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Davis v. State of Missouri

United States District Court, D. Kansas

November 13, 2017

RONALD E. DAVIS, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF MISSOURI, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          JULIE A. ROBINSON CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On June 26, 2017, the Court issued a Memorandum and Order in this case granting Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and denying as moot Plaintiff's Application for Clerk's Entry of Default, Motion for Extension of Time to File Answer, and Motion for the Court to Act.[1] The Court entered a judgment dismissing this case the same day. This matter now comes before the Court on two post-judgment motions Plaintiff filed on July 7, 2017, and July 8, 2017, respectively: Plaintiff's Motion for Relief from Judgment (Doc. 14) and Plaintiff's Motion for Disqualification of Justice[, ] Judge, or Magistrate Judge (Doc. 15). Defendant did not respond to Plaintiff's motions. Thus, the motions are fully briefed and the Court is prepared to rule. For the reasons explained below, the Court denies Plaintiff's motions.

         I. Motion for Relief from Judgment

         Plaintiff moves for relief from judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b). “Relief under Rule 60(b) is extraordinary and limited to certain exceptional circumstances.”[2] Under Rule 60(b),

the court may relieve a party or its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons:
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party;
(4) the judgment is void;
(5) the judgment has been satisfied, released or discharged; it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or applying it prospectively is no longer equitable; or
(6) any other reason that justifies relief.

         “Thus, a motion for reconsideration [or motion for relief from judgment] is appropriate where the court has misapprehended the facts, a party's position, or the controlling law.”[3] Such a motion does not permit a losing party to rehash arguments previously addressed or to present new legal theories or facts that could have been raised earlier.[4] A party's failure to present its strongest case in the first instance does not entitle it to a second chance in the form of a motion for relief from judgment.[5] Whether to grant a motion for relief from judgment under Rule 60(b) is left to the Court's discretion.[6]

         Plaintiff generally cites “overreach of authority, obstruction of process, [and] violation of the plaintiffs [sic] due process and prior case law” as bases for relief from the Court's judgment.[7]Plaintiff also argues repeatedly that sovereign immunity does not apply to this case. Additionally, Plaintiff “charges fraud on the court.”[8] Specifically, “[t]he plaintiff charges that the [C]ourt and the defendant know the law and are guilty of fraud to defeat the plaintiff of due process of law.”[9] Finally, Plaintiff appears to argue that the judgment is void.[10]

         Having considered Plaintiff's arguments, the Court finds that there are no “exceptional circumstances” as set forth under Rule 60(b) to warrant relief from the judgment entered in this case. Plaintiff's arguments of fraud, void judgment, and general “overreach of authority” are conclusory and not supported by any specific factual assertions or arguments by Plaintiff. Additionally, Plaintiff's argument regarding the application of sovereign immunity is simply a rehash of arguments he made in opposing Defendant's motion to dismiss, and which the Court thoroughly considered in its ...


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