United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENSE CENTER, d/b/a Prison Legal News, Plaintiff,
LIVINGSTON COUNTY SHERIFF BOB BEZOTTE, individually and officially, LIEUTENANT THOMAS CREMONTE, individually and officially, and LIVINGSTONCOUNTY, Defendants.
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S RULE 54(B) MOTION [DKT.
Honorable Denise Page Hood, Judge
recently filed a Rule 54(b) Motion Seeking Relief from the
Order Granting Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment. [Dkt. No. 246] Plaintiff seeks reconsideration of
the Court's conclusion in its March 29, 2013 Order that
Plaintiff's regarding the delivery of “legal
mail” and visitation with clients were not viable.
Plaintiff's Motion has been fully briefed, and the Court
heard argument on the Motion at a May 31, 2016 hearing.
Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) states:
[A]ny order or other form of decision, however designated,
which adjudicates fewer than all of the claims ... shall not
terminate the action ... and the order or other form of
decision is subject to revision at any time before the entry
of judgment adjudicating all the claims and the rights and
liabilities of all the parties.
Sixth Circuit has held that “[t]raditionally, courts
will find justification for reconsidering interlocutory
orders when there is (1) an intervening change of controlling
law; (2) new evidence available; or (3) a need to correct a
clear error or prevent manifest injustice.”
Rodriguez v. Tenn. Laborers Health & Welfare
Fund, 89 F.App'x 949, 959 (6th Cir. 2004); see
also Mallory v. Eyrich, 922 F.2d 1273, 1282 (6th
Cir.1991) (“District courts have inherent power to
reconsider interlocutory orders and reopen any part of a case
before entry of final judgment. A district court may modify,
or even rescind, such interlocutory orders.” (citations
argues that, in this case, the Sixth Circuit's holding in
ACLU v. Livingston County, 796 F.3d 636 (6th Cir.
2015), which was not available for the Court's
consideration or Plaintiff's argument that precipitated
the Court's decision, constitutes an intervening change
of controlling law. Plaintiff argues that the ACLU
v. Livingston County decision contravenes this
Court's findings on March 29, 2013 that Plaintiff
“has failed to state a claim for a constitutional
violation as to Defendants' failure to allow visitation
of inmates or delivery of ‘legal mail' not personal
to an individual inmate.” Dkt. No. 64, PgID 1994.
Motion and supporting brief, Plaintiff contends that:
In ACLU v. Livingston, the Sixth Circuit
unequivocally stated that mail from an attorney is
“legal mail as a matter of law because
‘unimpaired, confidential communication with an
attorney is an integral component of the judicial
process.'” 796 F.3d at 643 (citing Sallier v.
Brooks, 343 F.3d at 877); see also id.
“all incoming mail from attorneys and from the
courts is to be treated as privileged mail” (citing
Knop v. Johnson, 977 F.2d 996, 1012 (6th Cir. 1992)
(emphasis in original)). Accordingly, the first analysis must
be whether the correspondence on its face established that it
came from a licensed attorney. In ACLU, the Sixth
Circuit relied on several factors including: 1) notations on
the outside of the envelope and the letter identifying it as
“legal mail;” 2) the name of a licensed attorney;
and 3) the name of the organization or firm affiliated with
the attorney. 796 F.3d at 640. While the Sixth Circuit
certainly did not intend this to be an exhaustive list, the
intent was clear - the jail staff receiving the
correspondence must be able to determine that the letter came
from an attorney.
Dkt. No. 246, PgID 6404. Plaintiff then contends that,
because correspondences to Livingston County Jail inmates
clearly labeled as coming from attorney Daniel Manville were
not processed to prisoners, Defendants' actions
contravened the law “announced” in ACLU v.
Livingston County. See id. at PgID 6408-15.
argues, and the Court agrees, that Plaintiff's argument
regarding mail sent to Livingston County Jail inmates by
attorney Daniel Manville is not persuasive or relevant.
Plaintiff does not dispute that: (1) the issue of
correspondence from attorney Daniel Manville was not
identified in the motions underlying the Court's March
29, 2013 Order; and (2) the Court did not address the issue
of correspondence from Daniel Manville in the March 29, 2013
Order. Plaintiff also does not dispute that it withdrew,
prior to any action by the Court, the proposed pleadings
Plaintiff later sought leave to file regarding attorney
Daniel Manville's correspondence with inmates at
Livingston County Jail. See Dkt. Nos. 122 and 147.
The Court never considered previously, and the Court
concludes that it ...