United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Spartanburg Division
THE MARSHALL TUCKER BAND, INC. and DOUG GRAY, Plaintiffs,
M T INDUSTRIES, INC. and RON RAINEY, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND
DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFFS' RULE 59(e) MOTION TO ALTER OR
GEIGER LEWIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Plaintiffs' Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 59(e) Motion to Alter or Amend the Court's
Order granting Defendants' motion to dismiss
(Plaintiffs' 59(e) motion). The Court has jurisdiction
over the matter under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Having carefully
considered Plaintiffs' 59(e) motion, the response, the
reply, the record, and the applicable law, the Court will
grant in part and deny in part Plaintiffs' 59(e) motion.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
March 1, 2017, this Court entered an Order granting
Defendants' motion to dismiss. ECF No. 75. The Court
first dismissed Plaintiffs' federal trademark
infringement claim because Plaintiffs failed to establish
Defendant M T Industries, Inc.'s (MTI) use of The
Marshall Tucker Band mark (Mark) in commerce. Id. at
7. The Court likewise held Plaintiffs' federal trademark
dilution claim failed as a matter of law because
Plaintiffs' allegations in their Second Amended Complaint
(SAC) were insufficient to plead a use in commerce as
required under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c). Id. at 8.
In light of the fact the Court dismissed the only claims
providing independent jurisdiction over the action, the Court
dismissed Plaintiffs' federal declaratory judgment and
federal trademark cancellation claims for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction. Id. at 8-9. Finally, the Court
declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over
Plaintiffs' remaining state law claims. Id. at
10. The Court dismissed Plaintiffs' federal claims with
prejudice and Plaintiffs' state law claims without
prejudice. Id. at 11.
subsequently filed their motion under Rule 59(e) to alter or
amend the Court's Order. ECF No. 78. Defendants filed
their response in opposition, ECF No. 82, and Plaintiffs
filed their reply, ECF No. 83. The Court, having been fully
briefed on the relevant issues, is now prepared to discuss
the merits of Plaintiffs' 59(e) motion.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
are only three limited bases for a district court to grant a
Rule 59(e) motion:"(1) to accommodate an intervening
change in controlling law; (2) to account for new evidence
not available at trial; or (3) to correct a clear error of
law or prevent manifest injustice." Hutchinson v.
Staton, 994 F.2d 1076, 1081 (4th Cir.1993). A Rule 59(e)
motion"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 Co. v. Baker, 554 U.S. 471, 486 n.5 (2008)
(internal quotation marks omitted). Further,"mere
disagreement [with a district court's ruling] does not
support a Rule 59(e) motion." Hutchinson, 994
F.2d at 1082."In general[, ] reconsideration of a
judgment after its entry is an extraordinary remedy which
should be used sparingly." Pac. Ins. Co. v. Am.
Nat'l Fire Ins. Co., 148 F.3d 396, 403 (4th
Cir.1998) (internal quotation marks omitted).
CONTENTIONS OF THE PARTIES
Plaintiffs' 59(e) motion, Plaintiffs request the Court
alter or amend its Order under Rule 59(e)'s third basis:
namely, the Court correct a clear error of law or prevent
manifest injustice. Plaintiffs first argue the Court should
alter or amend its Order because it committed clear error by
dismissing Plaintiffs' federal trademark dilution claim.
Plaintiffs insist it is uncontested MTI is currently using
the Mark in commerce, and because the Court held the SAC
fails to allege commercial use of the Mark as required to
maintain Plaintiffs' federal trademark dilution cause of
action, it erred.
next assert the Court should alter or amend its Order because
the Court's dismissal of Plaintiffs' federal
declaratory judgment and trademark cancellation claims was
with prejudice. Plaintiffs aver the Court erred in dismissing
these two claims with prejudice because the Court dismissed
the claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
Plaintiffs maintain the dismissal of these claims should be
repudiate each of these assertions and contend
Plaintiffs' 59(e) motion must be denied because it is an
impermissible attempt to relitigate issues already decided.
DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS
Plaintiffs' Federal ...