United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division
TERRENCE W. BOYLE CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
April 16, 2019, Ronald McClary ("plaintiff'), a
state inmate proceeding pro se, filed this complaint under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations ofhis Eighth Amendment
rights. See Compl. [D.E. 1 ]. On December 16, 2019, the court
conducted its initial review and dismissed the complaint for
failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(b)(1). Order [D.E. 10]. OnDecember23, 2019, the court
docketed plaintiffs self-styled "motion for leave."
See Mot. [D.E. 13].
"motion for leave" seeks to "introduce . . .
evidence that defendant Watson engaged in widespread
corruption and supervisor liability by participating in the
misconduct violation of plaintiff rights and others
[sic]." [D.E. 13] at 1. Plaintiff specifically asserts:
he observed three officers assault another inmate; these
officers lied in their statements; and plaintiff approached
defendant Watson seeking to make a statement about the
incident, but defendant Watson "destroyed the
video" and "approved of the investigation filings
knowing it was false." Id. at 1-2. Plaintiff
asserts that these purported incidents of misconduct by
Watson are offered to "show [that his] claim is not
frivolous but some of a wide-spread corruption by Watson
[sic]." Id. at 2. Plaintiff attaches various
documents as to the injury of the other inmate. See [D.E.
13-1] at 1-8.
decision to alter or amend a judgment pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) is within the sound discretion
of the court. See Dennis v. Columbia Colleton Med. Ctr..
Inc.. 290 F.3d 639, 653 (4th Cir. 2002). This circuit
recognizes three reasons for granting a Rule 59(e) motion to
alter or amend a judgment: "(1) to accommodate an
intervening change in controlling law; (2) to account for new
evidence not available [previously]; or (3) to correct a
clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice."
Zinkand v. Brown, 478 F.3d 634, 637 (4th Cir. 2007)
plaintiffs motion for reconsideration merely addresses the
defendant's purported misconduct in a wholly unrelated
matter. Because plaintiff does not cite to any change in
controlling law, present newly discovered evidence relevant
to the instant action, identify any clear error in the
court's previous orders, or show that the result was
manifestly unjust, plaintiff is not entitled to relief under
Rule 59(e). See Zinkand, 478 F.3d at 637; see also
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." (citation
and quotation marks omitted)).
extent plaintiff instead seeks relief under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 60(b), this rule "authorizes a district
court to grant relief from a final judgment for five
enumerated reasons or for any other reason that justifies
relief." Aikens v. Tngram, 652 F.3d 496, 500
(4th Cir. 2011) (en banc) (quotation omitted). Under Rule
60(b), a movant first must demonstrate that his motion is
timely, that he has a meritorious claim or defense, that the
opposing party will not suffer unfair prejudice from setting
aside the judgment, and that exceptional circumstances
warrant the relief. See Robinson v. Wix Filtration Corp.
LLC. 599 F.3d403, 412 n.12 (4th Cir. 2010). If amovant
satisfies these threshold conditions, he must then
"satisfy one of the six enumerated grounds for relief
under Rule 60(b)." Nat'l Credit Union Admin. Bd.
v. Gray, 1 F.3d 262, 266 (4th Cir. 1993).
because plaintiffs motion for reconsideration fails to raise
a "meritorious claim or defense," or otherwise
demonstrate that "exceptional circumstances warrant the
relief," plaintiff fails to meet the threshold
requirements under Rule 60(b). See Robinson. 599
F.3d at 412 n.12. Thus, after reviewing plaintiffs motion for
reconsideration under the governing standards, the court
finds that plaintiff fails to establish grounds for relief
under either Rule 59(e) or Rule 60(b).
the court DENIES plaintiffs motion for reconsideration [D.E.
 The court construes the "motion
for leave," [D.E. 13], as a motion for reconsideration
of the court's prior order dismissing the action. See
United States v. Winestock. 340 F.3d200, 203 (4th Cir.
2003) (noting courts should "classify pro se pleadings
from prisoners according to their contents, without regard to
their captions."). Although plaintiffs notice of appeal
also was docketed on December 23, 2019, the later-docketed
"motion for leave," was both signed and post-marked
one day earlier than the notice of appeal. Compare
[D.E. 12] at 2, and [D.E. 12-1], with Mot. [D.E. 13]
at 2, and Mot. Attach. [D.E. 13-2] at 1. Thus, the court
retains jurisdiction over this motion. See Fed. R. App. P.
4(a)(4)(B)(i) (establishing a notice of appeal filed after
judgment is entered but ...