United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Harrisonburg Division
MICHAEL F. URBANSKI CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the court on plaintiff Gabriel Khalil
Hussein Deen's "Motion in Response to
Defendant's Objections and Recommendations Not to Dismiss
This Civil Action." ECF No. 38. The court construes
Deen's motion as a request for the court to reconsider
its July 12, 2017 order dismissing the complaint for failing
to state a claim. ECF No. 37. For the reasons that follow,
Deen's motion is will be denied.
December 1, 2016, Deen filed a complaint asserting various
claims of discrimination that allegedly occurred during his
employment as a substitute teacher in the Shenandoah County
school system. Deen claimed that the Shenandoah County School
Board ("Shenandoah") and Dr. Mark A. Johnston,
Superintendent of Shenandoah County Public Schools,
discriminated against him on the basis of race, national
origin, religion, gender, and age throughout his employment
as a substitute teacher. Deen asserted claims under Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a),
the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"),
29 U.S.C. §§ 621-634, and the Due Process Clause of
the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The court referred this case to the Honorable Joel C. Hoppe,
United States Magistrate judge, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B), for a recommended disposition of
defendants' motion to dismiss.
9, 2017, Judge Hoppe filed a report and recommendation
("R&R") on June 9, 2017, recommending that
plaintiff Gabriel Khalil Hussein Deen's complaint be
dismissed in its entirety. ECF No. 32. Deen filed a response
objecting to the R&R, ECF No. 34, and defendants filed a
reply to Deen's response, ECF No. 35. On July 12, 2017,
the court adopted Judge Hoppe's recommendation in its
entirety. ECF Nos. 36, 37. Fifteen days later, Deen filed the
instant motion for reconsideration, asserting the same
arguments he raised during prior stages of the litigation.
ECF No. 38. Defendants have filed a response to the motion
for reconsideration. ECF No. 40.
for reconsideration, while not uncommon in federal practice,
are not recognized under the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. See Ambling Mgmt. Co. v. Univ. View Partners.
LLC. No. WDQ-07-2071, 2010 WL 457508, at *1 n.3 (D. Md.
Feb. 3, 2010); Above the Belt. Inc. v. Mel Bohannan
Roofing. Inc.. 99 F.R.D. 99, 100 (E.D. Va. 1983).
Nevertheless, courts have held that these motions can perform
a valuable function. Above the Belt. Inc.. 99 F.R.D.
at 101. Such a motion would be appropriate where, for
the Court has patently misunderstood a party, or has made a
decision outside the adversarial issues presented to the
Court by the parties, or has made an error not of reasoning
but of apprehension. A further basis for a motion to
reconsider would be a controlling or significant change in
the law or acts since the submission of the issue to the
Court. Such problems rarely arise and the motion to
reconsider should be equally rare.
Id. Indeed, because of the interest in finality,
courts should grant motions for reconsideration sparingly.
Univ. of Va. Patent Found, v. Gen. Elec. Co., 755
F.Supp.2d 738, 743-44 (W.D. Va. 2011) (quoting Dayoub v.
Penn-Del Directory Co.. 90 F.Supp.2d 636, 637 (E.D. Pa
2000)); see Downie v. Revco Discount Drug Ctrs.. No.
3:05cv00021, 2006 WL 1171960, at *1 (W.D. Va. May 1, 2006). A
motion to reconsider should not be used to reiterate
arguments previously made or "to ask the Court to
rethink what the Court had already thought through-rightly or
wrongly." Above the Belt, Inc.. 99 F.R.D. at
to the Federal Rules, a party can move for a new trial or to
alter or amend a judgment pursuant to Rule 59, or move for
relief from a judgment or order pursuant to Rule 60. A party
making a motion under Rule 59 must file the motion no later
"than 28 days after the entry of judgment."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(b). The Fourth Circuit has held that courts
should construe a post judgment motion for reconsideration
filed within the Rule 59 deadline as a motion to alter or
amend a judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e). See Dove v.
CODESCO. 569 F.2d 807, 809 (4th Cir. 1978) ("[I] fa
post judgment motion is filed within ten days of the entry of
judgment and calls into question the correctness of that
judgment it should be treated as a motion under Rule 59(e),
however it may be formally styled."); see also
MLC Auto.. LLC v. Town of S. Pines. 532 F.3d
269, 277-78 (4th Cir. 2008) (noting CODESCO
continues to apply notwithstanding the amendment of Federal
Rule of Appellate Procedure 4). A motion that is filed later
is construed as a Rule 60(b) motion for relief from judgment
or order. In re Burnley. 988 F.2d 1, 2-3 (4th Cir.
1992); Ambling Mgmt. Co.. 2010 WL 457508, at *1 n.3.
Deen filed his motion for reconsideration fifteen days after
the court dismissed his complaint. Thus, the court will
construe his motion as a motion to alter or amend under Rule
Rule 59(e) does not set forth the standard under which a
district court may amend an earlier judgment, the Fourth
Circuit has outlined three reasons for doing so: "(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). "Rule 59(e) motions may not
be used, however, to raise arguments which could have been
raised prior to the issuance of the judgment, nor may they be
used to argue a case under a novel legal theory that the
party had the ability to address in the first instance."
Pac. Ins. Co. v. Am. Nat. Fire Ins. Co.. 148 F.3d
396, 403 (4th Cir. 1998). The purpose of a Rule 59(e) motion
is not to give "an unhappy litigant one additional
chance to sway the judge." Durkin v. Taylor,
444 F.Supp. 879, 889 (E.D. Va. 1977).
does not specify which basis for amending the court's
earlier judgment applies in this case. Because he cites no
changes to the law and presents no evidence that post-dates
the dismissal order, the court will assume Deen seeks
reconsideration based on "a clear error of law or 
manifest injustice." Hutchinson. 994 F.2d at
1081. Deen cannot satisfy this burden. Each of the arguments
raised in Deen's instant motion was thoroughly addressed
by Judge Hoppe in a twenty-four page R&R and again by the
court in adopting the R&R. Deen cites no case law that
conflicts with the final decision in this case. Nor has Deen
established that dismissing this case amounted to manifest
injustice. While the court ...