United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Wilson Northern State Prison 168 Frontage Road Newark, N.J.
07114 Appearing pro se
Matthew Lynch, Esq., Robert P. Preuss, Esq., State of New
Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety Counsel for
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
matter comes before the Court upon Plaintiff's Motion for
Reconsideration of this Court's Opinion and Order
granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant James Haas,
ECF No. 135, and Plaintiff's Motion to Amend the
Complaint to add additional claims against Defendant Haas,
ECF No. 136. For the reasons explained below, the Court will
deny the Motions.
case arose out of an altercation Plaintiff had with another
inmate at South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton, New Jersey
on November 15, 2010. After filing multiple amended
complaints, Plaintiff retained counsel and filed a Third
Amended Complaint. ECF No. 24. In it, Plaintiff claimed that
his constitutional rights were violated by the correctional
officers who intervened in the fight and the medical staff
who treated him for his injuries. Also included as a
defendant was the assistant administrator of South Woods
State Prison, James Haas. All parties answered the Third
Amended Complaint,  and the case proceeded through discovery.
remaining Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on
November 10, 2014. ECF No. 53. The Court granted summary
judgment against Plaintiff on his equal protection, due
process, and deliberate indifference to medical need claims.
ECF Nos. 61 (opinion), 62 (order). As part of its ruling, the
Court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendant Haas and
dismissed him as a party in the action. See ECF No.
62. The Court permitted Plaintiff's excessive force claim
against certain other correctional officer defendants to
proceed to trial. The Third Amended Complaint contained no
allegation of excessive force against Defendant Warden Haas.
See ECF No. 24.
five-day trial before a jury, on January 27, 2016, the jury
answered a set of special interrogatories to resolve disputed
facts relating to the correctional officers' conduct
during the November 15, 2010 incident. ECF Nos. 100, 101. As
a result of the jury's answers to the interrogatories,
the Court granted the remaining Defendants' renewed
Motion for Summary Judgment, finding that under the facts
decided by the jury the Defendants were entitled to qualified
immunity, and entered judgment in their favor. ECF Nos. 103
(order), 104 (judgment).
the trial and entry of judgment, Plaintiff filed a motion for
reconsideration of several of the Court's rulings,
including the grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendant
Haas. ECF No. 105. Plaintiff requested that the Court
reinstate the claims on which the Court granted summary
judgment and conduct a bench trial on those claims.
Id. at 5-6. On August 4, 2016, the Court denied
Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of several of the
Court's rulings. ECF Nos. 115 (opinion), 116 (order). In
the opinion denying the motion to reconsider the grant of
summary judgment, the Court noted that,
“[P]laintiff's requests for relief simply amount to
disagreement with the Court's decisions” in
granting summary judgment and that “Plaintiff's
claims for violations of due process and deliberate
indifference to his serious medical need were comprehensively
analyzed in the Court's prior Opinions.” ECF No.
115, at 5.
October 13, 2017, Plaintiff filed another motion for
reconsideration pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
60(b), which appears to seek reconsideration regarding the
Court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendant
Haas and his dismissal as a party. ECF No. 135. Plaintiff
also filed a Motion to Amend the Complaint, to clarify which
claims he seeks to assert against Defendant Haas and to add
the New Jersey Department of Corrections as a defendant. ECF
Motion for Reconsideration
Motion for Reconsideration must be dismissed as untimely.
Under Local Rule 7.1(i), motions for reconsideration must be
filed within fourteen (14) days from the date of the order at
issue unless otherwise provided by statute or rule.
See Local Civ. R. 7.1(i) (“Unless otherwise
provided by statute or rule (such as Fed.R.Civ.P. 50, 52 and
59), a motion for reconsideration shall be served and filed
within 14 days after the entry of the order or judgment on
the original motion by the Judge or Magistrate
Judge.”). Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
Rule 60, such a motion must be made must “within a
reasonable time” and for certain grounds, be filed
“no more than a year after the entry of the judgment or
order or the date of the proceeding.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
60(c)(1). Summary judgment in favor of Defendant Haas was
entered on June 29, 2015, and thus any motion for
reconsideration should have been filed by July 13, 2015.
Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration is therefore
untimely and will be denied.
Motion to ...