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Lempert v. Power

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

May 22, 2014

DAVID H. LEMPERT, Plaintiff,
v.
SAMANTHA POWER, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, UNITED NATIONS, UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME, Defendants

Page 80

David H. Lempert, Plaintiff, Pro se, Ardsley, N.Y. USA.

For Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Defendant: Nicholas P. Cartier, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, DC USA.

Page 81

MEMORANDUM OPINION

COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY, United States District Judge.

Presently before the Court is Plaintiff's [32] Motion to Re-Open Judgment. Upon consideration of the pleadings [1], the relevant legal authorities, and the record as a whole, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's motion. Accordingly, this action remains DISMISSED in its entirety.

I. BACKGROUND

David H. Lempert (" Plaintiff" ), an attorney proceeding pro se [2], filed suit against Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, the United Nations, and the United Nations Development Programme (" UNDP" ), alleging breach of contract and various tort claims arising out of Plaintiff's attempt to obtain employment with the UNDP in Laos. See generally Compl. On July 19, 2013, the Court dismissed the Complaint in its entirety, finding tat the United Nations and UNDP were immune to legal process, and that Plaintiff failed to state a claim against then-Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, either in her official or personal capacity. See Order, ECF No. [27]; Mem. Op., ECF No. [28]

Subsequently, on August 8, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Amend the Complaint with Leave of the Court. By its August 27, 2013 [30] Order, the Court denied Plaintiff leave to file this motion as " [o]rdinarily postjudgment amendment of a complaint under Rule 15(a) requires reopening of the judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e) or 60(b)." Bldg Indus. Ass'n of Superior Cal. v. Norton, 247 F.3d 1241, 1245, 345 U.S. App.D.C. 426 (D.C. Cir. 2001). See also Firestone v. Firestone, 76 F.3d 1205, 1208, 316 U.S. App.D.C. 152 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (per curiam) (noting that amendment of complaint may only occur after final judgment " once the court has vacated the judgment," and " to vacate the judgment, Appellants must first satisfy Rule 59(e)'s more stringent standard." ). The Court further instructed

Page 82

Plaintiff to file any post-judgment motion by no later than September 26, 2013. Within this time frame, Plaintiff filed the present [32] Motion to Re-Open Judgment seeking relief under Rule 60(b) and Rule 59(e). The United States (" Defendant" ) subsequently filed an Opposition on behalf of all Defendants and Plaintiff has filed a Reply. Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motion is ripe for review.

II. LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Rule 59(e)

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) permits a party to file " [a] motion to alter or amend a judgment" within " 28 days after the entry of the judgment." Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). Motions under Rule 59(e) are " disfavored" and the moving party bears the burden of establishing " extraordinary circumstances" warranting relief from a final judgment. Niedermeier v. Office of Baucus, 153 F.Supp.2d 23, 28 (D.D.C. 2001). Rule 59(e) motions are " 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, 76 F.3d at 1208 (internal quotation marks omitted). Rule 59(e) does not provide a vehicle " to relitigate old matters, or to raise arguments or present evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of judgment." Exxon ...


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