United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
RECONSIDERATION DKT NO. 28
PAMELA PEPPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
November 19, 2018, the court granted the defendants'
motion for summary judgment based on the plaintiff's
failure to exhaust the available administrative remedies.
Dkt. No. 26. The court dismissed the case and entered
judgment. Dkt. Nos. 26, 27. Less than a month later, the
court received from the plaintiff this motion for
reconsideration. Dkt. No. 28.
the plaintiff does not cite a rule in support of his motion
for reconsideration, there are two rules that allow courts to
re-visit previous decisions. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
59(e) says that within twenty-eight days of the entry of the
judgment, a party may file a motion to alter or amend that
judgment. Rule 60(b) allows a court to grant relief from a
final judgment for a specific set of reasons, within a
“reasonable time” after entry of judgment.
plaintiff filed his motion seventeen days after the court
entered judgment, so it was timely under Rule 59(e).
“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's motion does not refer to any evidence that he
has discovered since the court entered judgment. This means
that, under Rule 59(e), he is entitled to relief only if he
can demonstrate that the court's rulings constituted a
manifest error of law. A “manifest error of law”
“is not demonstrated by the disappointment of the
losing party. It is the ‘wholesale disregard,
misapplication, or failure to recognize controlling
precedent.'” Oto v. Metropolitan Life Ins.
Co., 224 F.2d 601, 606 (7th Cir. 2000) (quoting
Sedrak v. Callahan, 987 F.Supp. 1063, 1069 (N.D.
motion to reconsider does not say anything about the
court's conclusion that the plaintiff failed to exhaust
the available administrative remedies before he filed his
lawsuit. Instead, he argues that his complaint stated a
claim. The court agrees that the allegations in the complaint
were sufficient to state a claim, see dkt. no. 16;
that is not why the court dismissed the lawsuit. The court
dismissed the lawsuit because the plaintiff did not exhaust
the available administrative remedies before he filed the
lawsuit. The court explained its reasoning in detail in its
November 19, 2018 order, so it will not repeat that analysis
here. The plaintiff's motion has not identified a
manifest error of law, so the court will deny his motion to
the extent that it is a motion to alter or amend the judgment
under Rule 59(e).
60(b) allows a court to relieve a party from a final judgment
for the following reasons:
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable
diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for
a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) fraud . . ., misrepresentation, or misconduct by an
(4) the judgment is void;
(5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged;
it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or
vacated; or applying it prospectively is no longer equitable;
or (6) any other reason that justifies relief.
60(b)(1) allows a court to remedy its own mistakes.
Mendez v. Republic Bank, 725 F.3d 651, 660 (7th Cir.
2013). The plaintiff's motion does not demonstrate that
the court made a mistake. It does not address the basis for
the court's decision-the fact that the plaintiff did not
exhaust his administrative remedies before he filed a case in
federal court. The plaintiff has not presented newly
discovered evidence, so Rule 60(b)(2) does not afford him
relief. He does not allege that the defendants obtained the
judgment by fraud, misrepresentation or misconduct, so he is
not entitled to relief under Rule 60(b)(3). The judgment is
not void, nor has it been satisfied, so subsections (b)(4)
and (b)(5) are not applicable. Finally, relief under
subsection (b)(6), the any other reason “catch-all
category” is limited to “extraordinary
circumstances . . . .” Id. at 657 (quoting
Liljeberg v. Health Servs. Acquisition Corp., 486
U.S. 847, 863-64 (1988)). The plaintiff has not described
such extraordinary circumstances.
court will deny the plaintiffs motion for reconsideration to
the extent that it is a motion for ...