United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. BOYLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendants' Second Motion to Modify
Judgment. Doc. 102. For the reasons that follow, the Court
GRANTS Defendants' Motion.
Court recounted the facts of this case in its Order granting
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. Doc. 82, Order
1-2. In short, this is a mortgage dispute.
Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant Michael Wease sued
Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC and
Defendant Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. for: (1) purported
violations of the Texas Debt Collection Practices Act, the
Truth in Lending Act, and the Real Estate Settlement
Procedures Act; (2) breach of contract; (3) equitable relief;
(4) unjust enrichment; (5) declaratory judgment; and (6)
accounting. Id. at 2. Ocwen, in turn, asserted a
counterclaim for judicial foreclosure against Wease.
Court found that Ocwen was entitled to foreclosure and
granted Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, thereby
dismissing Wease's claims. Doc. 82, Order 14-15. The
Court's Final Judgment, however, stated only that Wease
should take nothing for his claims as Plaintiff. Doc. 83,
Final J. 1. In other words, it failed to mention Ocwen's
counterclaim for judicial foreclosure. See Id. Wease
appealed the Court's summary judgment decision but the
Fifth Circuit held that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain
Wease's appeal because the Court's Final Judgment did
not fully adjudicate the parties' rights in light of
Ocwen's counterclaim. Wease v. Ocwen Loan Servicing,
L.L.C., No. 16-10521, 2016 WL 7480246, at *1 (5th Cir.
Dec. 29, 2016) (explaining that the court lacked jurisdiction
because “the ‘final judgment' included no
disposition for Ocwen's judicial foreclosure
counterclaim”). Defendants now move to modify the
Court's Final Judgment. Doc. 102, Defs.' Second
Motion to Modify J. [hereinafter Defs.' Mot.]. Wease
responded to their Motion. Doc. 103, Pl.'s Obj. and
Resp. to Defs.' Second Mot. to Modify J.
[hereinafter Pl.'s Obj.]. And Defendants replied. Doc.
106, Defs.' Reply to Pl.'s Obj. [hereinafter
Defs.' Reply]. Thus, the Motion is ready for review.
move to amend the Court's earlier Final Judgment under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). Doc. 102, Defs.'
Mot. 4. Rule 59(e) allows parties to move “to alter or
amend a judgment” within “28 days after the entry
of the judgment.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). Yet it applies
only to final judgments. See Helena Labs. Corp. v. Alpha
Sci. Corp., 483 F.Supp.2d 538, 538 n.1 (E.D. Tex. 2007).
As explained below, no final judgment has been entered in
this case. For that reason, Rule 54(b), not Rule 59(e),
controls. See Id. (“Alpha's motion was
improperly filed under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) because no final
judgment has been entered. However, it is undisputed that the
court has discretion to treat the motion as one for
reconsideration under Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b)).
When an action presents more than one claim for
relief-whether as a claim, counterclaim, crossclaim, or
third-party claim-or when multiple parties are involved, the
court may direct entry of a final judgment as to one or more,
but fewer than all, claims or parties only if the court
expressly determines that there is no just reason for delay.
Otherwise, any order or other decision, however
designated, 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
adjudicating all the claims and all the parties' rights
Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b) (emphasis added). The Court thus treats
Defendants' Motion as one for reconsideration under Rule
54(b). “Motions for reconsideration ‘serve the
narrow purpose of allowing a party to correct manifest errors
of law or fact or to present newly discovered
evidence.'” Helena Labs., 483
F.Supp.2d at 539 (quoting Waltman v. Int'l Paper
Co., 875 F.2d 468, 473 (5th Cir.1989)).