United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION
A. Dooley United States District Judge
James Laboy (“Laboy”), currently incarcerated at
MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield,
Connecticut, filed this action to challenge his removal from
the prison school program and reassignment to a different
session both as a due process violation and a violation of
his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act
(“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq., and
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (“RA”), 29
U.S.C. § 794(a). On May 10, 2019, the Court granted the
defendants’ motion for summary judgment. On July 20,
2019 Laboy filed the instant a motion to alter or amend
judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e).
For the following reasons, the motion is DENIED.
Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) “permits a court to
‘alter or amend judgment to correct a clear error of
law or prevent manifest injustice.’” ING
Glob. V. United Parcel Serv. Oasis Supply Corp., 757
F.3d 92, 96 (2d Cir. 2014) (quoting Schwartz v. Liberty
Mut. Ins. Co., 539 F.3d 135, 153 (2d Cir. 2008));
see Munafo v. Metropolitan Transp. Auth., 381 F.3d
99, 105 (2d Cir. 2004) (specifically approving district
court’s authority under Rule 59(e) to “alter or
amend [a] judgment to correct a clear error of law or prevent
manifest injustice.”). “Rule 59(e) covers a broad
range of motions, including motions for
reconsideration....” Association. for Retarded
Citizens of Conn. v. Thome, 68 F.3d 547, 553 (2d Cir.
1995). However, it is well settled that Rule 59 may not be
used to relitigate issues, present the case under new
theories, secure a rehearing on the merits, or otherwise take
a “‘second bite at the apple.’”
Analytical Surveys, Inc. v. Tonga Partners, L.P.,
684 F.3d 36, 52 (2d Cir. 2012) (quoting Sequa Corp. v.
GBJ Corp., 156 F.3d 136, 144 (2d Cir. 1998)); see
Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, 554 U.S. 471, 486 n.5
(2008) (“Rule 59(e) permits a court to alter or amend a
judgment, but it may not be used to relitigate old matters,
or to raise arguments or present evidence that could have
been raised prior to the entry of judgment.”)
(quotation marks and citation omitted). “The
‘narrow aim’ of Rule 59(e) is ‘to make
clear that district court possesses the power’ to
rectify its own mistakes in the period immediately following
the entry of judgment.” Greene v. Town of Blooming
Grove, 935 F.2d 507, 512 (2d Cir. 1991) (citation
omitted). A motion to alter or amend judgment is an
“extraordinary remed[y] to be employed sparingly in the
interests of finality and conservation of scarce judicial
resources.” Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co. v. Great
Am. Ins. Co., 10 F.Supp.3d 460, 475 (S.D.N.Y. 2014)
(citations and quotations omitted). Finally, the standard for
granting a Rule 59 motion “is strict, and
reconsideration will generally be denied unless the party can
point to controlling decisions or data that the court
overlooked-matters, in other words, that might reasonably be
expected to alter the conclusion reached by the court.”
Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d
Cir. 1995) (articulating the standard in the context of a
Rule 59(e) motion).
asserts that the Court’s decision resulted from his
failure to submit an affidavit with his memorandum in
opposition to the defendants’ motion for summary
judgment. He therefore attaches a document entitled
“Affidavit of Truth” to this motion and asks the
Court to reconsider the decision based on the document. He
argues that his failure to file an affidavit means that the
decision was based on “a clear error of fact.”
Doc. No. 30 at 1.
indicated above, a motion to alter or amend judgment may not
be used to present evidence that could have been submitted
prior to entry of judgment. See Exxon Shipping, 554
U.S. at 486 n.5. The submission attempts to do just that and
is not a basis upon which the Court would alter the judgment.
Notably, the document Laboy labels an “affidavit”
is not sworn so does not cure any deficiency to his
opposition to the summary judgment. And the document contains
no information that was not available to Laboy when he
commenced this action.
even if Laboy had submitted this document as a proper
affidavit in opposition to the defendants’ motion for
summary judgment, the outcome would have been the same. The
Court granted summary judgment finding that Laboy had no
protected liberty interest in attending the morning school
session. He was offered, and declined, the opportunity to
switch to the afternoon session. In fact, he later attended
an afternoon session and attained his GED. Thus, the Court
found no due process violation. Also, the fact that Laboy was
offered a reasonable accommodation for his disability showed
that his rights under the ADA and RA were not violated.
Laboy’s purported affidavit does not address these
findings by the court. Thus, he has not shown that the
Court’s decision was based on a clear error of law or
motion to alter or amend judgment [Doc. No.
30] is DENIED.
ORDERED at ...