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Jacobs v. Alam

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

January 19, 2018

EDUARDO JACOBS, Plaintiff,
v.
RAYMON ALAM, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION [#130; # 133]

          DENISE PAGE HOOD CHIEF JUDGE

         I. BACKGROUND

         This matter is now before the Court on Defendants Ramon Alam (“Alam”) and David Weinman's (“Weinman”) (collectively, “Defendants”) Motion for Reconsideration pursuant to E.D. Mich. L.R. 7.1(h) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e), filed on September 5, 2017. (Doc # 130) Defendants Damon Kimbrough (“Kimbrough”) and Michael Knox (“Knox”) filed a Concurrence and Joinder in their co-Defendants' present Motion. (Doc # 133) On November 13, 2015, this Court entered an Order Granting Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment on Count II, and dismissed Count II of the First Amended Complaint. (Doc # 37) On August 23, 2017, this Court entered an Order denying Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment on Plaintiff Eduardo Jacobs's (“Jacobs”) Bivens claim (Count I) for excessive force, fabrication of evidence, civil conspiracy, false arrest, and malicious prosecution against Alam; Jacobs's Bivens claim for fabrication of evidence and civil conspiracy against Weinman; and Jacobs's Bivens claim for excessive force, fabrication of evidence, civil conspiracy, false arrest, and malicious prosecution against Kimbrough. (Doc # 125) The Court granted Defendant Knox's summary judgment motion regarding all of Jacobs's claims against him, and dismissed Knox from this action. (Id.) Defendants now seek reconsideration of the August 23, 2017 Order regarding the aforementioned Bivens claims. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED.

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. Standard of Review

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), “[a] motion to alter or amend a judgment must be filed no later than 28 days after the entry of the judgment.” A Rule 59(e) motion may be granted (1) to correct a clear error of law; (2) to account for newly discovered evidence or an intervening change in the controlling law; or (3) to otherwise prevent manifest injustice. GenCorp, Inc. v. Am. Int'l Underwriters, 178 F.3d 804, 834 (6th Cir. 1999). A district court has the authority to equate a Rule 59(e) motion with a timely filed motion for reconsideration. See United States v. Savage, 99 F. App'x 583, 584-85 (6th Cir. 2004) (holding district court has discretion to equate motions for reconsideration with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) motions).

         The Local Rules of the Eastern District of Michigan provide that any motion for reconsideration must be filed within 14 days after entry of the judgment or order. E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(h)(1). No response to the motion and no oral argument thereon are permitted unless the Court orders otherwise. Id. at 7.1(h)(2). Defendants' Motion is timely filed.

         Local Rule 7.1 further states:

(3) Grounds. 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.

Id. at 7.1(h)(3). “A ‘palpable defect' is a defect which is obvious, clear, unmistakable, manifest, or plain.” Fleck v. Titan Tire Corp., 177 F.Supp.2d 605, 624 (E.D. Mich. 2001). A motion for reconsideration is not a vehicle to re-hash old arguments, or to proffer new arguments or evidence that the movant could have brought up earlier. Sault Ste. Marie Tribe v. Engler, 146 F.3d 367, 374 (6th Cir. 1998) (motions under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) “are aimed at re consideration, not initial consideration”) (citing FDIC v. World Universal Inc., 978 F.2d 10, 16 (1st Cir. 1992)).

         B. Palpable Defect

         Defendants assert that two recent decisions from the Supreme Court-Ziglar v. Abbasi, 137 S.Ct. 1843 (2017), and Hernandez v. Mesa, 137 S.Ct. 2003 (2017)-mandate that this Court determine whether Bivens can be extended to cover the constitutional torts of excessive force, false arrest, malicious prosecution, fabrication of evidence, and civil conspiracy, before ruling on Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment. Defendants' assertion is reliant upon their contention that “no binding precedent from the Supreme Court or the Sixth Circuit has held that Bivens recognizes” those torts. (Doc # 130, Pg ID 6) Defendants argue that this Court's failure to treat the alleged Bivens violations as “new” Bivens claims was a palpable defect in light of the Supreme Court's recent decisions. This Court disagrees.

         In Abbasi, the issue was whether Bivens could allow Fourth, Fifth, and Eight Amendment claims brought by alien detainees-as a means to investigate the events surrounding the September 11, 2001 attacks-against high ranking officials from the executive branch and a federal prison. Before evaluating an alleged Bivens claim, a court must first determine (1) whether the case presents a new Bivens context, and if so, (2) whether there are “special factors counseling hesitation in the absence of affirmative action by Congress.” Abbasi, 137 S.Ct. at 1857 (citations omitted). The Supreme Court established the test for determining whether a claim arises under a new Bivens action. Id. at 1864. A court should determine whether the “case is different in a meaningful way from previous Bivens cases decided by [the Supreme Court].” Id. at 1860 (emphasis added) (citation omitted). The Supreme Court also identified a number of “meaningful differences” that may create a new Bivens context. Id.[1]

         In Hernandez, the issue was whether Bivens extended to Fourth and Fifth Amendment claims brought by the parents of a Mexican national who was shot and killed while standing on Mexican soil, by a U.S. Border Patrol agent standing on United States soil. The Supreme Court remanded the case, instructing the Fifth Circuit to consider how the reasoning and ...


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