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Stile v. Somerset County

United States District Court, D. Maine

February 14, 2019

JAMES STILE, Plaintiff,
v.
SOMERSET COUNTY, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

          JOHN A. WOODCOCK, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         The Court denies a plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of an order of summary judgment because he failed to demonstrate that the order contains a manifest error of law or fact. The Court also rejects the plaintiff's demand that the Court recuse itself from his cases because he has not met the standards for recusal.[1]

         I. BACKGROUND

         On July 1, 2013, James Stile filed a § 1983 suit alleging various constitutional violations and state tort claims against Somerset County and numerous individual defendants employed at the Somerset County Jail. Compl. (ECF No. 1). On August 14, 2014, Mr. Stile filed an Amended Complaint with authorization of this Court, except as to the “medical defendants” and corrections officer Simonds. Am. Compl. Final (ECF No. 92) (Final Compl.); Order (ECF No. 86).

         On September 28, 2018, the Court granted in part and dismissed in part the Defendant's respective motions for summary judgment, dismissing most but not all of Mr. Stile's claims. Order on Defs.' Mots. for Summ. J. and Pl.'s Related Mots. (ECF No. 601) (Somerset County Order). On October 15, 2018, Mr. Stile filed a motion for an extension of time to file a notice of appeal, Mot. for Extension of Time to File Notice of Appeal Pending Outcome of Pl. Mot. for Recons. of J. Order of the Court (ECF No. 607), which the Court denied October 26, 2018. Order on Mots. to Extend Time Within Which to File Notices of Appeal (ECF No. 618). On October 29, 2018, Mr. Stile filed a notice of appeal. Notice of Appeal (ECF No. 622).

         Two days later, on November 1, 2018, Mr. Stile filed his motion for reconsideration. Mot. for Recons. on Order of Summ. J. of Court (ECF No. 626) (Pl.'s Mot.). On November 16, 2018, Somerset County and former Somerset County Sheriff Barry DeLong filed their response to Mr. Stile's motion for reconsideration. Defs.' Somerset County and Delong's Obj. to Pl.'s Mot. for Recons. (ECF No. 628) (Somerset County Opp'n). On November 19, 2018, the Defendants, except Somerset County, Delong, Allen, Mayhew, Welch, Jacques, Plourd, and Kline, filed their opposition to Mr. Stile's motion for reconsideration. Defs.' Opp'n to Pl.'s Mot. for Recon. (ECF No. 629) (Majority Defendants' Opp'n). The next day, Defendant Allen filed his opposition to Mr. Stile's motion for reconsideration. Def. David Allen's Obj. to Pl.'s Mot. for Recons. (ECF No. 630) (Def. Allen Opp'n).

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Procedural Issues

         Although Mr. Stile titles his motion a motion for reconsideration, he does not identify under what rule he brings his motion. The Somerset County Order was not a “final judgment” because it did not resolve all the claims by all the parties in this suit. See Riley v. Kennedy, 553 U.S. 406, 419 (2008) (quoting Catlin v. United States, 324 U.S. 229, 233 (1945) (“A final judgment is one which ends the litigation on the merits and leaves nothing for the court to do but execute the judgment”) (internal quotation marks omitted)); Guillemard-Ginorio v. Contreras-Gomez, 490 F.3d 31, 37 n.4 (1st Cir. 2007) (acknowledging that, absent certification under Fed.R.Civ.P. 54, an order granting partial summary judgment does not satisfy the requirements for appellate jurisdiction”); Widi v. McNeil, No. 2:12-cv-00188-JAW, 2014 WL 4987969, *5 (D. Me. Oct. 7, 2014). As a result, Mr. Stile's motion cannot be brought under either Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 59(e) or 60 because the Somerset County Order was not a final judgment, and the Court has not directed entry of a final judgment on any claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b). See Barrows v. Resolution Trust Corp., 39 F.3d 1166, at *3 (1st Cir. 1994) (table opinion) (Rule 59(e) “applies only to final judgments”); Farr Man & Co. v. M/V Rozita, 903 F.2d 871, 874 (1st Cir. 1990) (“Rule 60 applies only to final judgments”); Widi, 2014 WL 4987969, at *5.

Mr. Stile's motion must fall under the District of Maine's Local Rule 7:
A motion to reconsider an interlocutory order of the Court, meaning a motion other than one governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 59 or 60, shall demonstrate that the order was based on a manifest error of fact or law and shall be filed within 14 days from the date of the order unless the party seeking a reconsideration shows cause for not filing within that time.

D. Me. Loc. R. 7(f). As the Court issued its order on September 28, 2018, a motion for reconsideration under Rule 7(f) was due on or before October 12, 2018. Mr. Stiles' motion for reconsideration-dated October 25, 2018, Pl.'s Recons. Mot. at 4-was docketed on November 1, 2018. Both fall outside of Local Rule 7(f)'s fourteen day filing period, and ordinarily, the Court would dismiss the motion for reconsideration as untimely.

         However, Mr. Stile is incarcerated, and it is not clear when he received the Court's order; this impacts calculations under the “prisoner mailbox rule” and whether his motion was timely. See Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266 (1988); Casanova v. Dubois, 304 F.3d 75, 78-79 (1st Cir. 2002). Even though Mr. Stile's motion may well be untimely and even though Mr. Stile has not otherwise shown cause for not filing within Local Rule's 7(f)'s timeframe, the Court will address the merits of his motion given its uncertainty as to the timeliness of his motion.

         B. James ...


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