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Bond v. Hughes

United States District Court, D. Maryland, Northern Division

April 8, 2016

WILLIAM C. BOND, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHNNY L. HUGHES, et al. Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

David A. Faber Senior United States District Judge

Pending before the court is plaintiff’s motion to alter or amend the court’s judgment.[1] (Doc. No. 17). For the reasons that follow, plaintiff’s motion is DENIED.

I. Background

Plaintiff filed the above action seeking injunctive relief and “Qui Tam-style” relief against the United States Marshals Service and “Unknown Named Maryland U.S. Judges.” In his complaint, plaintiff alleged that members of the Marshals Service allow certain unnamed defendant judges to use a gun range located within the U.S. District Courthouse in Baltimore, Maryland. (Doc. No. 1 at 4). The court dismissed plaintiff’s complaint on November 24, 2015, finding that plaintiff did not have standing to bring the suit, the court could not exercise subject-matter jurisdiction over the controversy and, furthermore, plaintiff had not stated a claim for relief. (Doc. No. 14).

In his motion to alter or amend, plaintiff seeks vacation of the court’s order dismissing Count II of his complaint, which sought relief under the False Claims Act (“FCA”).[2] (Doc. No. 17, Exh. 1 at 27). Plaintiff reiterates his request for disqualification of the entire United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland and seeks an expedited scheduling order for the remainder of the case. Id. In support of his motion, plaintiff asserts a number of errors related to the court’s dismissal of his FCA claim, as well as arguing that the court was required to remove the United States Attorney’s Office from this action. Id. at 5-26. Plaintiff also filed a voluminous record of exhibits to accompany his motion. (Doc. No. 17 at Exhs. 2-7).

Furthermore, plaintiff filed a supplement to his motion to alter or amend. (Doc. No. 20). In this motion, plaintiff argues that he has been subject to intimidation and pervasive bias for some time, (Doc. No. 20, Exh. 1 at 8-9), alleges “potential witness obstruction” by the United States Marshals Service, and alleges ethical violations on the part of the United States Marshals Service and the Department of Justice. Id. at 7, 12-3.

II. Standard of Review

In his motion and supporting memoranda, plaintiff seeks to use Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) to alter or amend the court’s ruling dismissing the second claim of his complaint. “Although Rule 59(e) does not itself provide a standard under which a district court may grant a motion to alter or amend a judgment, ” the Fourth Circuit recognizes “three grounds for amending an earlier judgment: (1) to accommodate an intervening change in controlling law; (2) to account for new evidence not available at trial; or (3) to correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice.” Vance v. CHF Int’l et al., 914 F.Supp.2d 669, 686 (D. Md. 2012) (quoting Pac. Ins. Co. v. Am. Nat’l Fire Ins., 148 F.3d 396, 403 (4th Cir. 1998)) (internal quotation marks omitted).

However, a Rule 59(e) motion is not the proper mechanism to re-litigate those matters already decided. 11 Wright et al., Federal Practice & Procedure, § 2801.1 (3d ed.); see also In re. Reese, 91 F.3d 37, 39 (7th Cir. 1996) (Posner, C.J.) (“A motion under Rule 59(e) is not authorized to enable a party to complete presenting his case after the court has ruled against him.”) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). The grant of a Rule 59(e) motion is “an extraordinary remedy which should be used sparingly.” Id. In plaintiff’s case, he asserts no change in controlling law and no new evidence unavailable previously.[3]As a result, plaintiff’s only potential avenue for success is the third ground for amendment of an earlier judgment: to correct a clear error of law or to prevent a manifest injustice.

III. Analysis

As defendant Hughes argues in his response to plaintiff’s motion, the court addressed the substance of plaintiff’s contentions in its denial of his motion for post-judgment discovery. (Doc. No. 18). Plaintiff raises few issues in his instant motion for alteration of judgment that the reasoning of the court’s prior order does not address. However, in an effort to address plaintiff’s many arguments, the court has reexamined his complaint and its dismissal in light of his subsequent filings. Upon this review, the court finds that alteration of the court’s previous order dismissing plaintiff’s complaint is unnecessary to correct a clear error of law or to prevent a manifest injustice.

A. Dismissal of Plaintiff’s FCA Claim

The court dismissed plaintiff’s complaint for a number of reasons, namely because plaintiff cannot seek relief under the FCA as a pro se complainant and because he failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. In his motion, plaintiff argues that the court clearly erred in these ...


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