United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
L. FRIEDMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the renewed motion for
reconsideration [Dkt. No. 2077] filed by Derrick K. Jones as
Conservator of the person and estate of Maurice
McGinnis. The Conservator's motion seeks
reconsideration of the Court's opinion and order of May
31, 2018, granting the government's motion to dismiss the
petition for monitor review of Mr. McGinnis's Track B
arbitration claim. See Pigford v. Perdue,
330 F.Supp.3d 1 (D.D.C. 2018). The government has filed a
memorandum in opposition to the Conservator's renewed
motion for reconsideration, see Gov't Opp., and the
Conservator filed a reply. See Reply. Having considered the
parties' arguments, the relevant legal authorities, and
the entire record in this case, the Court will deny the
Conservator's renewed motion for
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Court's prior opinions summarize the factual and
procedural history of this case, beginning with Mr.
McGinnis's Track A award and continuing through his Track
B arbitration proceeding. See, e.g., Pigford v.
Vilsaek, 961 F.Supp.2d 82, 83-87 (D.D.C. 2013),
aff'd, 777 F.3d 509 (D.C. Cir. 2015); Pigford v.
Perdue, 330 F.Supp.3d at 3-9. The Court therefore limits
its discussion here to those facts relevant to the instant
motion, which pertains to Mr. McGinnis's Track B
the course of his Track B arbitration proceeding, Mr.
McGinnis was represented by John M. Shoreman. See Pigford
v. Perdue, 330 F.Supp.3d at 4-8. According to the
Conservator, notwithstanding his representation by counsel,
"[Mr.] McGinnis made a series of irrational decisions
not to comply with the requirements of the Consent Decree and
the Revised Hearing Notice." See Ren. Mot. Recon. at 4.
He and his counsel failed to meet deadlines - even after they
were rescheduled - and failed to provide a timely expert
report or any written testimony. See Pigford v.
Perdue, 330 F.Supp.3d at 4-7. After a series of
extensions of time granted by the Arbitrator, the government
moved for judgment as a matter of law, arguing that Mr.
McGinnis had not introduced any evidence and had not
"articulate[d] the bases for his discrimination claims
or the source and nature of any alleged economic
damages." See Mot. J. Law at 89. On December 13, 2016,
the Arbitrator granted the government's motion for
judgment as a matter of law and denied Mr. McGinnis's
Track B claim, reasoning that "[Mr. McGinnis] ha[d]
neither demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that
[the] USDA discriminated against him, nor ha[d] he
established any damages." See Arb. Decision at
111; see also Pigford v. Perdue, 330 F.Supp.3d at 7.
April 12, 2017, Mr. Shoreman submitted a petition for monitor
review of the Arbitrator's decision purportedly on behalf
of Derrick K. Jones, the alleged conservator of Mr,
McGinnis's person and estate. See Pet. Mon. Review at
202; see also Pigford v. Perdue, 330 F.Supp.3d at
7-8. The initial petition for monitor review "[did] not
dispute that Mr. McGinnis repeatedly failed to meet deadlines
and, as a result, did not submit sufficient evidence to prove
his claim by a preponderance of the evidence. Rather, the
petition assert[ed] that these failures resulted from Mr.
McGinnis's diminished mental capacity and deteriorating
ability to assist his counsel, issues which assertedly arose
due to the stressful and long-running nature of the
case." See Pigford v. Perdue, 330 F.Supp.3d at
8. The petition concluded that because "[t]he strict
application of procedural deadlines to a Claimant so
obviously incompetent resulted in a fundamental miscarriage
of justice," the Monitor should direct the Arbitrator to
re-examine his decision to grant the government's motion
for judgment and to re-set procedural deadlines so that Mr.
McGinnis's Track B arbitration claim could proceed under
the direction of Mr. McGinnis's conservator. See Pet.
Mon. Review at 207-08.
government moved to dismiss the petition for monitor review
of Mr. McGinnis's Track B arbitration claim. The matter
was fully briefed and the Court granted the government's
motion on May 31, 2018. See Pigford v.
