United States District Court, D. Maryland
PINEVIEW EXTENDED CARE CENTER, INC. D/B/A FUTURECARE PINEVIEW Petitioner,
ESAU ADE, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
XINIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court are two motions for reconsideration.
Previously, the Court granted the motion to compel
arbitration filed by Petitioner Pineview Extended Care
Center, Inc., d/b/a FutureCare Pineview
(“Pineview”), but denied the request to stay
litigation pending in Maryland's Health Care Alternative
Dispute Resolution Office (“HCADRO”). Pineview
moves to reconsider the denial of stay. ECF No. 11.
Respondent Esau Ade, through his personal representative
Julius Ade, moves to reconsider the granting of the motion to
compel. ECF No. 13. For the reasons below, the Court will
hold Pineview's Motion in abeyance, and will DENY
Ade, as representative of Esau Ade, initiated a medical
malpractice action in HCADRO against Pineview, alleging that
Pineview was negligent in its care of Esau Ade. See
ECF No. 1-2 at 2-5. Pineview moved this Court to compel
arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act
(“FAA”), 9 U.S.C. § 4, based on the written
contract executed between Pineview and Julius Ade on behalf
of Esau Ade. See ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 3, 20; ECF
No. 1-4. In relevant part, the parties to the contract agreed
that “any and all disputes that may arise from the care
that [Esau Ade] receive[s] from [Pineview]” will be
“submitted to binding arbitration for
resolution.” ECF No. 1-4 at 2.
21, 2018, the Court granted Pineview's motion to compel,
but denied Pineview's request to stay the HCADRO
proceeding. See ECF No. 10. The Court explicitly
authorized Pineview to move for reconsideration of the denial
of stay if it could provide authority supporting the
proposition that this Court had the power to order a stay of
state proceedings in these circumstances. ECF No. 10 at 5.
Pineview thereafter moved to dismiss or stay the claims
pending in HCADRO. ECF No. 11 at 6. Pineview also timely
moved for this Court to reconsider its decision under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). HCADRO has not yet ruled on
Pineview's Motion, and thus Pineview requests for its
motion to reconsider to be held in abeyance until HCADRO
issues its decision. ECF No. 11 at 6. Ade also moved that
this Court reconsider its decision compelling arbitration.
ECF No. 13.
Standard of Review
motion for reconsideration under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 59(e) may be granted on 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)), cert. denied, 538
U.S. 1012 (2003). 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.” 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)). Where a
party presents newly discovered evidence in support of its
Rule 59(e) motion, it must also provide “a legitimate
justification for not presenting the evidence during the
earlier proceeding.” Id. (quoting Small v.
Hunt, 98 F.3d 789, 798 (4th Cir. 1996) (internal marks
omitted)). “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
Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment Denying Stay
Federal Arbitration Act requires a federal court to stay its
own proceeding regarding aribitrable issues, see 9
U.S.C. § 3, but “it does not specifically
authorize federal courts to stay proceedings pending in state
courts, ” Ultracashmere House, Ltd. v. Meyer,
664 F.2d 1176, 1180 (11th Cir. 1981). The Anti-Injunction Act
provides narrowly circumscribed authority to stay state court
proceedings in limited circumstances. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 2283. In relevant part, the Act specifically provides
that “[a] court of the United States may not grant an
injunction to stay proceedings in a State court except . . .
where necessary in aid of its jurisdiction, or to protect or
effectuate its judgments.” 28 U.S.C. § 2283;
see Employers Res. Mgmt. Co. v. Shannon, 65 F.3d
1126, 1129-30 (4th Cir. 1995). These exceptions imply that
“relief may be necessary to prevent a state court from
so interfering with a federal court's consideration or
disposition of a case as to seriously impair the federal
court's flexibility and authority to decide that
case.” Atl. Coast Line R.R. Co. v. Bhd. of
Locomotive Eng'rs, 398 U.S. 281, 295 (1970); see
also United Serv. Prot. Corp. v. Lowe, 354 F.Supp.2d
651, 659 (S.D. W.Va. 2005). Notably, a federal court stay of
pending state court litigation is “an extraordinary
remedy, ” Nat'l Home Ins. Co. v. Bridges,
142 F.Supp.3d 425, 433 (D.S.C. 2015), and “[a]ny doubts
as to the propriety of a federal injunction against state
court proceedings should be resolved in favor of permitting
the state courts to proceed in an orderly fashion to finally
determine the controversy, ” Atl. Coast
Line R.R. Co., 398 U.S. at 297.
has not yet decided the motion to dismiss or stay pending
before it. ECF No. 11 at 6. If HCADRO grants the motion, this
Court will not need to take the extraordinary step of
ordering HCADRO now to do what it likely will do of its own
volition so as to comport with the arbitration clause in the
agreement and this Court's prior decision. Under these
circumstances, the Court need not take any further action to
shield the Court's decision to compel arbitration.
See United Serv. Prot. Corp., 354 F.Supp.2d at 659
(“The court believes that the parties and the state
court will likely conform their conduct to the expectations
of law.” (internal marks and citation omitted)). Thus,
the Court will hold Pineview's reconsideration motion in
abeyance, and require Pineview to file a status report within
10 days of HCADRO's decision on the pending motion to
dismiss or stay.
Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment Granting Petition to Compel
regard to Ade's motion to reconsider, Ade has provided no
basis for this Court to change its prior decision. It is
undisputed that Pineview and Ade agreed to arbitrate
“any disputes that may arise from the care”
Pineview provided to Ade. ECF No. 1-4 at 1; ECF No. 10 at 3
n.2. Ade now makes the same argument that he did before: that
no valid and enforceable arbitration agreement exists because
Julius Ade did not have authority to bind Esau Ade to the
agreement. ECF No. 13 at 3. The Court already rejected this
claim. See ECF No. 10 at 3 n.3.
Ade was free to litigate this issue, as he did, in his
initial pleadings. Ade provides no grounds for the court to
revisit this argument anew. Ade argues that Dickerson v.
Longoria, 414 Md. 419, 441-42 (2010), compels a
different result, but Dickerson does not assist Ade.
Dickerson made plain that an agency relationship is
created “when the principal confers actual authority on
the agent.” Dickerson, 414 Md. at 442. Actual
authority can be created by words or conduct by the principal
“which, reasonably interpreted, causes the agent to
believe that the principal desires him . . . to act on the
principal's account.” Id. (internal marks
and citation omitted). Dickerson, moreover, is
factually inapposite to Ade's case. In Dickerson
, the principal for whom the contract was signed had not been
in the room at the time and was not aware of ...