United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Beaufort Division
C. NORTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the court on plaintiff Ashley Shane
Gault's (“Gault”) motion for reconsideration,
ECF No. 29, of the court's prior order granting
defendants Jane Vaden Thacher (“Thacher”) and
Vaden of Beaufort Inc's (“the Corporation”),
(together, “defendants”) motion to dismiss for
lack of personal jurisdiction and granting in part and
denying in part defendants' motion to dismiss for failure
to state a claim filed by ECF No. 25. For the reasons set
forth below, the court denies the motion.
Ashley Shane Gault (“Gault”) brings this action
against the Corporation and against Thacher, the President
and majority shareholder of the Corporation. In 2011, Gault
became a 10% shareholder in the Corporation and his ownership
interest fully vested in 2016. Sometime after October 2017,
Gault resigned. He now contends that Thacher and the
Corporation engaged in a course of conduct that disadvantaged
the Corporation, and thus diminished the amount of money that
Gault received for this 10% stock ownership. On October 19,
2018, Gault filed suit in the Beaufort County Court of Common
Pleas and then filed an amended complaint on November 7,
2018. Defendants removed the action on November 21, 2018. On
November 26, 2018, defendants filed motions to dismiss. ECF
Nos. 5, 7. The court held a hearing on these matters on
February 5, 2019. On February 15, 2019, the court issued an
order granting the motion to dismiss Thacher for lack of
personal jurisdiction, and granting in part and denying in
part the 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss.
March 29, 2019, Gault filed his motion for reconsideration.
ECF No. 29. On March 29, 2019, defendants filed their
response. ECF No. 30. On April 31, 2019, Gault filed his
reply. ECF No. 31. The motion is ripe for the court's
Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) provides that “[a] motion
to alter or amend a judgment must be filed no later than 28
days after the entry of the judgment.” While Rule 59(e)
does not supply a standard to guide the court's exercise
of its power to alter or amend, the Fourth Circuit has
recognized that a court may grant a Rule 59(e) motion
“only in very narrow circumstances: (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.”
Hill v. Braxton, 277 F.3d 701, 708 (4th Cir. 2002).
Rule 59(e) motions may not be used to make arguments that
could have been made before the judgment was entered. See
Pac. Ins. Co. v. Am. Nat'l Fire Ins. Co., 148 F.3d
396, 403 (4th Cir. 1998). Moreover, “[a] party's
mere disagreement with the court's ruling does not
warrant a Rule 59(e) motion, and such a motion should not be
used to rehash arguments previously presented or to submit
evidence which should have been previously submitted.”
Sams v. Heritage Transp., Inc., No. 2:12-cv-0462,
2013 WL 4441949, at *1 (D.S.C. August 15, 2013). Rule 59(e)
provides an “extraordinary remedy that should be used
sparingly.” Pac. Ins. Co., 148 F.3d at 403
(internal citation omitted); Wright v. Conley, No.
10-cv-2444, 2013 WL 314749, at *1 (D.S.C. Jan. 28, 2013).
Whether to alter or amend a judgment under Rule 59(e) is
within the sound discretion of the district court. Bogart
v. Chapell, 396 F.3d 548, 555 (4th Cir. 2005).
Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) states, in relevant part, that
any decision from ther court “that adjudicates fewer
than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer
than all the parties does not end the action as to any of the
claims or parties and may be revised at any time before the
entry of a judgment . . . .” A “judgment, ”
within the meaning of Rule 54, “includes a decree and
any order from which an appeal lies.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
54(a). A motion brought under Rule 54(b) is judged by similar
standards as a motion brought under Rule 59(e). Grayson
Consulting, Inc. v. Cathcart, No. 2:07-cv-00593-DCN,
2014 WL 587756, at *1 (D.S.C. Feb. 14, 2014) (quoting
Pac. Ins. Co. v. Am. Nat'l Fire Ins. Co., 148
F.3d 396, 403 (4th Cir. 1998)).
motion to reconsider does not ask the court to
“accommodate an intervening change in controlling
law” or to “account for new evidence available at
trial.” Hill, 277 F.3d at 708. Rather, the
motion is based solely on Gault's belief that the court
misinterpreted the law controlling the motions to dismiss for
lack of personal jurisdiction and for failure to state a
claim. The court has considered the additional arguments by
both parties regarding this motion to reconsider and stands
by its original interpretation of the pertinent law set forth
in its prior order. Thus, the court denies the motion to
reconsider, finding that there has been no “clear error
of law” or “manifest injustice.”
foregoing reasons, the court DENIES the
motion for ...