United States District Court, D. Maryland
STARSHA M. SEWELL Plaintiff,
COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION, Defendant.
XINIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
in this employment discrimination case is Plaintiff Starsha
Sewell's motion for reconsideration. See ECF No.
20. The issues are fully briefed and the Court now rules
pursuant to Local Rule 105.6 because no hearing is necessary.
For the reasons stated below the motion is denied.
30, 2016, Plaintiff Starsha Sewell (“Plaintiff”)
filed a Complaint in this Court against the Commodity Futures
Trading Commission (“CFTC”) alleging that the
CFTC unlawfully discriminated against her in violation of
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it failed to
hire her for the deputy director position. See ECF
No. 1 at 1-4; ECF No. 3. The CFTC moved for an extension of
time to file an answer or otherwise respond to
Plaintiff's complaint on November 11, 2018. ECF No. 9.
Plaintiff then filed her own motion on November 28th, which
was both a motion to amend or correct an Order pursuant to
Rule 60(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and for
sanctions against the United States Attorney for the District
of Maryland, Rod Rosenstein. ECF No. 10. On December 13,
2016, the CFTC filed its motion to dismiss pursuant to
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), (3), and (6) or,
in the alternative, a motion to transfer this case to the
United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
See ECF No. 13-1.
March 31, 2017, the Court issued its Memorandum Opinion and
Order granting the CFTC's motion for extension of time,
denying Plaintiff's motions, and granting the CFTC's
motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(3) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. See ECF Nos. 18, 19.
April 11, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion titled, “Local
Rule 105.10 Motion for Reconsideration on the Basis of
Defective Service & A Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(2)(b) Motion to
Amend & Issue Summons Pursuant to Judge Xinis Order to
Effectuate Service on Excluded Parties Who Due to the Changes
of Presidential Administrations Are Chairman J. Christopher
Giancarlo, of Commodities Futures Trading Commission; and
Attorney General Jefferson Sessions.” See ECF
No. 20. Given the title of this motion and its contents, the
Court will treat it as one to reconsider this Court's
March 31st Memorandum Opinion and Order.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not include an express
provision addressing reconsideration of a final judgment.
Katyle v. Penn Nat'l Gamin, Inc., 637 F.3d 462,
470 n.4 (4th Cir. 2011). Rather, the Rules provide that a
party may move to alter or amend judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P.
59(e), or for relief from judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b).
MLC Auto., LLC v. Town of S. Pines, 532 F.3d 269,
278-80 (4th Cir. 2008). Because Plaintiff's motion (ECF
No. 20) was filed within 28 days following the entry of the
Order at issue (ECF No. 19), the Court will construe her
motion as one filed under Rule 59(e).
motion brought under rule 59(e) may be granted on one of
three limited grounds: (1) to accommodate an intervening
change in controlling law; (2) to account for new evidence
not previously available; or (3) to correct clear error of
law or prevent manifest injustice. See United States ex
rel. Becker v. Westinghouse Savannah River Co., 305 F.3d
284, 290 (4th Cir. 2002) (citing Pacific Ins. Co. v. Am.
Nat'l Fire Ins. Co., 148 F.3d 396, 403 (4th Cir.
1998)). Notably, a Rule 59(e) motion “may not be used
to relitigate old matters, or to raise arguments or present
evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of
judgment.” Pac. Ins. Co., 148 F.3d at 403
(quoting 11 Wright, et al., Federal Practice &
Procedure § 2810.1, at 127-28 (2d ed. 1995));
See Medlock v. Rumsfeld, 336 F.Supp.2d 452, 470 (D.
Md. 2002) (“Where a motion does not raise new
arguments, but merely urges the court to ‘change its
mind, ' relief is not authorized.”) (internal
citation omitted). Generally, “‘reconsideration
of a judgment after its entry is an extraordinary remedy
which should be used sparingly.'” Pac. Ins.
Co., 148 F.3d at 403 (internal citation omitted).
offers no change in controlling law or new evidence. Instead,
she voices disagreement with two parts of the Court's
prior decision. Cf. Hutchinson v. Staton, 994 F.2d
1076, 1082 (4th Cir. 1993) (explaining that “mere
disagreement” with the Court's prior decision does
not support a Rule 59(e) motion) (internal citation
omitted). The first relates to Plaintiff's
motion brought pursuant to Rule 60(a) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure for the perceived failure of the Court to
allow Plaintiff time to respond to CFTC's motion for
extension of time filed on November 18, 2016. See
ECF No. 20 at 2. As the Court explained in its prior
Memorandum Opinion, the source of Plaintiff's confusion
was, and is, the proposed order attached to the CFTC's
motion for extension of time, which Plaintiff interpreted as
an order issued by the Court granting the extension.
See ECF No. 18 at 4. The Court did not sign this
proposed order and did not grant the motion until March 31,
2017. Therefore, Plaintiff had been given ample opportunity
to respond to the motion for extension of time; thus, the
Court did not err in denying this part of Plaintiff's
second challenge relates to Plaintiff's attempts to serve
process on former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former CFTC
Chairman Timothy Massad, and former United States Attorney
for the District of Maryland Rod Rosenstein. Plaintiff
contends that these individuals are parties to this case and
should provide answers to the claims she makes in her
Complaint. Again, as the Court explained in its prior
Memorandum Opinion, Plaintiff did not sue any of these
officials in their individual capacities but rather only
brought claims against the CFTC. See Complaint, ECF
No. 1; Civil Cover Sheet, ECF No. 1-10; Summonses, ECF No. 6.
In an Order signed on September 12, 2016, the Court explained
that under Rule 4(i) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
a federal agency is properly served by registered or
certified mail on the Agency, the United States Attorney
General, and the United States Attorney for the District of
Maryland. See ECF No. 4 ...