United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER ON MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Andrew Beckford (“Appellant”) brought this
appeal, pro se, of a January 16, 2014 decision of
the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of
Connecticut (the “Bankruptcy Court”) (Dabrowski,
J.) denying Mr. Beckford's motion for reconsideration of
the Bankruptcy Court's decision to dismiss Mr.
Beckford's adversary proceeding against Bayview Loan
Servicing, LLC (“Bayview” or
“Appellant”) and John and Jane Does (1-50).
14, 2017, this Court affirmed the Bankruptcy Court's
decision to dismiss Mr. Beckford's adversary proceeding
and dismissed this appeal on the basis of a lack of federal
subject matter jurisdiction due to Mr. Beckford's lack of
standing, both under 11 U.S.C. § 541(a) and Article III
of the United States Constitution, to bring the claims he
raised in the Amended Complaint that he filed with the
Bankruptcy Court. See generally Order, ECF No. 24.
On July 13, 2017, the Court entered judgment in favor of
Bayview and closed this case. ECF No. 25.
13, 2017, Mr. Beckford filed a motion for reconsideration of
the judgment in this case and of the Court's order
affirming the Bankruptcy Court's decision and dismissing
his appeal. ECF No. 26. For the reasons that follow, the
Court DENIES Mr. Beckford's motion.
Court construes Mr. Beckford's pending motion as a
“motion to alter or amend a judgment” under Rule
59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Fed.R.Civ.P.
59(e). Such motions must generally be filed “no later
than 28 days after the entry of the judgment, ” Fed R.
Civ. P. 59(e), in order to be timely. Because the Court
entered judgment on July 13, 2017, ECF No. 25, and Mr.
Beckford filed this motion on July 31, 2017, his motion is
Court may only grant a motion seeking reconsideration of a
judgment when the “moving party can point to
controlling decisions or data that the court
overlooked” and “that might reasonably be
expected to alter the conclusion reached by the court.”
Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 256-57
(2d Cir. 1995); see also Pierce v. Lee, No.
3:08-CV-1721 (VLB), 2010 WL 4683911, at *1 (D. Conn. Nov. 4,
2010) (applying Shrader to Rule 59(e) motion).
“A motion for reconsideration is not a means to reargue
those issues already considered when a party does not like
the way the original motion was resolved.”
Pierce, 2010 WL 4683911 at *1.
Beckford brings this motion pro se. Even with the
special solicitude that the Court affords to him because of
his pro se status, see Triestman v. Fed. Bureau
of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006) (“It
is well established that the submissions of a pro se litigant
must be construed liberally and interpreted ‘to raise
the strongest arguments that they suggest.'”);
Ruotolo v. I.R.S., 28 F.3d 6, 8 (2d Cir. 1994)
(explaining that pro se litigants should be afforded
“special solicitude” because they are not
represented by counsel), Mr. Beckford's motion fails to
include either new controlling law or new information that
the Court overlooked. Shrader, 70 F.3d at 256-57.
Beckford's motion for reconsideration asks that the Court
consider Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972), but
that case is inapplicable here. See Mot. for Reconsid.
at 1, ECF No. 26. The Supreme Court decided Haines
when Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41(1957) provided
the standard required for a complaint to survive a motion to
dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), before the Conley
standard was replaced by that outlined in Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). See Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 670 (2009) (noting that
“Twombly retired the Conley
no-set-of-facts test relied upon by the District
Court”). Furthermore, the Court affirmed the Bankruptcy
Court's dismissal of Mr. Beckford's Amended Complaint
not on Rule 12(b)(6) grounds for failure to state a claim,
but under Rule 12(b)(1) for lack of federal subject matter
jurisdiction over the claims that Mr. Beckford brought in his
Amended Complaint. See Beckford v. Bayview Loan
Servicing, LLC, No. 14-CV-249 (VAB), 2017 WL 2588084, at
*4 (D. Conn. June 14, 2017) (explaining standard for
dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Rule
Court's previous order explained, “[a] district
court properly dismisses an action . . . for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction if the court lacks the statutory or
constitutional power to adjudicate it, such as when . . . the
plaintiff lacks constitutional standing to bring the
action.” Cortlandt St. Recovery Corp. v. Hellas
Telecommunications, S.A.R.L., 790 F.3d 411, 416-17 (2d
Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks omitted). As the Court
explained, the plaintiff is the one who “bears the
burden of alleging facts that affirmatively and plausibly
suggest that [he] has standing to sue, ” and
“[i]n assessing the plaintiff's assertion of
standing, ” a court should “accept as true all
material allegations of the complaint and construe the
complaint in favor of” the plaintiff, and may also
“rely on evidence outside the complaint.”
Cortlandt St., 790 F.3d at 417 (internal quotation
Beckford's motion for reconsideration goes on to argue
that this Court “only addresses [Mr. Beckford's]
standing as opposed to [Bayview's], ” and that it
is improper for the Court to “only look to
standing” as to Mr. Beckford, if “standing
affects [sic] the Court's authority to exercise
jurisdiction over the appeal.” Mot. for Reconsid. at 7.
This argument misunderstands standing doctrine.
to sue is a doctrine rooted in the traditional understanding
of a case or controversy. The doctrine developed . . . to
ensure that federal courts do not exceed their authority as
it has been traditionally understood. The doctrine limits the
category of litigants empowered to maintain a lawsuit in
federal court to seek redress for a legal wrong.”
Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540, 1547 (2016).
The inquiry of whether a “plaintiff” bringing a
complaint in federal court “has constitutional Article
III standing, ” is a threshold one that must come
before any consideration of “the subsequent merits of
the case.” McCrory v. Adm'r of Fed. Emergency
Mgmt. Agency of U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., 600
F.App'x 807, 808 (2d Cir. 2015) (summary order); All.
For Envtl. Renewal, Inc. v. Pyramid Crossgates Co., 436
F.3d 82, 87 (2d Cir. 2006) (“Article III standing must
be decided before the merits.”). In other words, if the
plaintiff seeking to initiate a case in federal court by
bringing a complaint does not have standing, the Court may
not consider the plaintiff's claims. Thus, this Court
found that the Bankruptcy Court properly dismissed Mr.
Beckford's Amended Complaint.
foregoing reasons, this motion fails to present new law or
new information that the Court overlooked and that can
“reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion reached
by the Court. Shrader, 70 F.3d at 256-57. The Court
therefore DENIES Mr. Beckford's motion