United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
LONNIE D. SNELLING Plaintiff,
CITY OF ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
W. SIPPEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before me on the Plaintiff Lonnie Snelling's
Motion to Alter or Amend the Judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P.
59(e). For the reasons set forth below, I will deny the
7, 2019, Snelling filed a complaint alleging violations of
his civil rights under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985, and
1986. Additionally, his compliant included a number of state
law claims. In total, the complaint contained twenty-two
claims against thirteen defendants. All of the claims stem
from Snelling's real estate and property holdings in the
City of St. Louis. Three motions to dismiss were filed for
failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and
failure to comply with Fed.R.Civ.P. 8. Service to the
remaining defendants was stayed pending the outcome of the
City's motion to dismiss.
October 24, 2019, I entered an order dismissing
Snelling's federal claims and declining to exercise
jurisdiction over his state law claims. Snelling then filed a
motion to alter or amend the judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e), a court may alter or amend a
judgment. The Rule serves the “limited function of
correcting manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly
discovered evidence.” Innovative Home Health Care,
Inc. v. P.T.-O.T. Assocs. of the Black Hills, 141 F.3d
1284, 1286 (8th Cir. 1998) (internal quotations and citations
omitted). “A ‘manifest error' is not
demonstrated by the disappointment of the losing party. It is
the ‘wholesale disregard, misapplication, or failure to
recognize controlling precedent.'” Oto v.
Metro. Life Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir. 2000)
(internal citations omitted).
Snelling raises a number of issues in his Rule 59(e) motion,
as I explain below, he has not demonstrated a manifest error
of law or fact. He does not raise any issues that have not
already been considered or show a “wholesale disregard,
misapplication, or failure to recognize controlling
precedent.” Instead Snelling relitigates issues already
addressed in my previous order. A motion to alter or amend a
judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) is not the
appropriate vehicle for this type of challenge.
42 U.S.C. § 1983 - FAILURE TO PROTECT CLAIM
first argues the I incorrectly analyzed his claim for failure
to protect his property. He appears to make two separate
arguments. His first argument is that I incorrectly relied on
case law that pertains to states rather than municipalities.
His second argument is that I incorrectly held that the city
was not liable.
first argument must fail. Although I cited cases and quoted
language that refer to states rather than municipalities,
they were used to define the scope of the Due Process Clause,
not the scope of municipal liability. The scope of the Due
Process Clause does not change based on the actor, so relying
on this case law is not inappropriate. Additionally, although
the language I cite from the cases referred to states'
obligations under the Due Process Clause, the parties were
actually municipalities or municipal agencies. See
ECF No.  at 10-12.
second argument must also fail. Rule 59(e) motions serve the
limited purpose of correcting manifest errors of law.
Innovative Home Health Care, 141 F.3d at 1286.
Snelling's general challenge to my decision is not
sufficient to establish manifest error. Accordingly,
Snelling's Rule 59(e) motion, as it pertains to his
failure to protect claim, must be denied.
42 U.S.C. § 1983 - ...