United States District Court, N.D. Illinois
April 14, 2004.
JOHN MCGEE and THOMAS MALONE, Plaintiffs,
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, KENNETH CHLEBICKI, DENNIS MAHONEY, and JOHN KOS, Defendants
The opinion of the court was delivered by: SIDNEY SCHENKIER, Magistrate Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
The plaintiffs, John McGee and Thomas Malone, have filed a motion to
reconsider the entry of summary judgment by this Court in favor of
defendant, John Kos. Although the motion does not specify the rule under
which the motion has been made, we assume it is filed pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 59(e), which requires such a motion to
be made within 10 days after entry of the judgment. Although this motion
satisfies that procedural standard, it fails to satisfy the substantive
standards of Rule 59(e) and is therefore denied.
Whether to grant a motion to reconsider is a matter committed to the
sound discretion of the District Court. Caisse Nationale de Credit v.
CB1Industries, Inc., 90 F.3d 1264, 1270 (7th Cir. 1996). In
determining whether to exercise its discretion to grant reconsideration,
the Court starts with the proposition that such motions "serve a limited
function: to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly
discovered evidence. "Publishers Resource, Inc. v. Walker-David
Publications, Inc., 762 F.2d 557, 561 (7th Cir. 1985)(quoting
Keene Corp. v. International Fidelity Insurance Company,
561 F. Supp. 656, 665-66 (N.D. Ill. 1982)). A motion to reconsider should only
be presented when the law or facts change significantly after the issue is presented to
the Court, or the Court has "patently misunderstood a party," "made a
decision outside the adversarial issues presented" to it, or has "made an
error not of reasoning but of apprehension." Bank of Waunakee v.
Rochester Cheese Sales, Inc., 906 F.2d 1185, 1191 (7th Cir. 1990).
Thus, a motion to reconsider is not a vehicle by which a party may seek
"to undo its own procedural failures [or] to introduce new evidence or
advance arguments that could have and should have been presented to the
District Court prior to the judgment." Moro v. Shell Oil
Company, 91 F.3d 872, 876 (7th Cir. 1996) (citation omitted);
see also Publishers Resource, Inc., 762 F.2d at 561. Nor is a
motion to reconsider "at the disposal of parties who want to `rehash' old
arguments," that previously were made and rejected. Young v.
Murphy, 161 F.R.D. 61, 62 (N.D. Ill.1995). After careful review, the
Court finds that plaintiffs' motion to reconsider fails to meet the
standards of Rule 59(e).
In their summary judgment papers, the plaintiffs made the same argument
advanced in the present motion, namely that Mr. Kos was specifically
aware of plaintiffs' Massie complaints, because the record
showed that Mr. Kos received and/or knew about "all complaints
under the Massie decree that were received by IDOT" (Motion at
¶ 3; Pls.' Suppl. Mem. Opposing Mot. for Sum. Judg., at 6-7). This
argument is an attempt to rehash an old argument previously made and
rejected. We do not view that evidence as creating a triable issue on
whether Mr. Kos was specifically aware of the plaintiffs' particular
claims made in this case, and intentionally failed to act with respect to
those claims. Such personal participation was required to hold Mr. Kos
liable in this case under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and 1983. The Court
explained that finding in its ruling on the motion for summary judgment.
See McGee v. IDOT, No. 02 C 0277, 2004 WL 726110, * 2 (N.D. Ill. 2004)
(general notice about Massie complaints not sufficient to create
triable issue on issue of whether Mr. Kos "directly engaged in the acts of discrimination and
retaliation" that were subject of plaintiffs' claims; and, general notice
not sufficient to impose personal fault and thus liability on him for
"failing to act to remedy alleged discrimination").
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration
(doc. # 61) be denied.
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