Wine v. Dep't of the Interior

Decision Date14 December 2022
Docket Number1:21-cv-03349 (TNM)
PartiesMITCHELL WINE, Plaintiff, v. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Defendant.
CourtU.S. District Court — District of Columbia

MITCHELL WINE, Plaintiff,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Defendant.

No. 1:21-cv-03349 (TNM)

United States District Court, District of Columbia

December 14, 2022


MEMORANDUM OPINION

TREVOR N. McFADDEN, U.S.D.J.

Before the Court is pro se Plaintiff Mitchell Wine's Motion for a New Trial, see Pl.'s Mot., ECF No. 54, which the Court construes as a motion to alter or amend judgment under Rule 59(e), see Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e).[1]Wine argues that this Court improperly dismissed his Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA) claim as time-barred when he in fact timely raised it. See Pl.'s Mot. at 1.[2]And Wine also submits evidence on his Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act claims, see id. at 2-3, for which the Court held he failed to exhaust administrative remedies, see Mem. Op. at 6-7, ECF No. 52.

The Court declines to reconsider its holding on exhaustion because Wine has provided no new evidence that such extraordinary relief is warranted. And the Court finds that Wine's CSRA claim is moot. Wine appealed a decision by the Merit Systems Protection Board to this Court. But later, he refiled that same case before the Board and received another ruling. Therefore, the relief Wine sought (this Court's review of the Board's initial dismissal) can no longer be granted.

1

I.

The Court has already recounted the facts of this case. See Mem. Op. at 2-3. The core of Wine's suit is a FOIA request he submitted to the Department of the Interior regarding an alleged break-in by government officials at his property. See Second Am. Compl. at 1, ECF No. 32. Interior produced one email responsive to the FOIA request, but Wine was dissatisfied and sued. See generally id. The Court found that Wine did not file an administrative appeal of his FOIA request to Interior before suing here. See Mem. Op. at 2-3; 6-7. So it granted Interior summary judgment on this claim because Wine failed to exhaust administrative remedies. See id. at 7.

In his Rule 59(e) Motion, Wine now claims that he “recently attempted to exhaust administrative remedies” for his FOIA request. See Pl.'s Mot. at 2. And he submits a letter from Interior discussing documents responsive to his FOIA request. See id., Ex. 1, ECF No. 54-1. Wine claims that the letter is “proof” that Interior “do[es] not intend to allow exhaustion of administrative remedies.” Id. at 3; see also id. at 2 (arguing that Interior is “precluding” him from exhausting administrative remedies).

Wine also seeks reconsideration of the Court's dismissal of his CSRA claim as time-barred. See id. at 1; see also Mem. Op. at 8-9. Wine argues that he filed an appeal of the Board's dismissal of his CSRA claim here within the required 30-day...

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