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Jordan v. U.S. Department of Labor

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, St. Joseph Division

June 27, 2019

JACK JORDAN, Plaintiff,
v.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, Defendant.

         ORDER AND OPINION (1) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO ALTER OR AMEND JUDGMENT, (2) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT AND ALTER OR AMEND JUDGMENT, (3) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S RULE 52 MOTION, AND (4) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S RULE 60 MOTION

          ORTRIE D. SMITH, SENIOR JUDGE.

         Pending are Plaintiff's Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment (Doc. #64), Plaintiff's Motion to Amend the Complaint and Alter or Amend Judgment Regarding ALJ Order (Doc. #65), Plaintiff's Rule 52 Motion (Doc. #66), and Plaintiff's Second Motion for FRCP 60 Relief for Fraud, Misconduct, and Misrepresentation (Doc. #67). For the following reasons, Plaintiff's motions are denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         In this matter, Plaintiff asserted claims under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) related to two FOIA Requests - i.e., F2018-850930 and F2018-858557. Doc. #1. On December 14, 2018, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's claims related to FOIA Request F2018-858557 because Plaintiff previously litigated claims associated with that request in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (“the D.C. Lawsuit”). Doc. #24. Between the Court's December 14, 2018 Order and April 9, 2019, Plaintiff filed, among other things, two Rule 60 motions and a motion to reconsider, asking for relief from the Court's December 14, 2018 Order. Docs. #27, 29, 50. Those motions were denied. Doc. #49, 55.

         On April 9, 2019, the Court granted Defendant's motion for summary judgment, and denied Plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment. Doc. #55. Plaintiff immediately appealed the Court's decision. However, on April 24, 2019, Plaintiff filed yet another Rule 60 motion seeking relief from the Court's December 14, 2018 Order. Doc. #60. The Court denied Plaintiff's Rule 60 motion. Doc. #63.

         Between May 3, 2019, and May 9, 2019, Plaintiff filed four additional motions, [1]which are discussed in further detail infra. Docs. #64-67. Defendant opposes the motions. Doc. #71. Plaintiff filed replies in further support of his motions. Docs. #73-76. The motions are now fully briefed.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Plaintiff's Rule 59 Motion (Doc. #64)

         Plaintiff asks the Court to “vacate or reverse its summary judgment [order] and at least afford Plaintiff a trial” pursuant to Rule 59(a) and 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Doc. #64, at 6.[2] Rule 59(a) permits a court to grant a new trial for jury trials and nonjury trials. Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(a). Nothing within Rule 59(a) permits the Court to grant Plaintiff relief from entry of summary judgment. Accordingly, Plaintiff's request for relief under Rule 59(a) is denied.

         Rule 59(e) governs a motion to alter or amend a judgment, and provides a district court with the opportunity to correct “manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.” United States v. Metro. St. Louis Sewer Dist., 440 F.3d 930, 933 (8th Cir. 2006) (citations and quotations omitted). Rule 59(e) does not permit a party to rehash previously raised arguments. Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, 554 U.S. 471, 485 n.5 (2008) (citation mitted). Nor does Rule 59(e) allow a party to offer or raise new legal arguments or theories that could have been raised prior to entry of judgment. Metro. St. Louis Sewer Dist., 440 F.3d at 934.

         (1) Smyth's Declaration

         For the first basis of his motion, Plaintiff points to a declaration provided by Department of Labor (“DOL”) Senior Attorney Todd Smyth that was filed in the D.C. Lawsuit in 2016. According to Plaintiff, Smyth's 2016 declaration contained “many falsehoods, ” and Smyth “knowingly falsely declared that he had personal knowledge” and “provided evidence showing why he lied.” Doc. #64, at 7-9, 26-28. Relying on his Complaint and his briefing on various motions, Plaintiff argues he “proved” Smyth's declaration was false throughout this litigation. Id. at 9-10. Plaintiff maintains Defendant, which supposedly knew about Smyth's allegedly false representations, still chose Smyth to submit a declaration in support of its motion for summary judgment in this matter. Id. at 11. According to Plaintiff, the Court “repeatedly refrained from ever addressing or even acknowledging any issue that Plaintiff presented regarding Smyth's perjury or credibility” and improperly relied on Smyth's declaration. Id. at 12-13 (emphasis in original).

         Plaintiff's argument fails because, first and foremost, he previously raised this argument. In its April 9, 2019 Order, the Court found Plaintiff relied on allegations and arguments - not admissible evidence - to support many of his purported facts. Doc. #55, at 3-4. In addition, Plaintiff, in attempting to dispute Defendant's facts, did not cite anything in the record to support his contention or did not cite admissible evidence. Id. at 4. He also failed to respond to some of Defendant's facts. Id. A party's failure to properly support or challenge a fact violates Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 56(c) and the Court's Local Rules. Id. Thus, the Court could not consider Plaintiff's facts or his challenges to Defendant's facts, including facts pertaining to Smyth's declaration, that were not supported by the record. Id. The Court also rejected Plaintiff's argument that Smyth's declaration was not ...


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