United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
N. McFADDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Court granted summary judgment to Defendant Local Lodge 1759
(“Local Lodge”). Johnson v. Local Lodge 1759,
Int'l Ass'n of Machinists & Aerospace Workers,
AFL-CIO, 2019 WL 2452991 (D.D.C. June 12, 2019). Now
Plaintiff Edward Johnson moves to reopen this case. ECF No.
55. Because the Court must construe pro se pleadings
liberally, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007), the Court considers Mr. Johnson's motion as a
Motion for Reconsideration under Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure 59(e) and 60(b). For the reasons below, Mr.
Johnson's motion will be denied.
59(e) allows a party to file “[a] motion to alter or
amend a judgment.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). But relief under
Rule 59(e) is “an extraordinary measure.”
Leidos, Inc. v. Hellenic Republic, 881 F.3d 213, 217
(D.C. Cir. 2018). 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.” Exxon Shipping v. Baker, 554 U.S.
471, 485 n.5 (2008) (quoting 11 C. Wright & A. Miller,
Federal Practice and Procedure § 2810.1, pp.
127-128 (2d ed.1995)). Nor is it “a vehicle to present
a new legal theory that was available prior to
judgment.” Patton Boggs LLP v. Chevron Corp.,
683 F.3d 397, 403 (D.C. Cir. 2012). 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) (per curiam) (quotation marks
construing Mr. Johnson's filings liberally, he has shown
none of those things. See generally ECF Nos. 54; 55.
He points to no change in controlling law. He does not
discuss the availability of new evidence. Nor does he allege
any errors by the Court, legal or factual, in granting Local
Lodge's Motion for Summary Judgment. Instead, he offers
reasons for his failure to attend a mediation in November
2018, ECF No. 55, recounts the basic claims from his
Complaint, see generally ECF Nos. 54; 55, and raises
issues related to a different case, see ECF No.
This Rule 59(e) does not allow.
Mr. Johnson has not shown that reconsideration of the
Court's prior decision is necessary to “prevent
manifest injustice.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). The standard
of proving manifest injustice is high. See Roane v.
Gonzales, 832 F.Supp.2d 61, 66 (D.D.C. 2011). And Mr.
Johnson has pointed to no injustice surrounding the
Court's prior decision. True, the Court considered Local
Lodge's Motion for Summary Judgment without opposition
from Mr. Johnson, but he does not suggest that it was wrong
for the Court to do so. See generally, ECF Nos. 54;
55. Indeed, the Court did so only after warning him at least
twice about his obligation to respond. See Order,
ECF No. 49; 2/11/19 Minute Order. Thus, it was Mr.
Johnson's failure to heed repeated warnings that left his
claims undefended. And “manifest injustice ‘does
not exist where . . . a party could have easily avoided the
outcome, but instead elected not to act until after a final
order had been entered.'” Leidos, Inc.,
881 F.3d at 217 (quoting Ciralsky v. CIA, 355 F.3d
661, 665 (D.C. Cir. 2004)).
Mr. Johnson's request for relief also fails the more
stringent Rule 60(b) standard. See Arabaitzis v. Unum
Life Ins. Co. of Am., 351 F.Supp.3d 11, 14 (D.D.C. 2018)
(“Relief under Rule 60(b) is more restrictive than
under Rule 59(e).”). He has not alleged “mistake,
inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect” in
failing to oppose Local Lodge's summary judgment motion.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1). He identifies no newly discovered
evidence. Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(2). The judgment is not void,
and Mr. Johnson has not alleged that Local Lodge acted
fraudulently. Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(3), (4). Nor has he
suggested that Rule 60(b)(5) applies. Finally, relief under
Rule 60(b)(6) is appropriate only in “extraordinary
circumstances.” Kramer v. Gates, 481 F.3d 788,
790 (D.C. Cir. 2007). But Mr. Johnson has not pointed to any
extraordinary circumstances surrounding the Court's
decision to grant summary judgment to Local Lodge that would
warrant relief from that decision.
these reasons, it is hereby
that Mr. Johnson's Motion for Reconsideration is denied.
 Mr. Johnson attached a letter to his
Motion for Reconsideration, ECF No. 54, and the Court will
consider that letter in deciding Mr. Johnson's
 Mr. Johnson filed a related case
against Local Lodge and Allied Aviation after Allied
terminated him a second time. See Civ. No.
 While Mr. Johnson failed to defend his
claims here, he actively litigated his related case.
See Civ. No. 18-cv-01150-TNM, ECF Nos. 18, 22, 27,
31, 34 (all filed after the Court first advised Mr. Johnson
to respond to ...