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Caine v. Burge

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

September 14, 2012

Eric CAINE, Plaintiff,
v.
John BURGE, James Pienta, Raymond Madigan, William Marley, William Pederson, Daniel McWeeny, City of Chicago, and Unidentified Employees of the City of Chicago, Defendants.

Page 715

Russell R. Ainsworth, Arthur R. Loevy, Jonathan I. Loevy, Michael I. Kanovitz, Pier O. Petersen, Loevy & Loevy, Chicago, IL, for Plaintiff.

Terrence Michael Burns, Daniel Matthew Noland, Harry N. Arger, Molly E. Thompson, Paul A. Michalik, Dykema Gossett PLLC, Richard Michael Beuke, Richard M. Beuke & Assoc., Chicago, IL, James Gus Sotos, Andrew Joseph Grill, Christina S. Gunn, Elizabeth A. Ekl, The Sotos Law Firm, P.C., Itasca, IL, for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

VIRGINIA M. KENDALL, District Judge.

Defendant Eric Caine brings this Motion to Reconsider this Court's prior Order dismissing the portion of his claim brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 contained in Count I of his Complaint alleging that the police officer-Defendants in this case fabricated and falsified evidence against him in violation of his right to due process of law secured by the Fourteenth Amendment. See Caine v. Burge, 11 C 8996, 2012 WL 2458640, *5-*6 (N.D.Ill. June 27, 2012). The facts relied on to decide the previous motion to dismiss are contained in the Court's Order of June 27, 2012, and are the same facts relied on to decide the instant Motion. See Id. at *1-*4. In the Court's prior Order it dismissed that portion of Count I of Caine's Complaint alleging that the Defendants violated Caine's right to due process of law by fabricating and falsifying evidence, relying on a string of Seventh Circuit cases that this Court held stood for the proposition that such allegations sound in malicious prosecution and therefore do not give rise to an actionable

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due process claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Id. at *5-*6 (citing Newsome v. McCabe, 256 F.3d 747, 750-751 (7th Cir.2001); McCann v. Mangialardi, 337 F.3d 782, 786 (7th Cir.2003); Brooks v. City of Chicago, 564 F.3d 830, 833 (7th Cir.2009); Fox v. Hayes, 600 F.3d 819, 841 (7th Cir.2010)). Caine brings this Motion for Reconsideration under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) and this Court's inherent authority to amend its interlocutory orders. Caine argues that the Court's decision to dismiss the fabrication and falsification portion of Count I is in error given the Seventh Circuit's very recent decision in Whitlock v. Brueggemann, 682 F.3d 567 (7th Cir.2012) (Wood, J.), which was decided on May 30, 2012, after the parties' opportunity to brief the motion to dismiss presently under reconsideration had passed. He argues that this Court should reconsider its prior Order under Rule 54(b) in light of Whitlock and allow him to proceed on his claims against the Defendants alleging that they falsified and fabricated evidence in violation of his right to due process of law as a constitutional tort brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. For the reasons set forth herein, Caine's Motion to Reconsider is denied.

I. The Legal Standard

Rule 54(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that " any order or other decision, however designated, that adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties does not end the action as to any of the claims or parties and may be revised at any time before the entry of judgment adjudicating all the claims and all the parties' rights and liabilities." See Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b) (emphasis supplied). The Court's prior order was decided on a partial motion to dismiss, so it is not a judgment subject to reconsideration that falls within Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), which addresses motions to alter or amend judgments. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). Nor does the present Motion to Reconsider fall within Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60, which governs the procedure for seeking relief from a final judgment, order, or proceeding. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 60. In fact the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not explicitly provide a mechanism for this Court to reconsider an order granting in part a motion to dismiss, or for that matter interlocutory orders of any kind. Nevertheless, courts in this District have construed motions to reconsider interlocutory orders, which an order on a partial motion to dismiss is, as arising under Rule 54(b) in addition to the Court's inherent authority and the common law. See, e.g., Goldman v. Gagnard, No. 11 C 8843, 2012 WL 2397053, *2 (N.D.Ill. June 21, 2012) (citing Ramada Franchise Sys., Inc. v. Royal Vale Hospitality of Cincinnati, Inc., No. 02 C 1941, 2004 WL 2966948, *3 (N.D.Ill. Nov. 24, 2004) (collecting cases)).

In addressing a motion to reconsider an interlocutory order, courts in this District have applied the standard established in Bank of Waunakee v. Rochester Cheese Sales, Inc., 906 F.2d 1185, 1191 (7th Cir.1990). See Ramada Franchise Sys., 2004 WL 2966948 at *3. A motion for reconsideration brought pursuant to Rule 54(b) may be granted where the Court has obviously misunderstood a party, where the Court's decision rests on grounds outside the adversarial issues presented to the Court by the parties, where the Court has made an error not of reasoning but of apprehension, where there has been a controlling or significant change in the law since the submission of the issue to the Court, or where there has been a controlling or significant change in the facts of the case. See, e.g., Goldman, 2012 WL 2397053 at *2 (quoting Ramada Franchise Sys., 2004 WL 2966948 at *3); see also

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Bank of Waunakee, 906 F.2d at 1191. Here, Caine argues that reconsideration is appropriate under Rule 54(b) because, in his view, there has been a controlling or significant change in the law since the submission of the issue to the Court.

Motions to reconsider should be granted only in rare circumstances. See Bank of Waunakee, 906 F.2d at 1191 (quoting Above the Belt, Inc. v. Mel Bohannan Roofing, Inc., 99 F.R.D. 99, 101 (E.D.Va.1983)) (" A further basis for a motion to reconsider would be a controlling or significant change in the law or facts since the submission of the issue to the Court. Such problems rarely arise and the motion to reconsider should be equally rare. " ) (emphasis supplied). A party moving for reconsideration bears a heavy burden. See Caisse Nationale de Credit Agricole v. CBI Industries, Inc., 90 F.3d 1264, 1270 (7th Cir.1996). A motion for reconsideration is not an appropriate vehicle for relitigating arguments that the Court previously rejected or for arguing issues that could have been raised during the consideration of the motion presently under reconsideration. See Id. It is well-settled that a motion to reconsider is not a proper vehicle to advance arguments or legal theories that could and should have been made before the Court entered its order or to present evidence that was available earlier. See Sigsworth v. City of Aurora, 487 F.3d 506, 512 (7th Cir.2007) (citing LB Credit Corp. v. Resolution Trust Corp., 49 F.3d 1263, 1267 (7th Cir.1995)); Anderson v. Flexel, Inc., 47 F.3d 243, 247-48 (7th Cir.1995); King v. Cooke, 26 F.3d 720, ...


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