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Mathison v. United States

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA


October 13, 2009

EUGENE MATHISON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Colleen Kollar-kotelly United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

On August 29, 2009, the Court dismissed this civil action on the ground that plaintiff lacked standing to bring his claims.*fn1 Mathison v. United States, __ F. Supp. 2d __, __, 2009 WL 2707578, at *7 (D.D.C. Aug. 29, 2009). This matter is before the Court on plaintiff's motion to alter or amend judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e), which defendant has opposed, and plaintiff's reply.

Plaintiff notes that the Court screened his complaint before docketing, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a), and declined to dismiss the complaint either as frivolous or because it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B), 1915A(b)(1). See Pl.'s Mot. at 1-2. In light of the Court's approval of his application to proceed in forma pauperis, plaintiff argues that defendant's motion to dismiss "ought not be granted and that the Court alter or amend its judgment to allow the matter to proceed."*fn2 Id. at 2. In the alternative, if his complaint is frivolous or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, plaintiff "avers that the Court ought to order the Clerk to refund the money paid to date to him as the complaint ought never to have been docketed[.]" Id.

A motion under Rule 59(e) is "disfavored and relief from judgment is granted only when the moving party establishes extraordinary circumstances." Niedermeier v. Office of Max S. Baucus, 153 F. Supp. 2d 23, 28 (D.D.C.2001) (citing Anyanwutaku v. Moore, 151 F.3d 1053, 1057 (D.C. Cir. 1998)); Ciralsky v. Cent. Intelligence Agency, 355 F.3d 661, 671 (D.C. Cir. 2004). "A Rule 59(e) motion 'is discretionary' and need not be granted unless the district court finds that there is an 'intervening change of controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice.'" Firestone v. Firestone, 76 F.3d 1205, 1208 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (citation omitted). Plaintiff makes no such showing, and his motion will be denied. See, e.g., Solomon v. Univ. of S. California, 255 F.R.D. 303, 304 (D.D.C. 2009) (denying Rule 59(e) motion filed plaintiff who neither "identifie[d] [a] change of controlling law or new evidence . . ., demonstrate[d] the need to correct a clear error, nor . . . established extraordinary circumstances").

The Court will deny plaintiff's request for return of the filing fee paid to date. "[I]f a prisoner brings a civil action . . . in forma pauperis, [he] shall be required to pay the full amount of a filing fee," 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1), and he shall pay the fee in monthly installments. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). Plaintiff cites no authority for the proposition that a prisoner is entitled to a refund of a filing fee upon dismissal of his complaint.

The Court will deny plaintiff's motion to alter or amend judgment. An Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.


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