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Payne v. University of Southern Mississippi

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division

April 7, 2014

THOMAS PAYNE, Plaintiff,
v.
THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

KEITH STARRETT, District Judge.

For the reasons stated below, Defendants' Motion for Partial Reconsideration [152] is granted in part and denied in part.

The Court discussed the background of this case in its Memorandum Opinion and Order [147] of February 21, 2014. Payne v. Univ. of S. Miss., No. 1:12-CV-41-KS-MTP, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22052 (S.D.Miss. Feb. 21, 2014). Defendants now seek amendment of the Court's rulings regarding 1) Plaintiff's claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress, 2) Plaintiff's claim for fraudulent misrepresentation, 3) the application of the Mississippi Tort Claims Act ("MTCA") to Plaintiff's state-law claims, and 4) Plaintiff's demand for prospective injunctive relief.

A. Standard of Review

"A motion asking the court to reconsider a prior ruling is evaluated either as a motion... under Rule 59(e) or... under Rule 60(b). The rule under which the motion is considered is based on when the motion is filed. If the motion is filed within twenty-eight days after the entry of judgment, the motion is treated as though it was filed under Rule 59, and if it was filed outside of that time, it is analyzed under Rule 60." Demahy v. Schwarz Pharma, Inc., 702 F.3d 177, 182 n. 2 (5th Cir. 2012). Defendants' Motion for Partial Reconsideration [152] was filed within twenty-eight days of the Court's Memorandum Opinion and Order [147] of February 21, 2014, and Rule 59(e) applies.

"A Rule 59(e) motion calls into question the correctness of a judgment." Templet v. Hydrochem Inc., 367 F.3d 473, 478 (5th Cir. 2004). "[S]uch a motion is not the proper vehicle for rehashing evidence, legal theories, or arguments that could have been offered or raised before the entry of judgment. Rather, Rule 59(e) serves the narrow purpose of allowing a party to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence." Id .; see also United Nat' Ins. Co. v. Mundell Terminal Servs., 740 F.3d 1022, 1031 (5th Cir. 2014). It is "an extraordinary remedy that should be used sparingly." Templet, 367 F.3d at 478.

B. IIED

Defendants argue that Plaintiff failed to present sufficient proof to support a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. They did not, however, present this argument in their original motion and brief [106, 107]. Although they presented it in their original reply [131], the Court does not "consider arguments raised for the first time in reply briefs." Gillaspy v. Dallas Indep. Sch. Dist., 278 F.Appx. 307, 315 (5th Cir. 2008).

The Court concludes, therefore, that Defendants could have presented this argument in their original motion, but they chose not to do so. "Motions for reconsideration should not be used to raise arguments that could have been made before the entry of judgment...." Nationalist Movement v. Town of Jena, 321 F.Appx. 359, 364 (5th Cir. 2009). Accordingly, the Court denies Defendants' Motion for Partial Reconsideration [152] with respect to Plaintiff's IIED claim.

C. Fraudulent Misrepresentation

Defendants argue that Plaintiff does not have sufficient evidence to prove the necessary elements of fraudulent misrepresentation. Defendants did not present this argument in their original motion and briefs [106, 107, 131], although they could have done so. Therefore, the Court denies Defendants' Motion for Partial Reconsideration [152] with respect to Plaintiff's fraudulent misrepresentation claim.[1] Templet, 367 F.3d at 478; Nationalist Movement, 321 F.Appx. at 364.

D. MTCA

Defendants argue that they are immune from liability for Plaintiff's state-law claims under the MTCA's discretionary function exemption. Once again, Defendants did not present this argument in their original motion and briefs [106, 107, 131], although they could have done so. Therefore, the Court denies Defendants' Motion for Partial Reconsideration [152] with respect to the question of discretionary ...


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