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Mel M. Marin v. Saeid Eidgahy

January 18, 2011

MEL M. MARIN,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
SAEID EIDGAHY, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Michael M. Anello United States District Judge

ORDER:

GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AND MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS

[Doc. Nos. 7, 8]

Currently before the Court is Plaintiff Mel M. Marin's "Motion to Reconsider and to Vacate and Clarify or to Waive Fees for Appeal and Suggestion of Recusal" and his amended Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis ("IFP").

BACKGROUND

On September 14, 2010, Plaintiff filed a complaint alleging violations of his civil rights and interference with contract against several named defendants. [Doc. No. 1.] In connection with his complaint, Plaintiff also filed a motion to proceed IFP and motion for a temporary restraining order. [Doc. Nos. 2, 3.] On September 15, 2010, the Court issued an order denying Plaintiff's request to proceed IFP, and therefore denying his motion for a temporary restraining order. The Court held, "The affidavit submitted by Plaintiff in support of his motion to proceed IFP does not demonstrate he lacks the financial resources or assets to pay the costs of commencing this action."

[Doc. No. 4, p.2.] The Court indicated portions of Plaintiff's IFP were unclear, and that overall, the affidavit did not support a finding that Plaintiff is indigent. The Court granted Plaintiff fourteen days to pay the required filing fee.

Plaintiff did not pay the filing fee within the time prescribed, nor did he request reconsideration of the Court's order until two and one half months later when he received the clerk's entry of judgment dismissing his action for failure to pay the fee. Upon notice of the Clerk's entry of dismissal, Plaintiff filed the pending motions on December 16, 2010.

LEGAL STANDARD

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), district courts have the power to "alter or amend" a judgment by motion. FED. R. CIV. P. 59(e). Rule 59(e) is an extraordinary remedy, and in the interests of finality and conservation of judicial resources, should be used by the district courts sparingly. Carroll v. Nakatani, 342 F.3d 934, 945 (2003). Thus, a motion for reconsideration under Rule 59(e) should not be granted absent highly unusual circumstances. McDowell v. Calderon, 197 F.3d 1253, 1255 (1999). The decision whether to grant reconsideration is committed to the sound discretion of the district court and will be reviewed only for an abuse of discretion. School District No. 1J, Multnomah County v. ACandS, 5 F.3d 1255, 1262 (1993).

Under Rule 59(e), it is appropriate to alter or amend a judgment if "(1) the district court is presented with newly discovered evidence, (2) the district court committed clear error or made an initial decision that was manifestly unjust, or (3) there is an intervening change in controlling law." United Nat. Ins. Co. v. Spectrum Worldwide, Inc., 555 F.3d 772, 780 (2009). The motion must demonstrate reasons why the court should reconsider its prior decision, and set forth facts or law of a strongly convincing nature to induce the court to reverse its prior decision. Donaldson v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 947 F.Supp. 429, 430 (1996). The rule may not be used to relitigate old matters, raise new arguments, or present evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of judgment. Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, 128 S.Ct. 2605, 2617 (2008). This position reflects the courts' concern for preserving dwindling resources and promoting judicial efficiency. Costello v. U.S. Government, 765 F.Supp. 1003, 1009 (1991).

In order to carry the burden of proof, a moving party seeking reconsideration must show more than a disagreement with the Court's decision, or a recapitulation of the cases and arguments previously considered by the court. United States v. Westlands Water Dist., 134 F.Supp.2d 1111, 1131 (2001). Therefore, courts will avoid considering Rule 59(e) motions based on repetitive contentions of matters which were before the court on its prior consideration, or contentions which might have been raised prior to the challenged judgment. See Fuller v. M.G. Jewelry, 950 F.2d 1437, 1442 (1991); Backland v. Barnhart, 778 F.2d 1386, 1388 (1985). In other words, the motion should not be solely used to ask the court to rethink matters already decided.

DISCUSSION

I. ENTRY OF JUDGMENT BY THE ...


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