United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING MOTION TO AMEND/CORRECT
L. LUDINGTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
initiated the above-captioned action on March 7, 2016,
stating both federal and state law claims against Defendant
Charter Township of Oscoda (“Oscoda”).
See Compl., ECF No. 1. Pursuant to a motion to
dismiss filed by Defendant on May 12, 2016, Plaintiffs'
federal claims were dismissed for failure to comply with the
relevant statute of limitations and Plaintiffs' state law
claims were dismissed without prejudice to their ability to
refile the claims in state court. See ECF No. 15.
Judgment was entered against Plaintiffs. See ECF No.
September 9, 2016 Plaintiffs filed a motion to amend or
correct the judgment. See ECF No. 17. For the
reasons stated below, Plaintiffs' motion will be denied.
action arose out of a dispute between Plaintiffs and
Defendant Oscoda regarding Plaintiffs' towing,
excavating, and recycling businesses. Following a quarrel
over whether Boden could place a gate across a certain
roadway, Defendant Oscoda brought a lawsuit against Plaintiff
Randy Boden in the Twenty-Third Circuit Court on May 29,
2012. Thereafter, on August 13, 2012 Randy Boden, at the time
d/b/a/ Randy's Towing, was removed by Iosco County from
its non-preference wrecker call list. As a result, on
December 23, 2012 Boden initiated an action against Oscoda,
among others, alleging violations of their right to petition
government under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the
United States Constitution and the Michigan Constitution.
See Randy's Towing et al. v. Oscoda Township, et
al., Case No. 12-cv-15638 (E. D. Mich., Dec. 23, 2012).
On April 18, 2013 the parties stipulated to the dismissal of
the case with prejudice. Id. at ECF No. 14. The case
was accordingly dismissed with prejudice. Id. at ECF
the parties' Joint Release and Settlement Agreement
contains confidentiality provisions, on June 12, 2013 the
Oscoda Press allegedly ran an article disclosing the terms of
the agreement pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act
request. See Compl. ¶¶69-72, ECF No. 1.
Oscoda Township Supervisor Jim Baier then allegedly provided
comments to the newspaper in breach of the Settlement
Agreement's confidentiality provisions. Id. at
73-76. Specifically, Mr. Baier stated the following: (1) that
there had been issues with a family group involving a costly
legal battle over blight; (2) that Oscoda Township should end
the County's use of the family's wrecker services;
and (3) that he had previously wanted Randy's Towing off
the call rotation list due to alleged threatening statements
made by the family to township employees and not because of
the civil litigation. See Compl. ¶ 102.
failing to resolve the alleged breach of the settlement
agreement, Plaintiffs Randy's Towing, LLC, Randy Boden,
Thomas Vincent Boden, Emilie Mae Boden, and Melissa Ludena
initiated the present action against Defendant Oscoda on
March 7, 2016, alleging breach of the Settlement Agreement.
Id. Count 1. Plaintiffs also allege counts related
to the allegedly discriminatory conduct underlying the
previous lawsuit, claiming that they are a class of one under
the Equal Protection Clause and that Defendants have violated
their rights under the United States Constitution and the
Michigan Constitution. Id. Counts II-III. Plaintiffs
also allege a claim of vindictive prosecution. Count IV.
response, on May 12, 2016, Defendant Oscoda filed a motion to
dismiss counts II-IV of Plaintiffs' complaint for failure
to state claims upon which relief could be granted.
See Def.'s Mot. Dismiss, ECF No. 5. In part,
Defendant argued that Plaintiffs' claims did not satisfy
the relevant statute of limitations. The Court agreed. Noting
that Plaintiffs did not dispute Defendant's contentions
that a three-year statute of limitations to Plaintiffs'
federal equal protection claims, and noting that the events
giving rise to Plaintiffs' federal claims took place no
later than 2012, the Court found that Plaintiff had not
complied with the relevant statute of limitations. The Court
also found that equitable tolling did not apply.
September 9, 2016 Plaintiffs moved for relief from judgment
pursuant to Federal rules of civil procedure 59(e) and
60(b)(6). Plaintiffs argue that the Court erred in finding
that the last events giving rise to their federal claims
occurred in 2012, arguing for the first time that the last
relevant event occurred on June 12, 2013 when the Oscoda
Press released the article disclosing the terms of the
settlement agreement and featuring the comments of Mr. Baier.
request that the Court alter or amend the judgment under Rule
59(e). “[T]he purpose of Rule 59 is to allow the
district court to correct its own errors, sparing the parties
and appellate courts the burden of unnecessary appellate
proceedings.” York v. Tate, 858 F.2d 322, 326
(6th Cir. 1988). The grounds for amending a judgment are
limited. “A district court may grant a Rule 59(e)
motion only to (1) correct a clear error of law, (2) account
for newly discovered evidence, (3) accommodate an intervening
change in the controlling law, or (4) otherwise prevent
manifest injustice.” Moore v. Coffee Cty., TN,
402 F. App'x. 107, 108 (6th Cir. 2010).
also move for relief from judgment under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 60(b). Rule 60(b) allows the Court to relieve
a party from a final judgment or order for several reasons,
including “(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or
excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence . . .; (3)
fraud . . ., misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing
party; (4) the judgment is void; [and] (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.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b). In addition, subsection (b)(6) grants
relief if there are “exceptional and extraordinary
circumstances.” Fuller v. Quire, 916 F.2d 358,
360 (6th Cir. 1990).
argue that the Court's application of the statute of
limitations was a clear error. In support of this argument,
Plaintiffs argue that “Plaintiffs' complaint
clearly states that Mr. Baier's actions on June 12, 2013
were part of the events giving rise to the federal claims of
the Complaint.” Plaintiffs do not cite any portion of
their response to Defendant's motion to dismiss that
raises this argument or identifies the June 12, 2013 date as
a relevant date for calculating the statute of limitations
for their federal claims. That is because Plaintiffs did not
raise the argument. Instead, in their response Plaintiffs
argued only that equitable tolling should apply. See
Pl.'s Resp. ...