Perdue, 330 F.Supp.3d at 12. In so deciding, the Court
declined to reappoint the Monitor - who had been released
from her duties under the Consent Decree in March 2012 - and
to direct her to review the petition because "there
[was] simply insufficient evidence in the relevant record
[before the Arbitrator] of Mr, McGinnis's alleged mental
incapacity to support a finding by the monitor that
'clear and manifest error' ha[d] resulted or [was]
likely to result in 'a fundamental miscarriage of
justice.'" See Id. at 12;
see also Stip. & Order at ¶
Shoreman subsequently filed a motion for reconsideration
[Dkt. No. 2067] of the Court's opinion and order by and
through Derrick K. Jones, the alleged conservator of the
person and estate of Mr. McGinnis. The Court denied that
motion without prejudice on August 6, 2018, because Mr. Jones
had not been substituted as a party in this case pursuant to
Rule 25(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
See Mem. Op. & Order. The Court has since granted
[Dkt. No. 2075] Mr. Jones's motion for substitution of
party [Dkt. No. 2070], and Mr. Jones has been properly
substituted for plaintiff Maurice McGinnis as a party to this
to the Court's order, Mr. Jones, as Conservator, filed a
renewed motion for reconsideration on October 31, 2018 on
behalf of the estate of Mr. McGinnis. See Ren. Mot. Recon.
The Conservator's renewed motion for reconsideration -
now before the Court - asks the Court to reconsider under
Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure its order
and opinion of May 31, 2018. See Ren. Mot. Recon. at
7. He requests that the Court deny the government's
motion to dismiss the petition for monitor review.
See Ren. Mot. Recon. Proposed Order [Dkt. No.
Conservator has styled the instant motion as a motion for
reconsideration pursuant to Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure. See Ren. Mot. Recon. at 5.
Although the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have no rule
specifically addressing motions to reconsider, "[t]he
D.C. Circuit has stated that motions to reconsider are
routinely construed as motions to clarify or alter or amend
judgment under Rule 59(e)." See Piper v. U.S.
Dep't of Justice, 312 F.Supp.2d 17, 20 (D.D.C.
2004). After entry of judgment, a timely motion for
reconsideration under Rule 59(e) may be filed to "alter
or amend [the] judgment." See Fed. R, Civ. Pro.
Supreme Court has explained that Rule 59(e) was enacted to
allow a district court "to rectify its own mistakes in
the period immediately following the entry of judgment."
See White v. N.H. Dep't of Emp't Sec, 455
U.S. 445, 450 (1982). But Rule 59(e) "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." See Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, 554
U.S. 471, 485 n.5 (2008); see also Piper v. U.S.
Dep't of Justice, 312 F.Supp.2d at 21 ("Rule
59(e) motions are not granted if the court suspects the
losing party is using the motion as an instrumentality of
arguing the same theory or asserting new arguments that could
have been raised prior to final judgment."). A Rule
59(e) motion, therefore, "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." See
Dyson v. District of Columbia, 710 F.3d 415, 420
(D.C. Cir. 2013) (quoting Ciralsky v. Cent. Intelligence
Agency, 355 F.3d 661, 671 (D.C. Cir. 2004)); see
also Firestone v, Firestone, 76 F.3d 1205, 1208 (D.C.
noted, the Court may grant the Conservator's motion to
reconsider its prior decision to dismiss the petition for
monitor review of Mr. McGinnis's Track B claim if it
"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." SeeDyson v. District of
Columbia, 710 F.3d at 420 (quoting Ciralsky v. Cent.
Intelligence Agency, 355 F.3d at 671). In his motion,
the Conservator does not suggest that there has been an
intervening change of controlling law or that new evidence
has become available since the Court's May 31, 2018
decision. Instead, using language almost identical to that
found in the original petition, the Conservator argues that
the Court should reconsider its decision because "under
the circumstances of this case[, ] the Arbitrator's
strict application of procedural deadlines to a Claimant so