United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
SUCCESS JUMBO, et al. PLAINTIFFS
ALABAMA STATE UNIVERSITY DEFENDANT
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
STARRETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the Motion to Alter, Amend, or
Vacate the Summary Judgment (“Motion to Alter”)
 filed by Plaintiffs. After considering the submissions
of the parties, the record, and the applicable law, the Court
finds that this motion is not well taken and should be
originally brought this action in this Court on April 29,
2016. In that suit, Plaintiffs brought various
state law claims against Defendant Alabama State University
(“ASU”) for mishandling scholarship monies
provided to Plaintiffs by the Federal Republic of Nigeria. On
July 6, 2016, that suit was dismissed without prejudice for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction, as Plaintiffs failed to
meet the jurisdictional amount required for diversity
August 25, 2016, Plaintiffs filed the current suit, which is
based on the same alleged conduct, and bring the same state
law claims against ASU. In addition to these claims, though,
Plaintiffs bring a single federal claim under Title VI for
national origin discrimination. Under this claim, Plaintiffs
argue that ASU mismanaged the scholarship monies and treated
them differently than other students because they are from
3, 2018, the Court dismissed the federal claim, finding that
Plaintiffs had not established a prima facie case of national
origin discrimination. Because the Court also found that
there was a novel and complex issue of state law, that the
only claim over which it had original jurisdiction had been
dismissed, and that there was evidence of forum-shopping on
Plaintiffs' part, the Court declined to continue to
exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state
law claims, and dismissed them without prejudice.
8, 2018, Plaintiffs filed the current Motion to Alter ,
alleging that the Court erred in its ruling. ASU responded on
June 6, 2018. Plaintiffs offered no rebuttal.
bring their Motion to Alter  under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 59(e). Such motions are not used “to
relitigate old matters, raise argument or present evidence
that could have been raised prior to the entry of
judgment.” Arthur v. King, 500 F.3d 1335, 1343
(11th Cir. 2007) (quoting Michael Linet, Inc. v. Village
of Wellington, Fla., 408 F.3d 757, 763 (11th Cir.
2005)). Rather, a motion to alter under this rule can only be
granted based on “newly-discovered evidence or manifest
errors of law or fact.” Id. (quoting In re
Kellogg, 197 F.3d 1116, 1119 (11th Cir. 1999)).
Plaintiffs' motion does not present new evidence, but
rather argues that the Court's ruling contained manifest
errors of law and fact. Though most of the arguments raised
by Plaintiffs were not presented in its original response to
the motion for summary judgment and are therefore not
properly before the Court, the one argument that was raised
previously must be addressed.
boldly accuse the Court of not reading the affidavit Dr.
David Iyegha in ruling on the motion for summary judgment.
Though both documents were poorly written, the Court
carefully examined both this affidavit and Plaintiffs'
brief in response to the motion for summary judgment. The
only specific instance of discrimination argued in the
response was that Plaintiffs were charged differently for
housing during breaks. The only portion of Dr. Iyegha's
affidavit that speaks to this is located at Paragraph 7,
where he states that he “ha[s] not known any
non-Nigerian students, or American students, to be charged
break fees for Christmas, between semester breaks, and early
arrivals.” This evidence alone does not save
Plaintiffs' Title VI claim, as Dr. Iyegha, who is a
professor of geography, has not been established to have any
personal knowledge of student housing fees. This evidence is
therefore speculative, and considering it on summary judgment
would have been improper.
that there was no manifest error in law or fact, the Court
will therefore deny Plaintiffs' Motion
to Alter .
THEREFORE ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Motion to ...