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SIMPSON v. CIRCUIT CITY STORES
June 8, 2005.
JUSTIN SIMPSON, Plaintiff,
CIRCUIT CITY STORES, INC., Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff, v. EXTRA HELP, INC., Third-Party Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. PHIL GILBERT, District Judge
This matter comes before the Court on the Motion to Vacate
(Doc. 80) filed by third-party defendant Extra Help, Inc. ("Extra
Help"), which the Court construes as a motion for relief from
judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(5).
The motion seeks to vacate the portion of the Court's Rule 54(b)
Judgment entered January 27, 2005, that dismisses counts 1 and 2
of Circuit City Stores Inc.'s ("Circuit City") third-party
complaint with prejudice. Apparently, Extra Help and Circuit City
have entered into a settlement agreement and release that
pertains to those claims.
It is well settled that Rule 60(b) relief is an extraordinary
remedy and is granted only in exceptional circumstances.
McCormick v. City of Chicago, 230 F.3d 319, 327 (7th Cir. 2000)
(citing Dickerson v. Board of Educ., 32 F.3d 1114, 1116 (7th
Cir. 1994)). The rule authorizes a Court to grant relief from
judgment for the specific reasons listed in the rule but does not
authorize action in response to general pleas for relief. See
Young v. Murphy, 161 F.R.D. 61, 62 (N.D. Ill. 1995). The
specific reason set forth in Rule 60(b)(5) is if "the judgment
has been satisfied, released, or discharged, or a prior judgment upon
which it is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it
is no longer equitable that the judgment should have prospective
application." Clearly, the first clause of Rule 60(b)(5) is the
only clause applicable in this case.
The Court is puzzled as to why Extra Help is seeking to vacate
a judgment that already dismisses claims against it with
prejudice. It is clear that Extra Help does not seek to have the
claims against it reinstated; it states that Circuit City has
settled and released those claims. Ordinarily when a party seeks
relief from a judgment on the grounds that the judgment has been
satisfied or released, the party seeks to replace the judgment
with a judgment dismissing the claims with prejudice or an
acknowledgment that no further judgment debt or obligation is
owed. A judgment to that effect already exists in this case, so
there is no need to replace it with another document that would
say the same thing. Extra Help offers no other reason for wanting
relief from judgment.
In sum, Extra Help's argument does not set forth any
extraordinary circumstance warranting relief from the existing
judgment under Rule 60(b)(5) or any other provision of that rule.
For this reason, the Court DENIES the Motion to Vacate (Doc. 80).
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