United States District Court, D. Maryland
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
XINIS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
12, 2017, the Court granted the Defendants' motion for
summary judgment in a Memorandum Opinion. ECF No. 110. On
August 8, Plaintiff Mykel Hawke (“Hawke”) moved
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) for
reconsideration of this Court's ruling. ECF No. 112. For
the reasons stated below, Plaintiff's motion for
reconsideration is DENIED.
case stems from Joseph Teti (“Teti”) posting on
Facebook several negative comments concerning Plaintiff Mykel
Hawke (“Plaintiff”) regarding their shared time on
The Discovery Channel's reality show, Dual
Survival. ECF No. 14 at 2. In connection with Teti's
Facebook posts, Hawke filed suit against Defendants Discovery
Communications LLC, Discovery Communications, Inc., and Teti
in South Carolina, alleging negligent hiring, training, and
supervision, slander, defamation, libel, and violation of the
South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act
(“UTPA”). See ECF Nos. 1-1 at 2 & 14
at 3-7. The case was removed to federal Court in South
Carolina, ECF No. 1, and that court dismissed Teti from the
case for lack of personal jurisdiction. ECF No. 37. Discovery
then proceeded on a lengthy and protracted course, with
several extensions granted at Hawke's behest.
February 21, 2017, the remaining Defendants, Discovery
Communications LLC and Discovery Communications, Inc., moved
for summary judgment in their favor. ECF No. 83. On February
23, 2017, the United States District Court in South Carolina
granted Plaintiff's motion for transfer of the case to
this Court. ECF No. 91. After full briefing on
Defendants' motion for summary judgment, this Court
conducted a hearing on July 6, 2017, and shortly thereafter
ruled in Defendants' favor as reflected in the
Court's Memorandum Opinion and Order. ECF Nos. 109 &
110. Plaintiff then timely moved for reconsideration pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). ECF No. 112.
59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides three
narrowly circumscribed grounds for granting reconsideration
of a prior ruling: (1) an intervening change in controlling
law, (2) the presentation of new evidence not previously
available to the moving party, or (3) to correct a 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)), cert. denied, 538
U.S. 1012 (2003). “In general, ‘reconsideration
of a judgment after its entry is an extraordinary remedy
which should be used sparingly.' ” Id.
(quoting Wright, et al., supra, §
2810.1, at 124). Such a motion “may not be used to
re-litigate old matters, or to raise arguments or present
evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of
judgment.” Pacific Ins. Co., 148 F.3d at 403
(quoting 11 Wright, et al., Federal Practice and
Procedure § 2810.1, at 127-28 (2d ed. 1995)).
seeks reconsideration based on newly discovered evidence.
“Newly considered evidence is only that which is
‘truly newly discovered or . . . could not have been
found by due diligence.'” IFCO Sys. North
America, Inc. v. American Home Assur. Co., 797 F.Supp.2d
660, 671 (D. Md. 2011) (quoting Atlantic States Legal
Found. v. Karg Bros., 841 F.Supp. 51, 56 (N.D.N.Y.
1993)). Accordingly, Hawke “must produce a legitimate
justification for not presenting the evidence during the
earlier proceeding.” Pacific Ins. Co., 148
F.3d at 403 (quoting Small v. Hunt, 98 F.3d 789, 798
(4th Cir. 1996)) (internal marks omitted). The Court will not
consider evidence that could have been previously obtained
through a reasonable exercise of due diligence. See IFCO
Sys., 797 F.Supp.2d at 671; accord Robinson v. Wix
Filtration Corp. LLC, 599 F.3d 403, 408-10 (4th Cir.
none of Hawke's submitted materials constitute relevant,
newly discovered evidence that could not have otherwise been
obtained by reasonable due diligence. Ten of the eleven
exhibits were in Hawke's possession or publicly available
to him at the time the Court entered its judgment on July 12,
2017. See ECF No. 112. The eleventh
exhibit appears not at all relevant to the issues that were
before the Court. ECF No. 112 at 952-56. Accordingly,
Plaintiff has done nothing to demonstrate that newly
discovered evidence changes the Court's prior analysis.
suggests that the transfer from the United States District
Court for South Carolina caused “some confusion”
regarding evidence submitted at the summary judgment stage.
ECF No. 112 at 3-4. Nothing in the record supports this
assertion. Plaintiff was given ample opportunity to submit
evidence to defeat summary judgment in his pleadings and at
the hearing before this Court. Plaintiff was also repeatedly
reminded of the import surrounding discovery and pleading
deadlines that necessitated his exercising due diligence in
the prosecution of his case. ECF No. 110 at 8; see also
Bogart v. Chapell, 396 F.3d 548, 558 (affirming the
court's refusal to consider new evidence “where the
movant presented no legitimate justification for failing to
timely submit the evidence and had advance notice of the
summary judgment issues.”). Yet time and again, Hawke
fell short of explaining why he should not be required to
follow the same rules of procedure and evidence applicable to
Hawke makes no showing that reconsideration is warranted to
correct clear error of the law or prevent manifest injustice.
In effect, Plaintiff does little more than seek to
“re-litigate a case after the court has ruled”
based on his “mere disagreement” with this
Court's ruling. Sanders v. Prince George's Public
School System, No. 08-CV-501, 2011 WL 4443441, at *1 (D.
Md. Sept. 21, 2011). Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion must
fail. See Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, 554 U.S. 471,
485 n.5 (2008) (noting that a Rule 59(e) motion cannot be
used “to litigate old matters, or to raise arguments or
present evidence that could have been raised prior to the
entry of judgment.”).
light of the foregoing, it is this 9th day of February, 2018,
by the United States District Court for the District of
Maryland, ORDERED that:
1. The motion for reconsideration filed by Plaintiff, ECF No.
112, BE, and the same ...