United States District Court, D. Maryland
Richard D. Bennett, United States District Judge.
9, 2017, Plaintiff Jerome Want ("Plaintiff or
"Want") filed a pro se Complaint against
Defendants RMC Investments, LLC ("RMC"), Arthur
Schneider, and Margaret Kline (collectively,
"Defendants") stemming from Want's
landlord-tenant relationship with RMC. (ECF No. 1.)
Subsequently on August 10, 2017, Plaintiff filed a
Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice, which this Court
granted on August 14, 2017. (ECF Nos. 14, 15.) Four months
later, on October 16, 2017, Plaintiff filed the pending
Motion to Reopen his case, which this Court liberally
construes as a Motion for Relief from Judgment pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). (ECF No. 16.) The
parties' submissions have been reviewed and no hearing is
necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2014). For
the following reasons, Plaintiffs Motion for Relief from
Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)
(ECF No. 16) is DENIED.
Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) grants courts the authority to
relieve a party from a final judgment or order for five
enumerated reasons or for "any other reason that
justifies relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b). In Fairfax
Countrywide Citizens Ass'n v. Fairfax County, Va.,
571 F.2d 1299, 1303-04 (4th Cir. 1978), the United States
Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that "upon
repudiation of a settlement agreement which had terminated
litigation pending before it, a district court has the
authority under Rule 60(b)(6) to vacate its prior dismissal
order and restore the case to its docket." Notably,
though, Rule 60 only gives a district court the power to
reinstate the case prior to the settlement agreement, not to
convert the action to one for breach of contract.
Trustees of Painters' Trust Fund of Washington, D.C
and Vicinity v. Clabbers, No. DKC-02-4063, 2010 WL
2732241 (D. Md. July 9, 2010). Further, only
"extraordinary circumstances, " will suffice to
invoke the catchall provision of Rule 60(b). Aikens v.
Ingram, 652 F.3d 496, 500 (4th Cir. 2011) (citing
Liljeberg v. Health Servs. Acquisition Corp., 486
U.S. 847, 108 S.Ct. 2194 (1988)).
Motion stems from a lease he entered into with RMC on August
16, 2016, for 1113A Corbett St., Hagerstown, MD. (General
Release Agreement, ECF No. 17-1.) The lease was for a
one-year period beginning September 1, 2016 and ending
September 1, 2017. (Id.) Allegedly in response to
filing complaints with the Washington County Department of
Permits and Inspections, Plaintiff was told by RMC's
attorney that he would not be permitted to continue his
tenancy after his one-year lease expired. (ECF No. 6 at 2-3.)
Subsequently, nine months after he first moved into the
property, he filed suit in this Court alleging that Margaret
Kline failed to timely make repairs before Plaintiff moved
in, retaliated against him for filing complaints with county
and state agencies, and various other claims stemming from
being told that he would not be able to renew his lease.
After Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss, Plaintiff filed a
Stipulation of Dismissal With Prejudice, which this Court
granted. (ECF Nos. 14, 15.)
response to Plaintiffs instant Motion, the parties provided
the General Release Agreement that prompted Plaintiffs
Stipulation of Dismissal. (ECF No. 17-1.) In pertinent part,
In consideration for the Full and Final Settlement, Release,
Discharge of the aforesaid lawsuit RMC Investment, LLC,
agrees that it shall extend the aforstated [sic] Lease
Agreement for a period of two (2) additional months from die
end of the term. The extension term of the lease shall end on
October 31, 2017. The tenancy shall end no later than October
31, 2017... .
seeks to reopen this case only as to Defendants RMC and
Margaret Kline. (ECF No. 16.) He claims that RMC and Kline
had "intentionally violated the agreement between the
parties" by (1) not providing a reference for Plaintiff
to a potential new landlord, (2) breaking an agreement that
Kline "would not become involved with Mr. Want, "
and (3) failing to allow Plaintiff to stay on his property
for an "indeterminate period."
demonstrates no extraordinary circumstances justifying a
vacatur of this Court's prior order dismissing his case.
The only term between the parties in the General Release is
that the lease would be extended two months, from August 31,
2017 to October 31, 2017. Plaintiff has not asserted that
Defendants failed to abide by this condition. Further, to the
extent that Plaintiff contends the three above assertions
were a part of die settlement agreement and Defendants have
failed to uphold their contractual obligations, he may seek
relief via a new suit. See Trustees of Painters'
Trust Fund of Washington, D.C. and Vicinity v. Clabbers,
No. DKC-02-4063, 2010 WL 2732241 at *6 (D. Md. July 9, 2010)
("Here, the court similarly finds that Plaintiffs have
failed to demonstrate extraordinary circumstances justifying
vacatur of the prior order dismissing the case, particularly
where they may seek relief via a new law suit.").
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED this 30th day of April, 2018, that
Plaintiffs Motion for Relief from Judgment pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) (ECF No. 16) is DENIED.
The Clerk of this Court SHALL TRANSMIT a copy of this
Memorandum Order to Counsel of record and to the pro
 "Pro se complaints and pleadings,
however inartfully pleaded, must be liberally construed and
held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers." Alley v. Yadkin Count Sheriff
Dept., No. 17-1249, 698 Fed App'x 141, 2017 WL
4415771, at *1 (4th Cir. Oct. 5, 2017) (citing Erickson
v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197
 Unrelated to the settlement agreement,
Plaintiff asserts that Defendants have violated Section
8-208.1 of the Maryland Real Property Code that prohibits, in
part, a landlord from taking various actions in response to a
tenant's good faith ...