United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
JAMES K. ARINGTON, Plaintiff,
WORKER'S COMPENSATION BOARD OF INDIANA, et. al, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN CHIEF JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff James K.
Arington's Motion to Submit Detailed Statements of Facts
[ECF No. 33], Motion to Reconsider Transfer the Case and
Recusal of Judge [ECF No. 34], and Motion to Submit Statement
and Evidence for Reconsideration of a Mass. Conspiracy by
State Official”s [sic] and Supporting Case Law [ECF No.
35], all filed on June 12, 2017. Additionally, the Plaintiff
filed an Affidavit Accompanying Motion for Permission to
Appeal in Forma Pauperis [ECF No. 38] on June 23, 2017. The
Plaintiff then filed a Motion to the Court [ECF No. 42]
asking for the Court to serve the appellees due to the
Plaintiff's indigent status on June 30, 2017. The
Plaintiff also filed a Petition for Interlocutory Appeal [ECF
No. 45] on September 9, 2017. The Plaintiff has filed all of
these motions pro se.
Plaintiff, originally proceeding pro se, filed an Amended
Complaint [ECF No. 17] with the help of counsel,
against several Defendants, including: the Worker's
Compensation Board of Indiana, and its individual board
members Linda Hamilton, Mary Taivalkoski, James Sarkisian,
Daniel G. Foote, Andrew S. Ward, Gerald Ediger, Crysten
LeFavour, and Diane Parsons; Amtrust North America, Inc.;
Alane Janicek; Wesco Insurance Company; Case Management
Relief, LLC; Julie Funk; Sue Mitson; Summit Physical Therapy,
LLC; Andreas Lohmar; Physical Medicine Consultants, LLC;
Thomas L. Lazoff, M.D.; Reconstructive Foot & Ankle
Specialists, LLC; Jonathan Norton, M.D.; Fort Wayne Physical
Medicine, P.C.; Mark V. Reecer, M.D.;
Orthopaedics-Indianapolis, Inc.; Michael P. Shea, M.D.;
Eaton's Trucking Service, Inc.; and one “Billie,
” an employee of Fort Wayne Physical Medicine, P.C.
whose last name is unknown.
1, 2017, this Court issued an Opinion and Order [ECF No. 29]
denying the Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in
Forma Pauperis [ECF No. 2] and dismissing the Amended
Complaint with prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for a failure to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted. The Plaintiff now asks the Court to
reconsider its Opinion and Order.
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not expressly
authorize motions to reconsider, courts in the Seventh
Circuit apply either Rule 59(e) or 60(b) standards to these
motions. Rule 59(e) generally applies to timely filed motions
such as Plaintiff's Motion to Reconsider. See
Obriecht v. Raemisch, 517 F.3d 489, 493 (7th Cir. 2008);
see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) (“A motion to
alter or amend a judgment must be filed no later than 28 days
after the entry of the judgment.”). Rule 59 motions to
reconsider are not vehicles to reargue the merits of a case,
but instead bring newly discovered evidence or a manifest
error of law or fact to the court's attention. Neal
v. Newspaper Holdings, Inc. 349 F.3d 363, 368 (7th Cir.
2003); Bordelon v. Chi. School Reform Bd. of
Trustees, 233 F.3d 524, 529 (7th Cir. 2000).
Additionally, parties should not submit evidence in a Rule 59
motion that could have been presented earlier. Dal Pozzo
v. Basic Machinery Co., 463 F.3d 609, 615 (7th Cir.
2006) (citing Frietsch v. Refco, Inc., 56 F.3d 825,
828 (7th Cir. 1995)). And finally, a motion to reconsider
should not be used to rehash previous arguments. Oto v.
Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir.
Plaintiff timely filed his Motion to Reconsider. In his
Motion, the Plaintiff alleges that the Court improperly
applied a heightened pleading standard to his Amended
Complaint. The Court respectfully disagrees. As required by
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court must dismiss the
complaint if the Court determines that it “fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted.” Under
federal pleading standards:
[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(internal quotation marks and citations omitted). The Supreme
Court has further held that Rule 8 “does not require
detailed allegations, but it demands more than unadorned,
Id. (internal quotation marks and citations
omitted). Mere labels, legal conclusions, and recitations of
elements of a cause of action are not short and plain
statements for Rule 8 purposes. Id. Thus, the Court
must separate conclusory statements from well-pleaded factual
allegations, and determine whether those allegations state a
claim upon which relief may be granted.
reasons set forth in the Court's June 1, 2017, Opinion
and Order, the Plaintiff and his attorney have failed to
satisfy the pleading standards of Rule 8(a). The well-pleaded
facts in the Amended Complaint reveal what has likely been a
frustrating experience for the Plaintiff, but do not state a
claim for relief under federal constitutional tort statutes
or Indiana law. Instead, the well-pleaded facts demonstrate
that the Plaintiff has not been able to present his case as
desired to the Worker's Compensation Board of Indiana. He
alleges that falsified records, inaccurate witness statements
about his behavior at medical appointments, and the
Board's refusal to let the Plaintiff obtain and present
evidence in his favor are to blame, and that these
occurrences have violated his constitutional rights.
not styled as such, perhaps the Plaintiff is advancing a
procedural due process claim in his Amended Complaint,
meaning that he has been deprived of a protect interest
without due process of law. Judge DeGuillo's reasoning
from his October 19, 2016, Order succinctly explains why the
Plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted under procedural due process principles, even after
three extensions of time and the help of an attorney in
amending the complaint. First, the Plaintiff failed to
establish that he had a vested interest in worker's
compensation benefits. The Plaintiff must do this because
procedural due process only applies to protected, vested
interests. See Johnson v. Thompson-Smith, 203
F.Supp.3d 895, 906 (N.D. Ill. 2016). Further, even assuming
that the Plaintiff did have a protected, vested interest in
worker's compensation benefits, he has failed to properly
allege that he was deprived of this interest without due
process of law. Conclusory references to misconduct and mass
conspiracy cannot, alone, support this claim. See
Twombly, 500 U.S. at 545.
Plaintiff's Motion to Submit Statement and Evidence for
Reconsideration of a Mass. Conspiracy by State
Official”s [sic] and Supporting Case Law similarly
provides additional conclusory allegations, inapposite case
law, and possibly new theories of liability based on statute.
But the Motion does not explain why these allegations were
not addressed in the Amended Complaint. Instead, the Motion
presents the same conclusory statements and accusations found
in the Amended Complaint, but under a different name.
the Plaintiff's Detailed Statement of Facts contains
predominantly conclusory allegations, new theories of
liability based on statute, and a more detailed account of
the allegations made in the Amended Complaint. The Detailed
Statement of Facts does ...