United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
DONALD J. BECK, Plaintiff,
FCA U.S. LLC, Defendant.
OPINION & ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO
ALTER OR AMEND JUDGMENT (Dkt. 40)
A. GOLDSMITH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
motion is before the Court on Plaintiff Donald Beck's
motion to alter or amend the Court's August 11, 2017
opinion, order, and judgment which granted Defendant FCA US,
LLC's (“FCA”) motion to dismiss and disposed
of the case accordingly. See Beck v. FCA, 273
F.Supp.3d 735 (E.D. Mich. 2017). The issues have been fully
briefed. Because oral argument will not aid the decisional
process, the motion will be decided based on the parties'
briefing. See E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(f)(2); Fed.R.Civ.P.
78(b). For the reasons that follow, the motion is denied.
California citizen, brought this putative class action,
alleging that several of FCA's vehicles have a defective
gearshift system that inaccurately indicates that the
vehicles are in Park when they, in fact, are not. See
Beck, 273 F.Supp.3d at 741. Beck alleged that the defect
resulted in a number of rollaway incidents. Id.
brought a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6). The Court granted the motion on the
following grounds: (i) Beck lacked standing to bring the suit
because Beck could not claim he suffered economic harm as a
result of the defect, see id. at 747; (ii) Beck
failed to provide pre-suit notice, as required by
California's Consumers Legal Remedies Act
(“CLRA”), see id. at 748; (iii) Beck
failed to state a claim for any affirmative misrepresentation
under California's Unfair Competition Law
(“UCL”), see id. at 750; (iv) Beck
failed to sufficiently allege facts that FCA had a duty to
disclose the defect, thus requiring dismissal under the UCL,
see id. at 756; (v) Beck did not present his vehicle
for repair, necessitating the dismissal of his express
warranty claims, see id. at 758; and (vi) Beck did
not stop driving his vehicle, requiring that his implied
warranty claims be dismissed, see id. at 762.
entry of the judgment, Beck filed the instant motion to alter
or amend judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
59(e) (Dkt. 40). FCA filed a response to the motion (Dkt.
STANDARD OF DECISION
59(e) allows a party to file a motion to amend or alter a
judgment, so long as the motion is filed within 28 days after
the entry of the judgment. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e).
“A court may grant a Rule 59(e) motion to alter or
amend if there is: (1) a clear error of law; (2) newly
discovered evidence; (3) an intervening change in controlling
law; or (4) a need to prevent manifest injustice.”
Intera Corp. v. Henderson, 428 F.3d 605, 620 (6th
Cir. 2005) (citations omitted).
offers two principal arguments. First, he argues that the
Court should not have dismissed his complaint with prejudice
and should now instead permit him to file an amended
complaint, which would cure the deficiencies in the dismissed
complaint. Second, Beck argues the Court committed clear
error when it dismissed his implied warranty claims. The
Court finds that both arguments lack merit.
arguing that he should be permitted leave to file an amended
complaint, Beck observes that Rule 15(a) allows for liberal
amendment of complaints. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). He
further argues that his failure to amend the complaint prior
to opposing FCA's motion should not preclude an amendment
correct that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require
that leave to amend should be freely given when justice so
requires. See id. However, he ignores that the Sixth
Circuit has instructed that parties may not “rely on
the district court's opinion to identify deficiencies in
his complaint.” Pond v. Haas, 674 Fed.Appx.
466, 473 (6th Cir. 2016); accord Leisure Caviar, LLC v.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 616 F.3d 612, 616 (6th
Cir. 2010) (explaining that a permissive post-judgment
amendment policy is not advisable because plaintiffs could
“use the court as a sounding board to discover holes in
their arguments, then reopen the case by amending their
complaint to take account of the court's decision”)
(internal quotation marks omitted). Thus, a plaintiff must
shoulder a heavier burden when seeking leave to amend
post-judgment, and provide a compelling reason for failure to
seek leave to amend earlier. See Pond, 674 Fed.Appx.
is no such compelling reason here. Beck argues that he
“had a genuine, good-faith belief that an amended
complaint was unnecessary” when the Court entered its
order and that he “believed that his allegations were
sufficient to withstand FCA's Motion to Dismiss.”
Pl. Mot. at 6, PageID.2432 (Dkt. 40). But were the Court to
grant leave to amend on this basis, it would be allowing Beck
to use the Court as a sounding board. That is to say, Beck
would be using the Court to discover the deficiencies in his
complaint and then immediately file an amended complaint to
fix those deficiencies. The Sixth Circuit has explicitly
disapproved of this method. See Leisure Caviar, 616
F.3d at 616. Accordingly, the Court denies this portion of
also argues that the Court erred in relying on his continued
use of the car in dismissing his implied warranty claims. In
order to succeed on his motion, Beck must show that the Court
made a clear error in law. However, Beck has not even cited
controlling precedent, let alone controlling precedent that
contradicts the Court's opinion dismissing the claims.
See Oto v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 601,
606 (7th Cir. 2000) (explaining that a party must
“demonstrate that there was a disregard, misapplication
or failure to recognize controlling precedent”
to demonstrate error sufficient to grant a Rule 59 ...