United States District Court, D. Maryland
Richard D. Bennett United States District Judge
Karen Ericksen asks this Court to vacate its February 22,
2016 Order (“Order”) (ECF No. 62) adopting
Magistrate Judge Coulson's Report and Recommendations
(“R&R”) (ECF No. 58) regarding
plaintiff's spoliation of certain evidence in this case.
(“Plaintiff's Motion”) (ECF No. 64.) The
parties' submissions have been reviewed, and no hearing
is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016).
For the reasons stated below, Plaintiff's Motion (ECF No.
64) is DENIED.
facts giving rise to this matter are set forth in Judge
Coulson's R&R (ECF No. 58) and supplemented in this
Court's Order (ECF No. 64).
support a motion for relief from an Order under Rule 60(b),
the moving party must show “timeliness, a meritorious
defense, a lack of unfair prejudice to the opposing party,
and exceptional circumstances.” Hale v. Belton
Assoc., Inc., 305 Fed.Appx. 987, 988 (4th Cir. 2009)
(quoting Dowell v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Auto. Ins.
Co., 993 F.2d 46, 48 (4th Cir. 1993)). If these
threshold requirements are met, the moving party must then
show: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable
neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence which by due diligence
could not have been discovered in time to move for a new
trial under Rule 59(b); (3) fraud, misrepresentation or other
misconduct of an adverse party; (4) the judgment is void; (5)
the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged; or
(6) any other reason justifying relief from the operation of
the judgment. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). The moving
party “must clearly establish the grounds therefore to
the satisfaction of the district court, ” and those
grounds “must be clearly substantiated by adequate
proof.” In re Burnley, 988 F.2d 1, 3 (4th Cir.
1992) (citations omitted). “Rule 60(b) provides
extraordinary relief and may only be invoked under
‘exceptional circumstances.'” Mines v.
United States, No. WMN-10-520, 2010 WL 1741375, at *2
(D. Md. April 28, 2010) (quoting Compton v. Alton
Steamship Co., Inc., 608 F.2d 96, 102 (4th Cir. 1982)).
Plaintiff's Motion is Timely
60(c) provides that a “motion under Rule 60(b) must be
made within a reasonable time, ” and specifies a one
year limit on motions made on the basis of Rule 60(b)(1),
(2), and (3). This Court's Order was issued on February
22, 2016. (ECF No. 62.) Plaintiff asserts that she did not
receive a copy of the Order and that she first became aware
of the Order on March 22, 2016. (ECF No. 64 at ¶¶
1-2.) Plaintiff filed her Motion the following day, March 23,
2016. As fewer than thirty (30) days passed between the
issuance of the court's Order and the filing of
plaintiff's Motion, the Motion was filed in a reasonable
time and will be considered.
Plaintiff's Motion Fails to State a Basis for Vacation of
has not raised any persuasive arguments why she should be
afforded relief based on Rule 60(b). The arguments raised in
plaintiff's Motion merely seek to relitigate matters
already adjudicated by both Judge Coulson and the
undersigned, and do not point to any mistake, newly
discovered evidence, fraud, or misconduct by Defendant so as
to warrant relief under Rule 60(b). See generally Pac.
Ins. Co. v. Am. Nat. Fire Ins. Co., 148 F.3d 396, 403
(4th Cir. 1998) (stating that the procedurally related motion
for reconsideration “may not be used to relitigate old
matters, or to raise arguments or present evidence that could
have been raised prior to” the court's decision).
In addition, while the Motion challenges the manner in which
defense counsel zealously advocated its position, the Motion
fails to demonstrate any plausible misconduct or fraud on the
part of defendants which might entitle her to relief. In sum,
plaintiff has failed to demonstrate a basis for vacation of
the Court's Order adopting Judge Coulson's R&R.
Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motion must be DENIED.
foregoing reasons, it is hereby ORDERED that plaintiff Karen