United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
Reona J. Daly United States Magistrate Judge.
matter is now before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for
Leave to File Signature Page to Declaration and Motion to
Reconsider the Court's Memorandum and Order Concerning
Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment (Doc. 133). For
the reasons set forth below, the Motion is GRANTED IN
PART AND DENIED IN PART.
Larry Howell, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois
Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), filed this
lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his
constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated
at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”).
Following threshold review, Plaintiff was allowed to proceed
on the following Counts:
Count 1: Defendants exhibited deliberate
indifference toward Plaintiff's serious medical needs, in
violation of the Eighth Amendment, when they delayed and/or
denied appropriate treatment for his knee injury.
Count 2: Defendants subjected Plaintiff to
unconstitutional conditions of confinement at Menard, in
violation of the Eighth Amendment, when they placed him in a
fifth-floor cell and denied him the use of any assistive
medical devices when he was unable to walk.
Count 3: Defendant IDOC violated the
Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and/or
Rehabilitation Act when it denied him the use of any
assistive medical devices while he was unable to walk,
thereby denying him access to meals and medical services.
On April 25, 2019, the Court issued an order granting summary
judgment in favor of Defendants Fe Fuentes, Susan Kirk, John
Baldwin (official capacity), Clifford Bradley, Kimberly
Butler, Salvador Godinez, Louis Shicker, and David Tindall
(Doc. 124). Following the Court's summary judgment
rulings, Plaintiff is proceeding to trial on Count One
against Defendants Dr. Trost and Wexford.
filed his motion now before the Court on June 10, 2019 (Doc.
133). In his motion, Plaintiff explains the signature page to
his Declaration was inadvertently not attached and filed with
the Court. As a result, the Court did not consider it in its
Order. Plaintiff further asserts that because his response,
including his Declaration, was filed under seal, he could not
access the Court-filed documents to confirm the inclusion of
his signature page.
responded to Plaintiff's motion on June 24, 2019 (Doc.
135) and July 1, 2019 (Doc. 138). Defendants object to
Plaintiff's request, arguing it would result in
substantial prejudice and undue burden. Defendants explain
they have dedicated substantial resources to their trial
preparation and reconsidering summary judgment may obfuscate
such efforts. Defendants further remark that the claims in
Plaintiff's Declaration are substantially the same as
those contained in Plaintiff's complaint and response to
Defendants' motion for summary judgment. Accordingly,
Defendants indicate that nothing contained in Plaintiff's
Declaration impacts the Court's summary judgment order.
request for leave to file his signature page to his
Declaration is GRANTED. Plaintiff shall file
his signature page by separate docket entry, linked to his
responses to Defendants' summary judgment motions at
Docs. 106 and 107, by August 30, 2019.
Plaintiff does not specify which Federal Rule his motion to
reconsider is brought pursuant to, the Court finds it to be a
motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). Rule
60(b) permits relief from a judgment for a number of reasons
including mistake, fraud, misrepresentation, or misconduct by
an opposing party, or “any other reason that justifies
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b). It is an extraordinary
remedy and is only granted in exceptional circumstances.
United States v. 8136 S. Dobson St., Chicago Ill.,
125 F.3d 1076, 1082 (7th Cir. 1997). Motions under Rule 60(b)
must be brought “within a reasonable time.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(c). “What constitutes ‘reasonable
time' depends upon the facts of each case, taking into
consideration the interest in finality, the reason for the
delay, the practical ability of the litigant to learn earlier
of the grounds relied upon, and the consideration of
prejudice if any to other parties.” Kagan v.
Caterpillar Tractor Co., 795 F.2d 601, 610 (7th Cir.
consideration of these factors, the Court finds
Plaintiff's motion was not filed within a reasonable
time. The error Plaintiff seeks to correct was clearly
identified on page two of the Court's Order on
Defendants' motions for summary judgment (see
Doc. 124). Said Order was filed on April 25, 2019. The error
Plaintiff seeks to correct is simple and obvious, and he
should have sought to rectify it immediately. However,
Plaintiff did not file his motion for reconsideration until
June 10, 2019 (Doc. 133). In the intervening time, this Court
held a final pretrial conference (see Doc. 128), and
the parties submitted various materials for trial, including
motions in limine and Rule 26 disclosures. Plaintiff failed
to address the issue concerning his request for
reconsideration with the Court during the final pretrial
conference. Thus, the parties have spent considerable time at
this point preparing for trial, and Defendants would suffer
significant prejudice if the Court were to reconsider its
the Court finds Plaintiff's Declaration does not set
forth any new and material information that has not already
been addressed and considered by the Court. As such, even if
the Court were to reconsider its previous Order,