U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
Civil Procedure — motions to reconsider
A party cannot seek reconsideration under FRCP 54(b) based on a subsequent change in the law.
“The bottom line is that the January 27, 2010 judgment was final, and thus the district court did not err in concluding that Rule 54(b) was inapplicable. Presumably the City understood that the proper rules to use would have been 59(e) or 60(b); however, the City also probably knew that those motions would have been fruitless here. The City was too late to use Rule 59(e), and ‘Rule 60(b) cannot be used to reopen the judgment in a civil case just because later authority shows that the judgment may have been incorrect.’ Hill v. Rios, 722 F.3d 937, 938 (7th Cir. 2013) (citing Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545 U.S. 524, 536-38 (2005)); see also Nash v. Hepp, 740 F.3d 1075, 1078 (7th Cir. 2014) (‘[A] change in law showing that a previous judgment may have been incorrect is not an “extraordinary circumstance” justifying relief under Rule 60(b)(6).’). Moreover, ‘a party invoking Rule 60(b) must claim grounds for relief that could not have been used to obtain a reversal by means of a direct appeal.’ Kiswani v. Phoenix Sec. Agency, Inc., 584 F.3d 741, 743 (7th Cir. 2009). As set forth above, because Western World’s properly-filed Rule 59(e) motion tolled the time for appeal (see Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(4)(A); Banks, 750 F.3d at 666; and Nat’l Cas. Co. v. McFatridge, 604 F.3d 335, 344-45 (7th Cir. 2010), was issued while Western World’s motion was still pending, the City Defendants could have filed a timely notice of appeal from district court’s January 27, 2010 judgment order. But it cannot now challenge that judgment—final then and now—under the artifice of Rule 54(b).”
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, McCuskey, J., Dow, J.