defendant Kennedy's Responses to Plaintiffs Request for
Admissions (ECF No. 114-2), and Defendant McKeePs Response to
Plaintiffs First Request for Admissions (ECF No. 114-2).
Mattis also filed an Appendix which was nothing more than a
list and description of one hundred and twenty-six exhibits.
ECF No. 117. Despite a certificate of service to the
contrary, none of the exhibits listed in this Appendix were
filed with the Clerk of Court or served on opposing counsel.
Exhibits on Reconsideration
"it is improper to introduce new exhibits with a motion
for reconsideration, unless the exhibits were somehow
unavailable when the original motion was decided."
Panarello v. City of Vineland, 2016 WL 3638108, at
*8 (D.N.J. July 7, 2016); see also Blystone v. Horn,
664 F.3d 397, 415-16 (3d Cir. 2011) ("We have made clear
that 'new evidence,' for reconsideration purposes,
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." (quotations and citations omitted)). But
here, Mattis claims he served these exhibits on the
Defendants and Defendants claim never to have received them.
Thus, in response to the Court's reconsideration order,
Mattis has now filed the following exhibits: his own
affidavit (EGF No. 133, pp. 1-33), the affidavit of LeRoy
Reed (Id. at p. 34), an affidavit of Richard Wimbush
(Id. at pp. 35-36), a declaration of Samuel Right
(Id. at p. 37); an affidavit of Barry Jones
(Id. at p. 38); an affidavit of Hyson Frederick
(Id. at p. 39); and affidavit of Stephan L.
Massenburg II (Id. at p. 41); an affidavit of
Phyllis Cross (Id. at p. 42); an declaration of
Anthony Holley (Id. at p. 44); a declaration of
James Heller (Id. at p. 45-46); an affidavit of
Shadarryl Jones (Id. at p. 47); a declaration of
Eric Maple (Id. at p. 48); an affidavit of David
Bradley (Id. at p. 49); a declaration of Joshua Benz
(Id. at p. 50); an affidavit of Tony [last name
illegible] (Id. at p. 51); a declaration of Roy
Wyatt (Id. at p. 52-56); a letter to Superintendent
Overmyer from Attorney Mitchell Scott Stutin, who represented
Mattis for his state court post-conviction proceedings
(Id. at p. 57); and a declaration from Angel Ortega
and Carlos Martinez (Id. at p. 58). In addition to
these affidavits and declarations, Mattis also filed
seventy-five exhibits which constitute copies of misconduct
charges, grievances, medical records, commissary receipts,
DOC policy documents, inmate request forms, psychological
progress notes, an academic journal article, and a copy of a
Pennsylvania Code section. ECF No. 134; ECF No. 134-1; ECF
filing of these new exhibits does not alter the Court's
prior decision to grant the DOC Defendants' motions for
Court has carefully reviewed and considered Mattis'
recently filed exhibits and reconsidered its prior decision
in light thereof. Nothing contained in these exhibits alters
the Court's prior decision to grant the DOC
Defendants' motions for summary judgment. See
ECF No. 128. Starting with Mattis' own affidavit, this
exhibit amounts to a restating of the arguments he raised in
his responses in opposition to the Defendants' motions
for summary judgment. See, e.g., ECF No.
114, ECF No. 115, ECF No. 116. The DOC Defendants' motion
for summary judgment was granted because Mattis failed to
properly exhaust his administrative remedies. See
ECF No. 123, pp. 14-21. His newly filed affidavit
acknowledges the filing of Grievance 619880, but does not
provide any explanation for his failure to name Defendants
Overmyer, Kennedy, Sheesley, Best, Mealy, and Anthony. As
previously determined, Mattis did exhaust his claim regarding
the elimination of his Z-Code against Defendants Gustafson
and Cummins, but his affidavit fails to provide any new
information that would require the Court to reconsider its
prior holding that Mattis received frequent and proper mental
health treatment and that the summary judgment record
supported the PRT's conclusion that there was no basis
for continuing Mattis' i single cell
nothing in the affidavits of the numerous other individuals
filed by Mattis requires the Court to reconsider its prior
ruling in favor of the DOC Defendants. These affidavits do
not attest to anything that remotely relates to the
exhaustion of Mattis' claims regarding the revocation of
his Z-Code. For example, eight of these affidavits attest to
Mattis' contention that he cannot be housed with another
inmate. See ECF No. 133, pp. 37 (Wright); 38
(Jones); 39 (Frederick); 41 (Johnston); 44 (Holley); 45
(Heller); 47 (Jones); and 48 (Maple). The remaining
affidavits focus on the affiant's personal experiences in
the RHU (id. at p. 36 (Reed), 52-55 (Wyatt)); the
violent culture or conditions at SCI-Forest (id. at
p. 47 (Bradley), 50 (Benz); the requirement that previously
Z-Coded inmates find a roommate (id. at p. 58
(Ortega and Martinez); and an altercation involving Mattis
and a cell mate at a difference prison in 1991 (id.
at p. 51 (last name illegible)). Affiants Bradley, Benz,
Ortega, Martinez, and Wyatt do not mention Mattis by name.
There is an affidavit from Phyllis Cross, Mattis' mother,
who avers that her son's difficulties with PTSD make
double-celling inappropriate for him. Id. at 42.
Lastly, two affidavits discuss their belief that Defendant