United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION & ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO
ALTER OR AMEND JUDGMENT (Dkt. 98)
A. Goldsmith, United States District Judge.
Court entered judgment in this case, dismissing Plaintiffs
Ray Smith and Barret Kish's claims, on September 5, 2018.
9/5/2018 Op. & Order (Dkt. 95); Judgment (Dkt. 96).
Plaintiffs timely filed a motion to alter or amend the
judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e)
(Dkt. 98). For the reasons that follow, the Court denies
case, Plaintiffs challenge Michigan's statutory no-fault
scheme, contending that Defendants' use of non-driving
factors to determine no-fault insurance rates violates the
Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, the Commerce Clause, and the
Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. The case was
referred to Magistrate Judge Patti for all pretrial matters,
and on May 11, 2018, Magistrate Judge Patti issued a report
and recommendation (“R&R”) that the Court
grant Defendants' motions to dismiss. See
5/11/2018 R&R (Dkt. 89). This Court agreed with
Magistrate Judge Patti that Plaintiffs lacked standing to
bring their claims and dismissed the action. See
9/5/2018 Op. & Order. The Court reasoned that
Plaintiffs have pled nothing more than “vague and
generalized assertions of possible injuries, ” R&R
at 19, PageID.545, not a particularized injury. Their
complaint does not allege that Smith or Kish purchased an
insurance policy in Michigan, that they were overcharged for
any such policy, or even that they are drivers in Michigan.
It states that Plaintiffs “were subjected to excessive
auto insurance rates due to social economic class
disparities, ” and “were subjected to penalties
that included fines, imprisonment, and automobile impounded.
drivers [sic] license revoked, license plates suspended,
imprisonment, and or fined.” Compl. at 6, PageID.449.
There is nothing that suggests that these two individuals,
Smith and Kish, have themselves suffered a concrete and
particularized injury that is not conjectural or
Id. at 4-5.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
bring their motion pursuant to Federal Rule 59(e), which
allows a party to file a motion to amend or alter a judgment,
so long as the motion is filed within twenty-eight 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). “[U]nder Rule 59(e), parties cannot use a
motion for reconsideration to raise new legal arguments that
could have been raised before a judgment was issued.”
Roger Miller Music, Inc. v. Sony/ATV Publishing,
LLC, 477 F.3d 383, 395 (6th Cir. 2007). Additionally, a
Rule 59(e) motion is “not intended as a vehicle to
relitigate previously considered issues.” Nagle
Indus., Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., 175 F.R.D. 251, 254
(E.D. Mich. 1997).
raise several arguments as to why the Court should alter or
amend its judgment. First, they argue that Magistrate Judge
Patti failed to allow their brief to be filed with the
complaint, which deprived them of access to the court;
second, they say that Magistrate Judge Patti “failed to
address the seriousness of the constitutional magnitude that
the Michigan No. Fault Auto Insurance is mandatory” and
failed to acknowledge that the statute's language is
clear on its face. Pls. Mot. at 1-2. They point out that Bill
Schuette, a former candidate for Michigan Governor, stated
that Michigan's No. Fault scheme is unfair, id.
at 2, and argue that the auto insurance companies are state
actors, id. at 3-4. Finally, they attach an
affidavit from Plaintiff Kish, wherein Kish avers that he was
provided an insurance quote of $5, 599.00 for six months.
Kish attaches a copy of the insurance quote, dated February
5, 2018, to his affidavit.
do not explain how Magistrate Judge Patti's decision to
strike their “civil action brief” constitutes a
clear error of law. Magistrate Judge Patti explained that
Plaintiffs' “brief” did not conform to the
requirements of a pleading and/or motion as required by
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 7 and 8, and Local Rule 7.1,
and was stricken accordingly. 3/20/2018 Order at 7 (Dkt. 83).
Plaintiffs do not explain why this was improper. Further,
Plaintiffs had an opportunity to object to this when they
filed objections to the R&R; they did not do so.
their second objection, both this Court and Magistrate Judge
Patti concluded that Plaintiffs did not have standing to
bring their claims. Standing is the “threshold”
question in any case, and determines whether the Court has
the power to hear the suit. Warth v. Seldin, 422
U.S. 490, 498 (1975). It was not error for the Court to fail
to address the merits of Plaintiffs' constitutional
claims when Plaintiffs lacked standing.
extent that Plaintiffs argue that statements made by Mr.
Schuette on the campaign trail constitute newly discovered
evidence, this argument also fails. Statements made by a
gubernatorial candidate, even one who was serving as the
state's Attorney General, neither establish that
Plaintiffs have standing nor bear on the constitutionality of
the No. Fault statute.
Kish's affidavit and accompanying insurance quote
“newly discovered” evidence that supports
Plaintiffs' claims. The insurance quote is dated February
5, 2018 - more than three months before Magistrate Judge
Patti issued the R&R, and more than six months before
this Court entered judgment. Plaintiffs do not explain their
failure to submit this evidence in connection with their
previous filings. The Court will not consider this evidence
after it has already entered judgment. See Nagle
Indus., 175 F.R.D. at 254 (“[T]he Court ...