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Elliot v. First Federal Community Bank of Bucyrus

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

June 25, 2019

G. RALPH ELLIOT, Plaintiff,

          Deavers Magistrate Judge.

          OPINION & ORDER


         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to Reconsider or a Motion to Amend and Motion for Stay of Foreclosure. (ECF No. 86). For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's Motion to Reconsider is DENIED and the Motion for Stay of Foreclosure is GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The facts of this case are outlined in this Court's prior Opinion & Order granting summary judgment to Defendant (ECF No. 86) and are restated here only briefly and incorporated by reference. Plaintiff brought this suit alleging a violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 15 U.S.C. § 1639c, § 1640, and common law negligence. Plaintiff alleged the refinanced mortgage he received from the defendant bank violated TILA and that the bank behaved negligently. This Court granted summary judgment for Defendant because there was no genuine dispute of the material facts surrounding the mortgage refinancing.

         II. LAW & ANALYSIS

         A. Motion to Reconsider

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), a court will reconsider its own prior decision “if the moving party demonstrates: (1) a clear error of law; (2) newly discovered evidence that was not previously available to the parties; or (3) an intervening change in controlling law.” Owner-Operator Indep. Drivers Ass'n, Inc. v. Arctic Express, Inc., 288 F.Supp.2d 895, 900 (S.D. Ohio 2003). Courts may also alter or amend a judgment when necessary “to prevent manifest injustice.” GenCorp., Inc. v. Am. Int'l Underwriters, 178 F.3d 804, 834 (6th Cir. 1999). Reconsideration due to a finding of manifest injustice or a clear error of law requires “unique circumstances, ” such as complete failure to address an issue or claim. McWhorter v. ELSEA, Inc., 2006 WL 3483964, at *2 (S.D. Ohio 2006) (citing Collison v. Int'l Chem. Workers Union, Local 217, 34 F.3d 233, 236 (4th Cir. 1994)). Even for motions to reconsider interlocutory orders, courts respect the importance of “grant[ing] some measure of finality ... and [of] discourag[ing] the filing of endless motions for reconsideration” in applying the relevant criteria. Id. A motion under Rule 59(e) may not be brought to relitigate issues previously considered by a court or to present evidence that could have been raised earlier. See J.P. v. Taft, 2006 WL 689091, at *3 (S.D. Ohio 2006).

         Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate that his claim should be reconsidered by this Court. (ECF No. 86). Plaintiff's brief is a twenty-page recital of the claims that this Court already decided in its Order & Opinion granting Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 81). Plaintiff fixates on facts that are not relevant. For example, he complains that this Court miscounts and describes the period between the 2013 loan and the 2014 refinance as being “eighteen” months when it was “fifteen.” (ECF No. 86 at 5-6). He also complains that this Court “overlooks the evidence that the “Elliot Team” was more than a small two-person operation. It included a 25-agent franchise in Marysville and a 225-agent franchise in Dublin.” (Id. at 5). While this Court is willing to correct the record to indicate that the time elapsed was fifteen months, neither of these facts is relevant and neither supports Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a) (requiring the movant to demonstrate “that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact”) (emphasis added).

         Plaintiff does not present any argument to meet the requirements of Rule 59(e): Plaintiff has not demonstrated that this Court made a clear error of law; he has not brought to this Court's attention any newly discovered evidence that was previously unavailable; and he does not argue that there has been an intervening change in controlling law. Reconsideration under Rule 59(e) does not serve as a means to merely relitigate issues already considered. As a result, Plaintiff's Motion to Reconsider is DENIED.

         B. Stay Pending Appeal

         In determining whether a stay pending appeal should be granted, the factors regulating the issuance of a stay are: (1) the likelihood that the party seeking the stay will prevail on the merits of the appeal; (2) the likelihood that the moving party will be irreparably harmed absent a stay; (3) the prospect that others will be harmed if the court grants the stay; and (4) the public interest in granting the stay. Ohio ex rel. Celebrezze v. Nuclear Regulatory Comm'n, 812 F.2d 288, 290 (6th Cir. 1987); see Hilton v. Braunskill, 481 U.S. 770, 776, 107 S.Ct. 2113 (1987).[1]A motion for stay pending appeal is generally made after the district court has considered fully the merits of the underlying action and issued judgement. Michigan Coalition of Radioactive Material Users, Inc. v. Griepentrog, 945 F.2d 150, 153 (6th Cir. 1991). As a result, a party seeking stay must ordinarily demonstrate to a reviewing court that there is a likelihood of reversal. (Id). Further, these factors are not prerequisites, but factors to be balanced. Ohio ex rel. Celebrezze. 812 F.2d at 290 (citing In re DeLorean Motor Co., 755 F.2d 1223, 1229 (6th Cir. 1985)).

         The first two factors hold the most importance in determining whether to grant a stay. United States v. Ahmed, No. 2:12-cv-951, 2017 WL 6508179 (S.D. Ohio Oct. 31, 2017) (citing Ohio State Conference of NAACP v. Husted, 769 F.3d 385, 387 (6th Cir. 2014)). A movant does not always “need to establish a high probability of success on the merits” to satisfy the first factor. Celebrezze, 812 F.2d at 290 (citing Cuomo v. United States Nuclear Regulatory Comm'n, 772 F.2d 972, 974 (D.C. Cir. 1985)) (indicating “the probability of success that must be shown is inversely proportional to the degree of irreparable injury the plaintiffs will suffer absent an injunction.”). But the moving party must demonstrate more than a mere possibility of success. Celebrezze, 812 F.2d at 290.

         Evaluation of potential harm if the stay is granted relies on three factors: “(1) the substantiality of the injury alleged, (2) the likelihood or its occurrence, and (3) the adequacy of the proof provided.” Celebrezze, 812 F.2d at 290 (citing Cuomo, 772 F.2d at 977). Irreparable harm that is “certain and immediate” is key and “mere injuries, however substantial, in terms of money, time and energy necessarily ...

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