United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
METROPOLITAN ST. LOUIS EQUAL HOUSING AND OPPORTUNITY COUNCIL, Plaintiff,
CITY OF MAPLEWOOD, MISSOURI, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Metropolitan St.
Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council's
("EHOC") Motion for Relief from Judgment, pursuant
to Rules 59, 60(b), and 60(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. (ECF No. 35) The motion is fully briefed and ready
for disposition. For the reasons discussed herein, the motion
EHOC seeks relief from this Court's final judgment and
Memorandum and Order of December 8, 2017, granting Defendant
City of Maplewood, Missouri's ("Maplewood")
motion to dismiss. (ECF Nos. 33, 34) Plaintiff claims that
the Court overlooked that EHOC's sex discrimination and
disability discrimination claims are conceptually distinct
from the race discrimination claims, and thus the Court erred
in dismissing those claims for the same reasons. EHOC
requests that the Court further consider the sex and
disability claims under a different analysis. Defendant
Maplewood asserts that Plaintiff cannot use Rule 60(b) to
re-litigate the merits of its case and that the Court fully
addressed all of Plaintiff s claims as pleaded. Plaintiff
replies that it brings the motion, not under Rule 60(b) but
under Rule 59(e), which allows a court to correct errors in a
Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a party
may file a motion to alter or amend a judgment within 28 days
after the entry of judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). "A
district court has broad discretion in determining whether to
grant or deny a motion to alter or amend judgment pursuant to
Rule 59(e)." United States v. Metro. St. Louis Sewer
Dist., 440 F.3d 930, 933 (8th Cir. 2006) (citation
omitted). "Rule 59(e) motions serve the limited function
of correcting 'manifest errors of law or fact or to
present newly discovered evidence.'" Id.
(quoting Innovative Home Health Care v. P. T.-O. T.
Assoc, of the Black Hills, 141 F.3d 1284, 1286 (8th
Cir.1998) (internal quotation omitted)). Motions under 59(e)
'"cannot be used to introduce new evidence, tender
new legal theories, or raise arguments which could have been
offered or raised prior to entry of judgment.'"
Id. (quoting Innovative Home Health Care,
141 F.3d at 1286). "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." § 2810.1 Grounds for Amendment or
Alteration of Judgment, 11 Fed. Prac. & Proc. Civ. §
2810.1 (3d ed.) (footnotes omitted).
under Rule 60(b), a court may relieve a party from a court
order for several reasons including mistake, inadvertence,
surprise, excusable neglect, newly discovered evidence,
fraud, misrepresentation, misconduct by an opposing party, or
any other reason that justifies relief. Fed.R.Civ.P.
60(b)(1)-(3), (6). '"Motions for reconsideration
serve a limited function: to correct manifest errors of law
or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.'"
Arnold v. ADTSec. Servs., Inc., 627 F.3d 716, 721
(8th Cir. 2010) (quoting Hagerman, 839 F.2d at 414
(quotations and citations omitted)). "The district court
has wide discretion in ruling on a Rule 60(b) motion
...." Jones v. Swanson, 512 F.3d 1045, 1049
(8th Cir. 2008). Rule 60(b) "authorizes relief based on
certain enumerated circumstances (for example, fraud, changed
conditions, and the like). It is not a vehicle for simple
reargument of the merits." Broadway v. Norris,
193 F.3d 987, 990 (8th Cir. 1999).
review of Plaintiff s motion and supporting memoranda, the
Court finds that Plaintiff is not entitled to relief under
either Rule 59(e) or Rule 60(b), both rules cited by
Plaintiff as grounds for relief. Contrary to Plaintiff
EHOC's assertion, the present motion is an attempt to
re-litigate the issues which the Court thoroughly addressed
in the Memorandum and Order. To the extent that EHOC finds
the Court's judgment erroneous, a Rule 60(b) motion is
not the proper vehicle for raising such objections. The
Eighth Circuit "has maintained consistently that
'Rule 60(b) was not intended as a substitute for a direct
appeal from an erroneous judgment.'" Spinar v.
South Dakota Bd. of Regents, 796 F.2d 1060, 1062 (8th
Cir. 1986) (quoting Hartman v. Lauchli, 304 F.2d
431, 432 (8th Cir. 1962)). While Plaintiff now maintains that
it is not requesting Rule 60(b) relief, the motion states
that the "Court overlooked that EHOC's sex
discrimination and disability discrimination claims are
conceptually distinct from the race discrimination claims . .
. ." (Pl's Mot. for Relief p. 1, ECF No. 35)
Plaintiffs motion then argues that the Court's legal
analysis of its sex and disability discrimination claims is
erroneous. As state above, relief for alleged judicial error
is not a proper basis for Rule 60(b) relief. See
Delaterjera v. Bowersox, No. 4:12-CV-1311 NAB, 2015 WL
300379, at *3 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 22, 2015) (citation and internal
quotation omitted) (finding that an argument that the court
misunderstood or misapplied the law is not grounds for relief
under Rule 60(b)(1)).
respect to Rule 59(e), Plaintiff argues that the Court would
commit error by refusing to reconsider the merits of the
motion to dismiss and correct factual or legal errors
encompassed by the judgment. (Pl's Reply p. 2, ECF No.
40) However, contrary to Plaintiffs assertion, Rule 59(e)
does not allow a plaintiff to re-litigate matters previously
determined by the court. "It is not appropriate to use a
Rule 59(e) motion to repeat arguments or to raise new
arguments that could have been made before judgment."
In re Gen. Motors Corp. Anti-Lock Brake Prod. Liab.
Litig., 174 F.R.D. 444, 446 (E.D. Mo. 1997) (internal
quotations omitted). Instead, as stated above, Rule 59(e)
motions are limited to correcting manifest errors of law.
Metro. St. Louis Sewer Dist., 440 F.3d at 933. Here,
Plaintiff EHOC has not pointed to any manifest error by the
Court. Review of Plaintiffs motion and related memoranda
shows the present motion is merely an attempt to re-argue the
merits, which the Court previously and thoroughly considered.
Therefore, the Court will deny Plaintiffs motion for relief
from judgment. See Schoffstall v. Henderson, 223
F.3d 818, 827 (8th Cir. 2000) (affirming district court's
denial of Rule 59(e) motion to reconsider where plaintiff
merely restated arguments made in her opposition to
defendant's summary judgment motion).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff
Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity
Council's Motion for Relief from Judgment (ECF No. 35) is
 Nowhere in Plaintiffs initial
memorandum does it argue that its request for relief meets
the requirements of either Rule 60(b) or Rule 59(e). Only in
the reply memorandum does Plaintiff explicitly rely upon ...