United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Sherman Division
E. M., A MINOR; S.M., NEXT FRIEND; AND C.S., NEXT FRIEND
LEWISVILLE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
L. MAZZANT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for
Reconsideration of the Judgment (Dkt. #30). Having considered
the pleadings, the Court finds that the motion should be
E.M. is a student with a disability who resided within the
Lewisville Independent School District (“LISD”).
On April 14, 2014, Plaintiff filed a special education due
process hearing request (the “first due process
hearing”) with the Texas Education Agency pursuant to
the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act
(“IDEA”). The first due process hearing was held
before a Special Education Hearing Officer (“Hearing
Officer”) in March 2015. On March 26, 2015, before the
Hearing Officer reached a decision regarding the first due
process hearing, Plaintiff filed a second special education
due process hearing request (the “second due process
22, 2015, the Hearing Officer issued a decision regarding the
first due process hearing and found that the LISD provided
Plaintiff a free appropriate public education as required by
the IDEA. On August 20, 2015, Plaintiff filed a complaint
with the Court appealing the Hearing Officer's decision.
August 21, 2015, the Hearing Officer dismissed the second due
process hearing request, holding that the first due process
hearing barred the second due process hearing by collateral
estoppel, res judicata, and preclusion. On August 30, 2015,
Plaintiff filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the order
dismissing the second due process hearing request. The
Hearing Officer did not respond to the Motion for
Reconsideration. On December 10, 2015, Plaintiff filed an
Amended Original Complaint with the Court appealing the
dismissal of the second due process hearing request (Dkt.
27, 2016, the LISD filed a Motion to Dismiss Part of
Plaintiff's Second Amended Original Complaint (Dkt. #15).
The LISD argued that the IDEA ninety-day statute of
limitations barred Plaintiff's appeal of the August 21,
2015 order dismissing the second due process hearing request.
The LISD noted that Plaintiff did not appeal the August 21,
2015 dismissal until December 10, 2015.
January 9, 2016, the Court granted the LISD's Motion to
Dismiss Part of Plaintiff's Second Amended Original
Complaint (Dkt. #24). On February 7, 2017, Plaintiff filed a
motion for reconsideration of the judgment (Dkt. #30). On
February 20, 2017, the LISD filed a response (Dkt. #32).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) applies to motions for
reconsideration of an interlocutory order, courts have
utilized the standards of Rule 59 when analyzing such
motions. Dos Santos v. Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc.
Dist., 651 F.Supp.2d 550, 553 (N.D. Tex. 2009)
(“considerations similar to those under Rules 59 and 60
inform the Court's analysis”); T-M Vacuum
Prod., Inc. v. TAISC, Inc., No. H-07-4108, 2008 WL
2785636, at *2 (S.D. Tex. July 16, 2008), aff'd sub
nom. T-M Vacuum Prod. v. Taisc, Inc., 336 Fed.Appx. 441
(5th Cir. 2009) (“Rule 59(e)'s legal standards are
applied to motions for reconsideration of interlocutory
orders.”). “Although the general rule is that
motions for reconsideration will not be considered when filed
more than [twenty-eight] days after the judgment at issue is
entered, this deadline does not apply to the reconsideration
of interlocutory orders.” T-M Vacuum Prod.,
Inc., 2008 WL 2785636, at *2 (citing Standard
Quimica De Venez. v. Cent. Hispano Int'l, Inc., 189
F.R.D. 202, 204 (D.P.R. 1999)). Therefore, “[a] court may
consider a motion to reconsider an interlocutory order so
long as the motion is not filed unreasonably late.”
Id. (citing Standard Quimica De Venez., 189
F.R.D. at 205; Martinez v. Bohls Equip. Co., No.
SA-04-CA-0120-XR, 2005 WL 1712214, at *1 (W.D. Tex. July 18,
motion seeking reconsideration, “calls into question
the correctness of a judgment.” Templet v.
HydroChem Inc., 367 F.3d 473, 478 (5th Cir. 2004)
(quoting In re Transtexas Gas Corp., 303 F.3d 571,
581 (5th Cir. 2002)). A Rule 59(e) motion is “not the
proper vehicle for rehashing evidence, legal theories, or
arguments that could have been offered or raised before the
entry of judgment.” Templet, 367 F.3d at 479
(citing Simon v. United States, 891 F.2d 1154, 1159
(5th Cir. 1990)). “Rule 59(e) ‘serve[s] the
narrow purpose of allowing a party to correct manifest errors
of law or fact or to present newly discovered
evidence.'” Id. (quoting Waltman v.
Int'l Paper Co., 875 F.2d 468, 473 (5th Cir. 1989)).
“Relief under 59(e) is also appropriate when there has
been an intervening change in the controlling law.”
Milazzo v. Young, No. 6:11-CV-350, 2012 WL 1867099,
at *1 (E.D. Tex. May 21, 2012) (citing Schiller v.
Physicians Res. Grp., 342 F.3d 563, 567 (5th Cir.
2003)). “Altering, amending, or reconsidering a
judgment is an extraordinary remedy that courts should use
sparingly.” Id. (citing Templet, 367
F.3d at 479).
Court granted the LISD's Motion to Dismiss Part of
Plaintiff's Second Amended Original Complaint because
“Plaintiff's appeal of the second due process
hearing was . . . not brought ninety days from the date of
the decision of the Hearing Officer as required by the
IDEA.” (Dkt. #24). Under the IDEA, a party “shall
have 90 days from the date of the decision of the Hearing
Officer to bring [a civil] action, or, if the State has an
explicit time limitation for bringing such action under this
subchapter, in such time as the State law allows.” 20
U.S.C. § 1415(i)(2)(B); 34 C.F.R. § 300.516. The
Court further held that under the Texas Administrative Code,
Section 89.1185(n) “the decision issued by the hearing
officer is final, except that any party aggrieved by the
findings and decision made by the hearing officer . . . may
bring a civil action . . . in a district court of the United
States as provided in 34 C.F.R. § 300.516.” 19
Tex. Admin. Code § 89.1185.
Plaintiff's response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
Part of Plaintiff's Second Amended Original Complaint,
Plaintiff argued that upon filing a motion for
reconsideration, the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure
“allow for the tolling of the time period required to
file a timely notice of appeal” and cited to
“TRCP 329h.” (Dkt. #21 at ¶ 18). The Court
did not hold that the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure applied
to Plaintiff's claim and did not apply Rule 329b(h) to
Plaintiff's claim. ...