United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
J. HAZEL United States District Judge
case. Plaintiff Fadwa Safar alleges that her rights were
violated when Defendants denied her access to a breast pump
while she was detained at the Prince George's Adult
Detention Center in late-December 2013. See
generally ECF No. 24. Plaintiff initially named as
Defendants Prince George's County; Mary Lou McDonough.
the Director of the County's Department of Corrections:
Mabel Smith and Sergeants Canitra Lee and Shawndra Williams,
three Prince George's County correctional officers;
Corizon Health. Inc. ("Corizon"). a corporation
that was responsible for providing medical services to Prince
George's County's inmates; and Mojisola Adeyemi, a
licensed practical nurse who was stationed at Prince
George's County Department of Corrections and employed by
Corizon. ECF No. 24 at 3-5. On August 1. 2017. the Court held
a hearing regarding Defendants" Motions to Dismiss. ECF
No. 57. The Court granted the Motions to Dismiss for
Defendants Mary Lou McDonough. Prince George's County.
Canitra Lee and Shawndra Williams. ECF No. 58. As to Defendants
Corizon and Mojisola Adeyemi, the Court dismissed Counts 6
(Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress) and 7
(Negligent Hiring. Training and Supervision) of the Amended
Complaint, but denied the remainder of Corizon and
Adeyemi's Motions to Dismiss. On December 5. 2017.
Plaintiff tiled an Unopposed" Motion To Rejoin Certain
Prince George's County Defendants, pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 20(a)(2)(A) &
(B)ECF No. 62. Plaintiff argues that through
discovery Corizon has denied any liability, "necessarily
pointing the finger of blame at the correctional
authorities." ECF No. 62-1. Defendants urge the Court to
interpret Plaintiffs Motion as a motion to reconsider, and to
deny it as such. ECF No. 65 at 3. No further hearing is
necessary. See Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the
following reasons. Plaintiffs Motion is denied.
I. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Rule of Civil Procedure 20(a)(2) provides that persons may be
joined in one action as defendants if:
(A) any right to relief is asserted against them jointly,
severally, or in the alternative with respect to or arising
out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of
transactions or occurrences; and
B) any question of law or fact common to all defendants will
arise in the action. Plaintiffs may properly "join
multiple defendants in a single action only if plaintiff
asserts at least one claim to relief against each of them
that arises out of the same transaction or occurrence and
presents questions of law or fact common to all."
Sanders v. Cullender. No. DKC 1 7-1 721. 2018 WL
337756. at * 12 (D. Md. Jan. 9. 2018) (quoting Charles Allan
Wright. Arthur R. Miller. Mary Kay Kane. Federal Practice
& Procedure § 1655 (3d ed. 2009)).
Motion to Reconsider
motion for reconsideration is typically governed by Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). Courts have recognized three
limited grounds for granting a motion for reconsideration
pursuant to Rule 59(e): (1) to accommodate an intervening
change in controlling law: (2) to account for new evidence;
or (3) to correct clear error of law or prevent manifest
injustice. See United Stales ex rel, Becker v.
Westinghouse Savannah River Co., 305 F.3d 284. 290
(4lh 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). A Rule 59(e) motion "may not be used to
re4itigate 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 at.. Federal Practice and
Procedure § 2810.1. at 127-28 (2d ed. 1995)). See
also Sanders v. Prince George's Public School
System. No. RWT 08-cv-501, 2011 WL 4443441. at * I (D.
Md. Sept. 21, 2011) (a motion for reconsideration is
"not the proper place to relitigate a case after the
court has ruled against a party, as mere disagreement with a
court's rulings will not support granting such a
request"). "In general, "reconsideration of a
judgment after its entry is an extraordinary remedy which
should be used sparingly.'" Id. (quoting
Wright, et at, supra. § 2810.1. at 124).
Court has noted that "[n]either Rule 59(e). nor Focal
Rule 105.10 (providing the deadline for a motion for
reconsideration), contains a standard for the application of
Rule 59(e) and the Fourth Circuit has not identified such a
standard." Bey v. Shapiro Brown & Alt. LLP.
997 F.Supp.2d 310. 320 (D. Md.). qff'd. 584
Fed.Appx. 135 (4th Cir. 2014). Thus, this Court has
previously looked to the "widely cited case" of
Above the Belt. Inc. v. Bohannan Roofing. Inc. 99
F.R.D. 99 (E.D.Va. 1983). for its reasoning that a
"motion to reconsider would be appropriate where, for
example, the Court has patently misunderstood a party, or has
made a decision outside the adversarial issues presented to
the Court by the parties, or has made an error not of
reasoning but of apprehension." Bey, 997
F.Supp. 2d. at 320.
Plaintiff seeks to "rejoin" as Defendants Prince
George's County, the Director of Corrections. Mary Lou
McDonough. and two correctional personnel, Canitra Lee and
Shawndra Williams (collectively, the "County
Defendants"), who were previously dismissed from this
case. ECF No. 62-1 at 1. Plaintiff argues that, through
discovery. Corizon has denied "any policy of prohibiting
the provision of breast pumps to lactating clients, denies
that any of its employees made a decision to deny Ms. Safar a
breast pump, and affirms that none of its employees made any
such decision." ECF No. 62-1 at 5. Thus, Ms.
Safar concludes, the County Defendants must be rejoined to
ensure that a party is "held accountable for this Eighth
Amendment violation." Id. at 5-6. Ms. Safar
acknowledges that "ft]he deadline for moving for joinder
of additional parties was November 24. 2017."
Id. at 6.
opposition, the County Defendants argue that Plaintiffs
Motion is essentially an untimely motion to reconsider, that
the Motion does not provide sufficient reasons for the Court
to reconsider its prior dismissal of the County Defendants,
and that Plaintiff admittedly missed the deadline to
permissively join defendants pursuant to Rule 20. ECF No. 65
at 3. Plaintiff replies that their Motion was delayed because
they were awaiting discovery from Corizon. and that the
discovery received from Corizon constitutes new evidence
warranting reconsideration by the Court.
ECF No. 66 at 3.
as either a motion to reconsider or as a motion for
permissive joinder. Plaintiffs Motion fails. As a motion for
permissive joinder pursuant to Rule 20. Plaintiff may not
file a motion to rejoin a defendant that has previously been
dismissed. In Mesmer v. Rezza, Judge Chasanow was
confronted with a similar set of facts. No. DKC 10-1053. 2011
WL 582578. at *1 (D. Md. Feb. 9. 2011). There, pursuant to
Rule 20(a)(2), the plaintiff sought to join defendants who
had previously been dismissed from the case. Id. In
denying the plaintiffs motion. Judge Chasanow reasoned that
because the plaintiff was seeking "to add defendants
more than 21 days after a motion to dismiss was filed, [the
plaintiff] "must seek leave to amend the complaint under
federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a). and the joinder must
also satisfy the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 20(a)(2).*" hi (quoting Fontell
v. MCGEO UFCW Local 1994. No. AW-09-2526, 2010 WL
3086498. at *19 (D.Md. Aug.6. 2010)). Judge Chasanow further
reasoned that "fill is likely a rare ...