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Archuleta v. Sanchez

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

October 10, 2018

BENJAMIN ARCHULETA, Plaintiff,
v.
JAMES CHARLES SANCHEZ, Defendant.

          PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

          LAURA FASHING UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on the document filed by plaintiff Benjamin Archuleta dated September 25, 2018 and docketed as a “motion for reconsideration” by the clerk. Doc. 14. This matter was referred to me by the Honorable James O. Browning to conduct hearings, if warranted, including evidentiary hearings, and to perform any legal analysis required to recommend to the Court an ultimate disposition of the case. Doc. 15. Having reviewed the document filed by Mr. Archuleta, I find that it does not state any grounds for relief from judgment. Therefore, I recommend that any ascertainable request for relief sought in Mr. Archuleta's filing be DENIED.

         Motions to reconsider in civil cases fall into three categories:

a motion to reconsider filed within [twenty-eight] days of the entry of judgment is treated as a motion to alter or amend the judgment under rule 59(e); (ii) a motion to reconsider filed more than [twenty-eight] days after judgment is considered a motion for relief from judgment under rule 60(b); and (iii) a motion to reconsider any order that is not final is a general motion directed at the Court's inherent power to reopen any interlocutory matter in its discretion. See Price v. Philpot, 420 F.3d 1158, 1167 n.9 (10th Cir. 2005).

Pedroza v. Lomas Auto Mall, Inc., 258 F.R.D. 453, 462 (D.N.M. 2009) (Browning, J.); see also Computerized Thermal Imaging, Inc. v. Bloomberg. L.P., 312 F.3d 1292, 1296 (10th Cir. 2002).

         Courts may treat motions for reconsideration as a Rule 59(e) motion when the movant files within twenty-eight days of a court's entry of judgment. See Price, 420 F.3d at 1167 n.9. If the movant files outside of that time, courts should treat the motion as seeking relief from judgment under Rule 60(b). Id.

         Whether a motion for reconsideration should be considered a motion under Rule 59 or Rule 60 is not only a question of timing, but also “depends on the reasons expressed by the movant.” Commonwealth Prop. Advocates, LLC v. Mortg. Elec. Registration Sys., Inc., 680 F.3d 1194, 1200 (10th Cir. 2011). Where the motion “involves ‘reconsideration of matters properly encompassed in a decision on the merits, '” a court considers the motion under Rule 59(e). Phelps v. Hamilton, 122 F.3d 1309, 1323-24 (10th Cir. 1997) (quoting Martinez v. Sullivan, 874 F.2d 751, 753 (10th Cir. 1989)). In other words, if the reconsideration motion seeks to alter the district court's substantive ruling, then it should be considered a Rule 59 motion and be subject to Rule 59's constraints. See Phelps, 122 F.3d at 1324. In contrast, under Rule 60,

[o]n motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party or its legal representatives from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons:
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party;
(4) the judgment is void;
(5) the judgment has been satisfied, released or discharged; it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or applying it ...

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