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Hurst v. Federal National Mortgage Association

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

April 17, 2015

GWENDOLYN HURST, Plaintiff,
v.
FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION, et al., Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION ALTER, AMEND, AND/OR FOR OTHER RELIEF

GERALD E. ROSEN, Chief District Judge.

On January 22, 2015, this Court issued an Opinion and Order (Dkt. # 10) granting Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. # 4). Judgment was entered in Defendants' favor on the same day (Dkt. # 11). Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Alter, Amend, and/or for Other Relief (Dkt. # 13), pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 59(e) and 60(b). For the reasons stated below, the Court will deny the Motion.

I. Applicable Standard Under Rules 59 and 60

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) provides: "A motion to alter or amend a judgment must be filed no later than 28 days after entry of the judgment." The decision of whether to grant relief under Rule 59(e) is within the district court's discretion. Davis by Davis v. Jellico Cmty. Hosp. Inc., 912 F.2d 129, 132 (6th Cir. 1990). Relief is typically only granted, however, for one or more of three reasons:

(1) because of an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) because evidence not previously available has become available; or (3) necessity to correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice.

Nagle Industries, Inc. v. Ford Motor Company, 175 F.R.D. 251, 254 (E.D. Mich. 1997), aff'd, 194 F.3d 1339 (Fed. Cir. 1999). Rule 59 motions "are not intended as a vehicle to relitigate previously considered issues; should not be utilized to submit evidence which could have been previously submitted in the exercise of reasonable diligence; and are not the proper vehicle to attempt to obtain a reversal of a judgment by offering the same arguments previously presented." Kenneth Henes Special Projects Procurement v. Cont'l Biomass Indus., Inc., 86 F.Supp.2d 721, 726 (E.D. Mich. 2000) (quoting Nagle, 175 F.R.D. at 254) (internal quotation marks and emphasis omitted).

The requirements for the granting of motions for reconsideration in this Court are further set forth in Local Rule 7.1(h), which provides in relevant part:

Generally, and without restricting the court's discretion, the court will not grant motions for rehearing or reconsideration that merely present the same issues ruled upon by the court, either expressly or by reasonable implication. The movant must not only demonstrate a palpable defect by which the court and the parties and other persons entitled to be heard on the motion have been misled but also show that correcting the defect will result in a different disposition of the case.

Local Rule 7.1(h)(3), U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan. A "palpable defect" is "a defect that is obvious, clear, unmistakable, manifest or plain." United States v. Lockette, 328 F.Supp.2d 682, 684 (E.D. Mich. 2004).

Federal Rule 60(b) provides, in relevant part, that "[o]n motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party or its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons:... newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b)... [or] any other reason that justifies relief." In order to succeed on a Rule 60(b) motion based on new evidence, the "movant must demonstrate (1) that it exercised due diligence in obtaining the information and (2) [that] the evidence is material and controlling and clearly would have produced a different result if presented before the original judgment." Good v. Ohio Edison Co., 149 F.3d 413, 423 (6th Cir.1998).

II. Discussion

This mortgage foreclosure case was removed to this Court from the Wayne County Circuit Court on March 3, 2014. The facts and allegations are set forth in detail in the Court's January 22, 2015 Opinion and Order granting Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. # 10). Accordingly, they will not be repeated here.

In her motion for reconsideration, Plaintiff presents two arguments. First, she asserts that she has standing to challenge the foreclosure because "both [Lue Lee] Tomlin [the owner of the home at issue] and Casey (Tomlin's legal beneficiary) orally assigned their rights to the property and the mortgage to Plaintiff, " an assertion that Plaintiff now supports, for the first time, with a sworn affidavit. Pl.'s Mot. to Alter, Dkt. # 13, at 3. Second, she argues that "while this case... was pending before this Court, Defendant [Federal Housing Finance Agency ("FHFA")] enacted a significant policy change wherein FHFA permitted Fannie Mae and its brother Freddie Mac to sell existing REO properties to any qualified purchaser at the property's fair market value, " which Plaintiff believes "is sufficient ...


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