United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
J. HAZEL United States District Judge
October 20, 2017. the Court granted Plaintiffs" Motion
to Remand this foreclosure action to the Circuit Court for
Montgomery County. ECF No. 16. The Court concluded that the
Plaintiffs had not violated the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act ("FDCPA") in filing a Motion to
Remand, and that the Court possessed neither original nor
supplemental jurisdiction over the foreclosure proceeding.
ECF No. 15 at 4. 6. On October 30. 2017, Defendant Elsie
Marino filed a Motion to Alter or Amend A Decision Collateral
to and Severable from the Remand Order. ECF No. 18. On
November 14. 2017. Plaintiffs opposed Marino's Motion.
ECF No. 19. No hearing is necessary to resolve this Motion.
See Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2016).
Standard of Review
motion for reconsideration tiled within 28 days of the
underlying order is 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 (4th Cir. 2002) (citing
Pacific Ins. Co. v. Am. Nal'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 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, el ai. 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 * 1 (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, el al, supra. § 2810.1. at 124).
Court has noted that "[n]either Rule 59(e), nor Local
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.).
aff'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 parly, 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.
argues that the Court made a "clear error of law"
in its decision by determining that Plaintiffs had not
violated the FDCPA by filing a Motion to Remand. Id.
at 4. While Marino acknowledges that remand orders are
generally not reviewable, she argues that the Court should
review its prior decision pursuant to City of Waco v.
United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co.. 293
U.S. 140 (1934). and that "[t]he district court's
findings touching on the FDCPA are "in logic and
fact' severable, and thus reviewable, because they affect
the Marinos' substantive rights."' ECF No. 18 at
4. Marino also asks the Court to reverse the part of its
prior decision instructing the Plaintiffs to submit an
affidavit of costs and expenses within fourteen days.
Id. at 5. Plaintiffs argue that the Court does not
have jurisdiction to review its order remanding the case. and
that even if it did. Marino's Motion "merely repeats
the legal theories that this Court already rejected."
Id. at 1-2.
order remanding a case to the State court from which it was
removed is not reviewable on appeal or otherwise, except that
an order remanding a case to the State court from which it
was removed pursuant to section 1442 or 1443 of this title
shall be reviewable by appeal or otherwise." 28 U.S.C.A.
§ 1447 (West). Courts have noted that this prohibition
of review applies to Rule 59(e) motions. See, e.g.,
Cooks-Bates v. Bayer Corp.. No. 10-cv-261. 2010 WL
3984830. at *2 (E.D.Va. Oct. 8. 2010). While the policy
behind this -prohibition on appellate review" is
"strong." there are limits. In re Norfolk
Southern Ry. Co.. 756 F.3d 282 (4th Cir. 2014). In
City of Waco, cited by Marino, the District Court
entered an order dismissing a cross-complaint and. having
eliminated the diversity jurisdiction of the case, in the
same order remanded the cause to the state court. 293 U.S. at
142. The Supreme Court held that while "no appeal lies
from the order of remand." the Court of Appeals could
properly hear the appeal of the dismissal of the
cross-complaint as "in logic and in fact the decree of
dismissal preceded that of remand and was made by the
District Court while it had control of the cause."
Id. at 143. Furthermore, "[i]f the District
Court's order stands the cross-action will be no part of
the case which is remanded to the state court."
Id. The Fourth Circuit has restricted this
exception, however, to "purportedly reviewable orders
that (1) have a preclusive effect upon the parties in
subsequent proceedings and (2) are severable, both logically
and factually, from the remand order." In re Norfolk
Southern Ry. Co.. 756 F.3d at 288.
were the Court to assume for purposes of Marino's Motion
that the Court's conclusion that Plaintiffs' Motion
to Remand did not violate the FDCPA is severable and has a
preclusive effect upon these parties, Marino has failed to
state a sufficient reason for the Court to alter or amend its
prior decision. Marino argues that the Court made a
"clear error of law, " but merely rehashes the same
arguments that she raised previously; namely, that there is
no "creditor" of the underlying loan, and that
Plaintiffs violated 15 U.S.C. § I692c(b) by tiling their
Motion to Remand. Compare, e.g., ECF No. 13 at 5
with ECF No. 18 at 3-5. The Court took these
arguments into consideration in its prior Memorandum Opinion
and rejected them. ECF No. 15 at 4-6. As discussed above, 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." Sanders v. Prince
George's Public School System. No. RWT 08-cv-501.
2011 WL 4443441, at *1. Thus, the Court will not amend its
foregoing reasons. Marino's Motion to Alter or Amend A
Decision Collateral to and Severable from the Remand Order,
ECF No. 18. is denied. A separate Order shall issue.
Pin cites to documents filed on the
Court's electronic filing system (CM/ECF) refer to the
page numbers ...