United States District Court, D. New Jersey
September 14, 2005.
MAXINE ISAAC, ROSEMARY CACIOPPO, DANIELLE GOMEZ, DAYSI VASQUEZ, and TYEST SIMPSON, Plaintiff,
ALLIED TRADES COUNCIL, JOHN MORRO, JACK SIEBEL, REGINALD ROSADO, JAMES CROWLEY, and JOHN DORSO, Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: DENNIS CAVANAUGH, District Judge
This matter comes before the Court upon a motion by Plaintiffs,
Maxine Isaac, Rosemary Cacioppo, Danielle Gomez, Daysi Vasquez,
and Tyest Simpson, for reconsideration pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 59(e). Plaintiffs seek reconsideration of this
Court's November 16, 2004, Opinion and Order that dismissed
Plaintiffs' Complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and
failure to exhaust the administrative remedies available through
the Affiliation Agreement or Allied Trade Council's Constitution
and By-Laws. The motion was decided without oral argument
pursuant to Rule 78 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For
the reasons set forth below, this motion is denied. I. BACKGROUND
The facts of this matter are described in detail in this
Court's November 16, 2004 Opinion. On December 3, 2004,
Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Reconsideration and now request
this Court to reconsider that which it previously decided.
A. The Standard for Reconsideration
Under Rule 59 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a
plaintiff must satisfy a high standard to have a judgment altered
or amended. In North River Insurance Co. v. CIGNA Reinsurance
Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995), the Court stated that a
Rule 59 motion for an amended judgment must rely on one of three
grounds: (1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the
availability of new evidence that was previously unavailable; or
(3) the need to either correct a clear error of law or prevent a
manifest injustice. A motion for reconsideration is regarded as
"the functional equivalent of a Rule 59 motion . . . to alter or
amend judgment." Venen v. Sweet, 758 F.2d 117, 122 (3d Cir.
B. Local Rule 7.1
Although Rule 59 allows for a judgment to be altered, there is
no express provision in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for
a judicial decision to be reconsidered. United States v.
Compaction Sys. Corp., 88 F. Supp. 2d 339, 345 (D.N.J. 1999)
(Hedges, U.S.M.J.). However, in this District, Local Rule 7.1(g)
creates a specific procedure by which a party may, within 10 days
of the entry of an order, ask either a District Judge, or a
Magistrate Judge, to take a second look at any decision "upon
showing that dispositive factual matters or controlling decisions
of law were overlooked by the court in reaching its prior decision."
LITE, N.J. FEDERAL PRACTICE RULES, Comment 6 to L. Civ. R. 7.1(g)
(GANN 2002 ed.). Consequently, Local Rule 7.1(g) of the Local
Rules of Civil Procedure, rather than Rule 59 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, governs motions for reconsideration
filed in the District of New Jersey. Compaction Sys. Corp.,
88 F. Supp. 2d at 345.
Relief by way of a motion for reconsideration is an
"extraordinary remedy" only be granted "very sparingly." NL
Indus. Inc. v. Commercial Union Ins., Co., 935 F. Supp. 513, 516
(D.N.J. 1996); Maldonado v. Lucca, 636 F. Supp. 621, 630
(D.N.J. 1986) (Brotman, U.S.D.J.). Local Rule 7.1(g) does not
contemplate a recapitulation of arguments previously considered
by the court in rendering its decision. Bermingham v. Sony Corp.
of Am., Inc., 820 F. Supp. 834, 856 (D.N.J. 1992) (Lechner,
U.S.D.J.), aff'd, 37 F.3d 1485 (3d Cir. 1994). Stated more
simply, a motion for reconsideration is not an appeal. It is
improper for a motion for reconsideration to "ask the court to
rethink what it ha[s] already thought through rightly or
wrongly." Oritani Sav. & Loan Ass'n v. Fidelity & Deposit Co.,
744 F. Supp. 1311, 1314 (D.N.J. 1990) (Ackerman, U.S.D.J.). Rule
7.1(g) permits reconsideration only when "dispositive factual
matters or controlling decisions of law" that were previously
presented to the court were overlooked. Resorts Int'l v. Great
Bay Hotel and Casino, 830 F. Supp. 826, 831 (D.N.J. 1992);
Khair v. Campbell Soup, Co., 893 F. Supp. 316, 337 (D.N.J.
1995) (Irenas, U.S.D.J.).
C. Plaintiffs' Failure to Meet the Standard for Reconsideration
Here, the Plaintiffs' motion fails to show that this Court
"overlooked" any of the above listed points, Instead, Plaintiffs
are improperly using a Rule 59 motion as a vehicle to reargue their claims. An argument is not deemed overlooked because it is
not specifically addressed in a court's opinion. Eichorn v. AT&T
Corp., No. Civ. A. 96-3587 (MLC), 1999 WL 33471890 (D.N.J. Aug.
23, 1999) (Cooper, U.S.D.J.). An argument may be regarded as
having been considered if it is presented to the court in written
submissions and in oral argument. Id.
This Court did not overlook any of the Plaintiffs' claims. To
the contrary, this Court carefully reviewed and considered each
and every allegation in the Plaintiffs' Complaint. The Plaintiffs
claims in their Motion for Reconsideration, originate from the
same facts that gave rise to the previously dismissed actions.
This Court already examined the Plaintiffs' arguments about the
Defendants' ability to arbitrate and the Plaintiff's claims of
discrimination in the voting process. This Court rendered a
decision on both issues. The Plaintiffs' have failed to
demonstrate that this Court overlooked any dispositive factual
matters or controlling decisions of law on either of these
For the reasons stated, it is the finding of this Court that
Plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration is denied. An
appropriate Order accompanies this Opinion.
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