United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
DERRICK L. SMITH, Plaintiff,
BRIAN FOSTER, et al., Defendants.
AND ORDER DENYING THE PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS FOR
RECONSIDERATION (DKT. NOS. 130, 140 AND 148), MOTIONS FOR
LEAVE TO APPEAL WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF THE FILING FEE (DKT.
NOS. 134 AND 145), MOTIONS TO CLARIFY (DKT. NOS. 143 AND
150), MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE EXCESS PAGES (DKT. NO. 147),
AND MOTIONS TO APPOINT COUNSEL (DKT. NOS. 152 AND
PAMELA PEPPER, United States District Judge
October 12, 2017, the court granted the defendants'
motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case. Dkt. No.
128. The court entered judgment in favor of the defendants
that same day. Dkt. No. 129.
November 1, 2017, the plaintiff filed a motion for
reconsideration. Dkt. No. 130. Two weeks later, before the
court had issued a decision on that motion, the plaintiff
filed a notice of appeal. Dkt. No. 133. He also filed a
motion for leave to appeal without prepayment of the filing
fee. Dkt. No. 134.
same day, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
ordered the plaintiff to pay the full $505 filing fee no
later than November 28, 2017. Dkt. No. 139. It explained that
several federal courts had dismissed more than three of the
plaintiff's cases on the grounds that the cases were
frivolous, malicious, or failed to state a claim.
Id. As a result, the Seventh Circuit declined to
allow the plaintiff to appeal without having to pay the
filing fee. Id.
week later, the plaintiff filed a motion asking the court
whether it had considered his motion for reconsideration,
which the court had received less than three weeks earlier.
Dkt. No. 140. He then filed, in quick succession, a motion to
clarify Rule 58, dkt. no. 143, another motion for leave to
appeal without prepayment of the filing fee, dkt. no. 145, a
motion for leave to file excess pages, dkt. no. 147, a motion
for order, dkt. no. 148, a motion to clarify, dkt. no. 150, a
motion to appoint counsel, dkt. no. 152, and another motion
to appoint counsel, dkt. no. 157.
Motions for Reconsideration, Dkt. Nos. 130, 140 and
filing of an appeal . . . deprive[s] the district court of
jurisdiction over the case.” Boyko v.
Anderson, 185 F.3d 672, 674 (7th Cir. 1999). In other
words, “[j]urisdiction is either all in one court or
all in the other.” Id. This rule prevents one
court from stepping on the toes of the other, and it saves
time and resources. Id.
is an exception to that rule. Rule 57 of the Circuit Rules of
the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
states that if, while an appeal is pending, a party files a
motion under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(a) or 60(b) or “any other
rule that permits the modification of a final judgment,
” that party should ask the district court whether it
is inclined to grant the motion. If the district court is
inclined to grant the motion, the Seventh Circuit will remand
the case to the district court to modify the judgment.
plaintiff has filed two motions for reconsideration and a
motion for an order ruling on those motions. Dkt. Nos. 130,
140 and 148. The court is not inclined to grant the
plaintiff's motions for reconsideration. “Rule
59(e) allows a court to alter or amend a judgment only if the
petitioner can demonstrate a manifest error of law or present
newly discovered evidence.” Obriecht v.
Raemisch, 517 F.3d 489, 494 (7th Cir. 2008) (citing
Sigsworth v. City of Aurora, 487 F.3d 506, 511-12
(7th Cir. 2007). Whether to grant a motion to amend judgment
“is entrusted to the sound judgment of the district
court.” In re Prince, 85 F.3d 314, 324 (7th
plaintiff does not meet the standard for the court to alter
or amend its judgment under Rule 59(e). The plaintiff has not
presented any new evidence, and he has not alleged that this
court committed a manifest error of law. His motions to
reconsider present the same arguments he presented before the
court granted summary judgment-arguments about missing legal
work, which the court has addressed more than once during the
case. The court understands that the plaintiff disagrees with
its decision to grant summary judgment in favor of the
defendants, but the fact that a plaintiff disagrees with a
court's ruling is not a basis for that court to grant a
motion to reconsider. That is what appeals are for.
Motions for Leave to Appeal without Prepayment of the Filing
Fee, Dkt. Nos. 134 and 145
Seventh Circuit already has decided that the plaintiff may
not proceed on appeal without paying the filing fee, and it
has explained to the plaintiff why he cannot do so. Dkt. No.
139. This court does not have the authority to reverse the
Seventh Circuit's decision. The court will deny the
plaintiff's motions for the reasons stated in the Seventh
Motions to Clarify Rule 58, ...