United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Lindsay, United States District Judge.
the court is Antonio Ledezma Cobos's
(“Defendant”) Motion for New Trial (Doc. 70),
filed November 2, 2017. For the reasons herein stated, the
court denies Defendant's Motion for New
Trial (Doc. 70).
filed a motion for new trial, which is governed by Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 59(a); however, there was no trial in
this matter. The Government's claims against Defendant
were adjudicated by summary judgment. Defendant's Motion
for New Trial is, therefore, more properly characterized as a
motion to alter or amend the judgment under Rule 59(e).
See St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co. v. Fair Grounds Corp., et
al., 123 F.3d 336, 339 (5th Cir. 1997) (motion to alter
or amend under Rule 59(e) is proper motion to contest summary
judgment); Patin v. Allied Signal Inc., 77 F.3d 782,
785 n.1 (5th Cir. 1990) (motion to reconsider entry of
summary judgment properly styled a Rule 59(e) motion).
motion to alter or amend the judgment under Rule 59(e)
“calls into question the correctness of a
judgment.” Edionwe v. Bailey, 860 F.3d 287,
294 (5th Cir. 2017) (citation omitted). Such motion
“must clearly establish either a manifest error of law
or fact or must present newly discovered evidence.”
Marseilles Homeowners Condominium Ass'n Inc. v.
Fidelity Nat'l Ins. Co., 542 F.3d 1053, 1058 (5th
Cir. 2008) (citation omitted). It may not be used to
relitigate issues that were resolved to the movant's
dissatisfaction. Forsythe v. Saudi Arabian Airlines
Corp., 885 F.2d 285, 289 (5th Cir. 1989). A Rule 59(e)
motion may not raise arguments or present evidence that could
have been raised prior to entry of judgment. Simon v.
United States, 891 F.2d 1154, 1159 (5th Cir. 1990)
(citation omitted). When considering a Rule 59(e) motion to
reconsider, a court may not grant such a motion unless the
movant establishes: “(1) the facts discovered are of
such a nature that they would probably change the outcome;
(2) the alleged facts are actually newly discovered and could
not have been discovered earlier by proper diligence; and (3)
the facts are not merely cumulative or impeaching.”
Infusion Res., Inc. v. Minimed, Inc., 351 F.3d 688,
696-97 (5th Cir. 2003). “Relief under Rule 59(e) is
also appropriate when there has been an intervening change in
the controlling law.” Schiller v. Physicians Res.
Grp. Inc., 342 F.3d 563, 567 (5th Cir. 2003).
courts have “considerable discretion in deciding
whether to grant or deny a motion to alter a judgment.”
Hale v. Townley, 45 F.3d 914, 921 (5th Cir. 1995).
In exercising this discretion, a district court must
“strike the proper balance between the need for
finality and the need to render just decisions on the basis
of all the facts.” Id. With this balance in
mind, the Fifth Circuit has observed that Rule 59(e)
“favor[s] the denial of motions to alter or amend a
judgment.” Southern Constructors Grp., Inc. v.
Dynalectric Co., 2 F.3d 606, 611 (5th Cir. 1993). Stated
another way, “[r]econsideration of a judgment after its
entry is an extraordinary remedy that should be used
sparingly.” Templet v. HydroChem Inc., 367
F.3d 473, 479 (5th Cir. 2004) (citations omitted).
October 5, 2017, the court granted the Government's
Motion for Summary Judgment and entered judgment in favor of
the Government (Doc. 67). Defendant has now moved for a new
trial, asserting that he is taking full responsibility of his
tax debt owed to the United States, in an attempt to cancel
the order to sale the property located at 7128 Hadley Drive,
Dallas, Texas 75217. Defendant attached a “Form 9465
Installment Agreement Request” to the motion.
Government opposes the motion. The Government contends that
Defendant's motion is not a motion for new trial but
instead a “settlement proposal.” The court
agrees. Although Defendant was properly served, he failed to
respond to the Government's Complaint. Further, Defendant
failed to respond to the Government's Motion for Summary
Judgment. Defendant's motion for a new trial is an
improper attempt to settle tax liabilities that were resolved
to his dissatisfaction. Moreover, as noted by the Government,
the court does not have the authority to consider installment
agreements. This is a civil action arising under the Internal
Revenue Service's laws because the United States, through
the Department of Justice, filed this suit in an effort to
collect Defendant's tax debts pursuant to §§
7401 and 7403 of the Internal Revenue Code. Accordingly, only
“the Attorney General or his delegate may compromise
any such case after reference to the Department of Justice
for prosecution or defense.” 26 U.S.C. § 7122(a).
reasons stated herein, the court determines that Defendant
has failed to establish a manifest error of law or fact, and
failed to present any newly discovered evidence. Further, he
has not shown that there has been an intervening change in
the controlling law. Even if such basis existed, the court
has no authority to entertain Defendant's motion.
Accordingly, there is no basis for the court to modify its
earlier ruling. The court, therefore, denies
Defendant's Motion for New Trial.