United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
DEREK N. JARVIS, Plaintiff,
THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA, Defendants.
C. Cacheris UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Derek N. Jarvis'
Motion to Reconsider a June 12, 2017 Order dismissing his
case for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. [Dkt. 18.] For the following reasons, the Court will
deny the motion.
case was brought by pro se Plaintiff Derek N. Jarvis
(“Plaintiff” or “Jarvis”) against the
Alexandria Mayor's Office, City Council, and City Manager
(collectively, the “Defendants”) for alleged
violations of his constitutional rights, negligence, and
fraud. Compl. [Dkt. 1] at 1-3. On an unspecified date,
Plaintiff visited an unspecified Shell gas station located in
the Old Town neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia. Compl. at
1. While paying for gas, Plaintiff alleges that a Middle
Eastern employee referred to him by using a racial slur and
yelled at him in front of other patrons. Id.
about August 13, 2016, Plaintiff filed a complaint with the
Office of Human Rights (“OHR”) in Alexandria,
alleging racial discrimination by the Shell gas station
employee. Compl. at 6. Plaintiff claims that OHR's
investigation of his complaint lasted approximately two
weeks. Id. After failing to properly investigate his
claim, Plaintiff alleges that the director of OHR, Jean
Kelleher, informed him that the incident at the gas station
did not amount to racial discrimination. Id. As a
result, OHR dismissed his complaint. Id. Following
this dismissal, Plaintiff proceeded to contact the City
Manager, the Mayor's Office, and the City Attorney for
assistance, but found their help unavailing. Id.
12, 2017, the Court issued a Memorandum Opinion granting
Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint
under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. Mem. Op.
[Dkt. 16] at 11. The Court dismissed Plaintiff's Section
1981 claim because his Complaint only included allegations
against state actors. Id. at 8. As noted in the
Court's opinion, Section 1983 provides the exclusive
federal damages remedy for alleged violations of Section 1981
by state actors. Id. Additionally, the Court found
that Plaintiff failed to plead sufficient facts under Section
1983 to support his claim that OHR has an official custom or
policy of siding with respondents in cases involving racial
discrimination. Id. at 8-9. The Court also dismissed
Plaintiff's negligence claim under the doctrine of
sovereign immunity. Id. at 9-10. Finally, the Court
found that Plaintiff's fraud claim failed to include
specific factual allegations that the alleged
misrepresentation was made intentionally and knowingly, with
the purpose of misleading him; that he subsequently relied
upon that misrepresentation; and that, as a result, he
suffered damages. Id. at 10-11.
16, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration and
motion to vacate the Court's June 12 Order. Mot. for
Reconsideration [Dkt. 18]. This motion argues that the
Court's prior Order is “flawed, fabricated[, ] and
illegal” and accuses the Court of treason and
obstruction of justice, among other things. Id. at
1. Defendants filed their memorandum in opposition to this
motion, [Dkt. 21], to which Plaintiff replied, [Dkt. 26].
Having been fully briefed on the matter, this motion is now
ripe for disposition.
Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) governs this motion to
reconsider. A court may amend a judgment under Rule 59(e) in
the following three circumstances: “(1) to accommodate
an intervening change in controlling law; (2) to account for
new evidence not available at trial; or (3) to correct a
clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice.”
Hutchinson v. Staton, 994 F.2d 1076, 1081 (4th Cir.
1993). Amending a judgment “is an extraordinary remedy
that should be applied sparingly.” Mayfield v.
NASCAR, Inc., 674 F.3d 369, 379 (4th Cir. 2012). A
reconsideration motion “is inappropriate if it asks the
court to ‘reevaluate the basis upon which it made a
prior ruling' or ‘merely seeks to reargue a
previous claim.'” Projects Mgmt. Co. v. DynCorp
Int'l, LLC, 17 F.Supp.3d 539, 541 (E.D. Va. 2014)
(quoting United States v. Smithfield Foods, Inc.,
969 F.Supp. 975, 977 (E.D. Va. 1997)).
asserts that this Court's prior Memorandum Opinion lacked
“any justification or legal basis in federal
law.” Mot. for Reconsideration at 1. He contends that
sovereign immunity “cannot be found in the
constitution, not [sic] can it be applied to [it].”
Id. at 3. Plaintiff also argues that all of his
claims were sufficiently pled, as he established that
Defendants engaged in fraud by misrepresenting the elements
of a Section 1981 claim to him, as well as that Defendants
violated OHR's policy of gathering data, such as
affidavits, during the course of investigating a human rights
complaint. Id. at 4. In an effort to convince the
Court to adopt his reasoning, Plaintiff also threatens to
“file a criminal case under RICO” against the
Eastern District of Virginia, and accuses the Court of both
obstruction of justice and treason. Id. at 1-2.
Finally, Plaintiff asserts, without any evidence whatsoever,
that this Court somehow colluded with the District of
Maryland before deciding to dismiss his Complaint.
Id. at 2. Presumably, Plaintiff views these
perceived errors as a manifest injustice. Id.
reviewed each of Plaintiff's arguments, the Court finds
no reason to reconsider its prior opinion. Plaintiff has made
no showing that a manifest injustice has indeed occurred.
Rather, the gravamen of his motion to reconsider is that all
of his claims are meritorious and were sufficiently pled in
his Complaint to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss.
In other words, Plaintiff simply disagrees with this
Court's prior ruling. Accordingly, as noted in the June
12 Order that Plaintiff now seeks to vacate, the proper
avenue for contesting this Court's dismissal is to appeal
the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the
Fourth Circuit by filing a notice of appeal within 60 days.
foregoing reasons, the Court finds that reconsideration is
not warranted. Therefore, the Court ...