United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER 
I. SCHENKIER United States Magistrate Judge
March 22, 2017, this Court issued an opinion (doc. # 22)
affirming the November 4, 2015 decision of the administrative
law judge ("ALJ"), which found that Ms. Murphy was
disabled from April 13, 2007 (her alleged onset date) through
November 30, 2008, but that as of December 1, 2008, she no
longer was disabled because medical improvement had occurred
and Ms. Murphy was able to perform substantial gainful
activity. On April 18, 2017, Ms. Murphy timely moved for
reconsideration pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
59(e) (doc. # 24).
may grant Rule 59(e) motions to alter or amend the judgment
if the movant presents newly discovered evidence that was not
available at the time of trial or if the movant points to
evidence in the record that clearly establishes a manifest
error of law or fact. This rule enables the court to correct
its own errors and thus avoid unnecessary appellate
procedures. But such motions are not appropriately used to
advance arguments or theories that could and should have been
made before the district court rendered a judgment, or to
present evidence that was available earlier." Miller
v. Safeco Ins. Co. of Am., 683 F.3d 805, 813 (7th Cir.
2012) (internal citations and quotations omitted). "A
'manifest error' occurs when the district court
commits a wholesale disregard, misapplication, or failure to
recognize controlling precedent." Burritt v.
Ditlefsen, 807 F.3d 239, 253 (7th Cir. 2015), quoting
Oto v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 601, 606 (7th
Cir. 2000). However, "a Rule 59(e) motion is not to be
used merely to 'rehash' previously rejected
arguments." Vesely v. Armslist LLC, 762 F.3d
661, 666 (7th Cir. 2014).
raises three arguments in her motion to reconsider: (1) the
ALJ failed to adequately articulate how she arrived at
December 1, 2008 as the date of medical improvement (Pl's
Mot. to Reconsider at 1-3); (2) the ALJ's credibility
determination was erroneous (Id. at 3-4); and (3)
this Court misunderstood plaintiffs argument regarding her
plantar fasciitis (Id. at 4). None of these
arguments presents a sound basis for the Court to reverse its
arguments all "rehash" contentions this Court
considered and rejected in its Memorandum Opinion and Order.
In her original motion for remand, plaintiff alleged three
grounds for remand: (1) the ALJ erred in finding that Ms.
Murphy did not meet a listing as of December 1, 2008 because
that determination ignored the ME's testimony that Ms.
Murphy no longer met a listing as of late 2009 or 2010; (2)
the ALJ improperly discredited plaintiffs and her
husband's testimony; and (3) the ALJ failed to consider
plaintiffs foot problems in assessing her RFC (Mem. Op. and
Order at 11, citing Pl.'s Mot. at 1; Pl's Mem. at
14-15). In addressing the first two arguments, we held that
the ALJ's determination that December 1, 2008 was the
date of medical improvement was supported by substantial
evidence and that the ALJ's credibility findings were not
patently wrong (See Mem. Op. and Order at 13-15).
Plaintiffs motion for reconsideration offers nothing that
persuades the Court that we erred in those determinations.
in the Memorandum Opinion and Order, the Court addressed and
rejected plaintiffs argument that remand was warranted
because the ALJ failed to consider plaintiffs foot problems
in formulating her RFC (Mem. Op. and Order at 16, citing
Pl's Mem. at 14). We rejected plaintiffs argument because
the ALJ's decision that Ms. Murphy's foot problems
were not severe was supported by substantial evidence, and
plaintiff did not "point to evidence in the record that
shows that plantar fasciitis caused her more functional
limitations than those already accounted for in the RFC"
(Mem. Op. and Order at 16).
Murphy now argues that the Court misunderstood her argument
that the ALJ erred in not accounting for plaintiffs foot
problems in the RFC because the Court wrote that:
"plaintiffs argument here - that her gait and strength
were normal during examinations because her pain was only at
its worst during a few moments of the day - supports the
ALJ's determination that plantar fasciitis did not result
in more than mild functional limitations" (Mem. Op. and
Order at 16). Ms. Murphy argues that, to the contrary, her
description of when her foot pain was at its worst means that
she "cannot be on her feet long enough to work above the
sedentary level" (Pl's Mot. to Reconsider at 4). We
disagree. Ms. Murphy essentially made the same argument in
her original motion as she offers on the motion for
reconsideration: that including more limitations in the RFC
to account for her foot condition would limit Ms. Murphy to
sedentary work (Pl's Mem. in Supp. of Mot. for Remand at
15). Neither in her original motion nor in the motion for
reconsideration has Ms. Murphy pointed to any evidence that
shows that her plantar fasciitis caused her more functional
limitations than those already accounted for in the RFC.
foregoing reasons, we deny plaintiffs motion to reconsider
(doc. # 24).
On June 22, 2016, by consent of the
parties and pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and Local
Rule 73.1, this case was assigned to the Court for ail
proceedings, including entry ...