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Anderson v. Kaemingk

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division

May 4, 2018

TERRY ALLEN ANDERSON, AND ANY AND ALL PERSONS SIMILAR; Plaintiff,
v.
D. KAEMINGK, SECRETARY OF CORRECTIONS AT DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS FOR STATE OF SD, IN HIS INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITY; D. YOUNG, WARDEN AT SIOUX FALLS PRISON SYSTEM, IN HIS INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITY; T. PONTO, ASSOC. WARDEN AT JAMESON ANNEX, IN HIS INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITY; A. ALLCOCK, ASSOC. WARDEN AT SDSP, IN HIS INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITY; T. MEIROSE, A. MADSEN, O. BERTSCH, SECTION MANAGERS; Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING MOTION TO RECONSIDER

          KAREN E. SCHREIER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff, Terry Anderson, is an inmate at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls. Anderson filed a pro se civil rights lawsuit and requested leave to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Docket 1; Docket 2. The court granted Anderson's motion to proceed in forma pauperis but dismissed his complaint without prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Docket 6. Anderson now moves the court to reconsider this order. Docket 8.

         The Federal Rules provide the following regarding grounds for relief from an order:

         On motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party . . . from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons:

(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party;
(4) the judgment is void;
(5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged; it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or applying it prospectively is no longer equitable; or
(6) any other reason that justifies relief.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). A district court's decision on a motion for reconsideration rests within its discretion. Hagerman v. Yukon Energy Corp., 839 F.2d 407, 413 (8th Cir. 1988). “Motions for reconsideration serve a limited function: to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.” Id. at 414 (quoting Rothwell Cotton Co. v. Rosenthal & Co., 827 F.2d 246, 251 (7th Cir.), as amended, 835 F.2d 710 (7th Cir. 1978)). Anderson claims fraud and misrepresentation by the court in seeking a reconsideration. Docket 8 at 3. The court construes Anderson's claim as one questioning the court's interpretation of the facts, rather than an assertion relating to the court's intent. The court addresses individually each issue raised in the motion to reconsider.

         I. Retaliation or Conditions of Confinement

         Anderson first asks the court to reconsider its dismissal of his retaliatory discipline claim. Docket 8. The court found that Anderson failed to state a retaliatory discipline claim, because Anderson did not allege that he was exercising a constitutional right or that an exercise of a constitutional right was the motivation for the alleged retaliation. Docket 6. Anderson provides more detailed factual allegations in his motion to reconsider, but he still fails to allege that he was exercising a constitutional right or that an exercise of a constitutional right was the motivation for the alleged retaliation. Thus, Anderson has failed to show that the court's previous order was based on any erroneous findings of fact or conclusions of law.

         Anderson's claim could instead be construed as a conditions of confinement claim. Anderson identified his first claim as a retaliation claim on the Civil Rights Complaint form, but his motion to reconsider cites cases involving unconstitutional conditions of confinement in segregation housing. For example, Anderson cites Maxwell v. Mason, 668 F.2d 361 (8th Cir. 1981), to support his claim. In Maxwell, the Eighth Circuit affirmed a district court's finding of cruel and unusual punishment where an ...


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