United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
H. CLELAND, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
March 26, 2019, the court entered an opinion and order
overruling the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation (“R&R”), sustaining
Defendant's objections to the R&R, and granting
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 3.) On
April 22, 2019, Plaintiff filed a “Motion to Alter or
Amend the Court's Order” pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 59(e). (ECF No. 25). Plaintiff argues that
the court's order is manifestly unjust based on the
court's: (1) failure to address Plaintiff's mental
RFC and Plaintiff's subjective statements, (2)
determination that the ALJ properly discounted the opinions
of Plaintiff's treating medical provider, and (3)
rejection of Plaintiff's Appointments Clause argument.
The motion has been fully briefed, and the court concludes
that a hearing is not necessary. See E.D. Mich. LR
7.1(f)(2). For the reasons explained below, the court will
deny Plaintiff's motion because Plaintiff fails to
demonstrate that he is entitled to relief under Rule 59(e).
purpose of Rule 59(e) is “‘to allow the district
court to correct its own errors, sparing the parties and
appellate courts the burden of unnecessary appellate
proceedings.'” Howard v. United States,
533 F.3d 472, 475 (6th Cir. 2008) (quoting York v.
Tate, 858 F.2d 322, 326 (6th Cir. 1988)). A district
court maintains discretion when deciding whether to amend a
judgment under Rule 59(e). Scottsdale Ins. Co. v.
Flowers, 513 F.3d 546, 569 (6th Cir. 2008).
“Motions to alter or amend judgment may be granted if
there is a clear error of law, newly discovered evidence, an
intervening change in controlling law, or to prevent manifest
injustice.” Hurst v. Fed. Nat. Mort.
Ass'n, 642 Fed.Appx. 533, 541 (6th Cir. 2016)
(quoting GenCorp, Inc. v. Am. Int'l
Underwriters, 178 F.3d 804, 834 (6th Cir. 1999)). A
motion to amend under Rule 59(e) is not a substitute for
appeal nor “an opportunity to re-argue a case.”
Mich. Flyer LLC v. Wayne Cty. Airport Auth., 860
F.3d 425, 431 (6th Cir. 2017) (quoting Sault Ste. Marie
Tribe of Chippewa Indians v. Engler, 146 F.3d 367, 374
(6th Cir. 1998)). Additionally, a Rule 59(e) motion cannot be
used “to raise new legal arguments that could have been
raised before” a ruling. Roger Miller Music, Inc.
v. Sony/ATV Publ'g, LLC, 477 F.3d 383, 395 (6th Cir.
2006); see also Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa
Indians v. Engler, 146 F.3d 367, 374 (6th Cir. 1998)
(citing FDIC v. World Univ. Inc., 978 F.2d 10, 16
(1st Cir. 1992)).
court already considered and rejected Plaintiff's
arguments related to the ALJ's treatment of
Plaintiff's treating source and Plaintiff's
Appointments Clause challenge. Plaintiff's instant motion
merely restates his previous arguments on these issues, and
while his arguments may form the basis for appeal, they do
not demonstrate the type of “manifest injustice”
warranting relief under Rule 59(e). See Mich.
Flyer LLC, 860 F.3d at 431. Plaintiff's remaining
issue related to the court's consideration of
Plaintiff's mental RFC and subjective statements
similarly fails to satisfy the requirements for relief before
opinion, court declined to analyze Plaintiff's claims
regarding his mental RFC and subjective statements because
Plaintiff summarily raised the issues in his response to
Defendant's objections to the R&R. (ECF No. 23,
PageID 1650.) Plaintiff asserts that he did not file any
objections to the R&R because the Magistrate Judge did
not address these issues, and he now argues that the court
should remand the case for consideration of these issues to
the Magistrate. (ECF No. 26, PageID 1658.) The court reviews
de novo only those specific portions of the R&R to which
objections are made. See United States v. Raddatz,
447 U.S. 667 (1980); United States v. Winters, 782
F.3d 289, 295 n.1 (6th Cir. 2015). Plaintiff fails to
demonstrate how the court's decision to forgo review of
his passing comments runs contrary to Sixth Circuit precedent
or rises to the level of manifest injustice. Furthermore,
while the court did not explicitly consider Plaintiff's
mental RFC or subjective statements, these factors relate to
the sufficiency of the evidence in this case. The court
already determined that substantial evidence supported the
ALJ's finding of disability, notwithstanding the
existence of some evidence in the record, which the
magistrate judge cites in her opinion, that could be read to
support Plaintiff's claims. (ECF No. 23, PageID 1648.) As
the court explained in its opinion, reversal of the ALJ's
finding of no disability is not justified ...