United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division
C. DEVER III, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
21, 2017, the United States of America ("United
States" or "plaintiff”) filed a complaint
against Larry Darnell Hill, Jr. ("Hill"),
Hillboy's Entertainment, d/b/a Hill's Tax Service
("Hill's Tax"), and Crystal Denise Dickens
("Dickens," collectively "defendants"),
seeking a permanent injunction pursuant to 26 U.S.C.
§§ 7402, 7407, and 7408 to prohibit, inter
alia, defendants from preparing or filing federal income
tax returns [D.E. 1]. On July 16, 2018, the United States
moved for summary judgment against Hill and Hill's Tax
[D.E. 36], and the United States filed a statement of
material facts [D.E. 37], an appendix [D.E. 38], and a
memorandum in support [D.E. 39]. On August 2, 2018, Hill,
proceeding pro se, responded in opposition [D.E. 42].
Hill's response indicated that he "ha[d] received no
discovery that he asked for or a response stating the
discovery is not in the possession of the moving party."
Id. at 2. On October 30, 2018, the court directed
the parties to file responses describing any discovery
requests plaintiff received from Hill and any discovery
plaintiff produced to Hill [D.E. 43]. The court also denied
Hill's requests for admission as frivolous. Id.
On October 31, 2018, the United States filed a response [D.E.
44]. The United States mailed a copy of its filing to Hill,
and the prison refused the mailing and returned it to the
United States, See [D.E. 49, 52]. However, Hill did receive a
copy of the filing. See [D.E. 52-1]. On January 7, 2019, the
court granted the United States's motion for summary
judgment and denied Hill's motion for reconsideration as
premature [D.E. 53].
January 18, 2019, Hill filed a notice of appeal [D.E. 55]. On
January 28, 2019, Hill filed a motion for reconsideration
[D.E. 58]. The United States filed a response in opposition
[D.E. 60], and Hill has filed a reply [D.E. 64, 65]. Hill
also moves for appointment of counsel [D.E. 66]. On March 6,
2019, the Fourth Circuit stayed Hill's appeal pending
resolution of his motion for reconsideration. See Order,
United States v. Hill, No. 19-1104, [D.E. 10] (4th
Cir. Mar. 6, 2019).
Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) permits a court to alter or
amend a judgment. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). Whether to alter or
amend a judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e) is within the sound
discretion of the district court. See,
e.g., Dennis v. Columbia Colleton Med. Ctr.,
Inc., 290 F.3d 639, 653 (4th Cir. 2002); Hughes v.
Bedsole, 48 F.3d 1376, 1382 (4th Cir. 1995). Although
Rule 59(e) does not specify a standard for granting a motion
to alter or amend, the Fourth Circuit recognizes three
reasons for granting a motion under Rule 59(e): "(1) to
accommodate an intervening change in controlling law; (2) to
account for new evidence not [previously] available...; or
(3) to correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest
injustice." Zinkand v. Brown, 478 F.3d 634, 637
(4th Cir. 2007) (quotation omitted); see Bogart v.
Chapell, 396 F.3d 548, 555 (4th Cir. 2005); Pac.
Ins. Co. v. Am. Nat'l Fire Ins. Co., 148 F.3d 396,
403 (4th Cir. 1998).
argues that it was improper for the court to rule on the
motion for summary judgment when there was "a recurring
issue in my being served with pleadings in this case and
others." Mot. Recons. 2 [D.E. 58]. Hill does not
demonstrate any error, much less a clear error, in the
court's order of January 7, 2019. Thus, the court denies
the motion for reconsideration.
Hill's motion for appointment of counsel [D.E. 66], no
right to counsel exists in civil cases absent
"exceptional circumstances." Whisenant v.
Yuam, 739 F.2d 160, 163 (4th Cir. 1984),
abrogated in part on other grounds by
Mallard v. U.S. Dist. Court. 490 U.S. 296 (1989);
see Cook v. Bounds, 518 F.2d 779, 780 (4th Cir.
1975). The existence of exceptional circumstances
"hinges on [the] characteristics of the claim and the
litigant." Whisenant, 739 F.2d at 163. The
facts of this case and Hill's abilities do not present
exceptional circumstances. Accordingly, the court denies
Hill's motion for appointed counsel.
the court DENIES the pending motions [D.E. 58, 66]. The clerk