United States District Court, D. New Jersey
December 12, 2005.
RE: HEWLETT-PACKARD FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANY
METAIRIE HOUSE OF PRINTING, INC.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: WILLIAM WALLS, District Judge
Motion for Reconsideration and Relief from Judgment.
The Court has considered the motion of Defendant Metairie House
of Printing, Inc. ("Metairie"). This motion is decided without
oral argument pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 78. Metairie's motion
for reconsideration and relief from judgment is denied.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
As the facts of this case are recited in the Court's July 18,
2005, letter order, the Court will not repeat them. On July 18,
2005, this Court denied Defendant Metairie's motion to dismiss
for lack of jurisdiction, and motion for a more definite
statement. This Court also granted Plaintiff Hewlett-Packard
Financial Services Company's ("HPFS") motion for summary judgment
because HPFS established each of the prima facie elements of
its breach of contract case against Metairie. Defendant now
argues that it has discovered new evidence that requires this
Court to grant its motion for reconsideration pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e), and relief from judgment pursuant to
Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e), a litigant may move to alter or
amend a judgment within ten days of its entry. Similarly, L. Civ.
R. 7.1(g) allows a party to seek a motion for reargument or
reconsideration of "matters or controlling decisions which
counsel believes the Judge or Magistrate Judge has overlooked."
The Third Circuit has held that the "purpose of a motion for
reconsideration . . . is to correct manifest errors of law or
fact or to present newly discovered evidence." Max's Seafood
Cafe ex rel. Lou-Ann v. Quinteros, 176 F. 3d 669, 677 (3d Cir.
1999) (quoting Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F. 2d 906, 909
(3d Cir. 1985)) (internal quotes omitted). Reconsideration
motions, however, may not be used to relitigate old matters, nor
to raise arguments or present evidence that could have been
raised before the entry of judgment. 11 Wright & Miller, Federal
Practice and Procedure § 2810.1 (2005). "A party seeking
reconsideration must show more than a disagreement with the
Court's decision, and recapitulation of the cases and arguments
considered by the court before rendering its original decision
fails to carry the moving party's burden." Gutierrez v.
Ashcroft, 289 F. Supp. 2d 555, 561 (D.N.J. 2003) (quoting G-69
v. Degnan, 748 F. Supp. 274, 275 (D.N.J. 1990)). Such motions
will only be granted where (1) an intervening change in the law
has occurred, (2) new evidence not previously available has
emerged, or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or
prevent a manifest injustice arises. North River Ins. Co. v.
CIGNA Reins. Co., 52 F. 3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995). Because
reconsideration of a judgment after its entry is an extraordinary
remedy, requests pursuant to these rules are to be granted
"sparingly," Yurecko v. Port Auth. Trans-Hudson Corp.,
279 F. Supp. 2d 606, 608 (D.N.J. 2003); NL Indus. Inc. v. Commercial
Union Ins. Co., 935 F. Supp. 513, 516 (D.N.J. 1996), and only
when "dispositive factual matters or controlling decisions of
law" were brought to the court's attention but not considered.
Yurecko, 279 F. Supp. 2d at 609; Pelham v. United States,
661 F. Supp. 1063, 1065 (D.N.J. 1987).
"The same standard applies to motions on the ground of newly
discovered evidence whether they are made under [Fed.R.Civ.P.]
59 or [Fed.R.Civ.P.] 60(b)(2), and decisions construing Rule
59 in this context are authoritative in construing Rule
60(b)(2)." 11 Wright & Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure §
Metairie argues that this Court must grant its motion for
reconsideration and relief from judgment because new evidence has
emerged that was not previously available. The evidence consists
of securities disclosure statements, notably a form 10-K filed by
Hewlett Packard Company ("HP") for the fiscal year October 31,
2001, which according to Metairie suggests "the relationship
among HP, HPFS and [Indigo America, Inc. ("Indigo")] is something
more than that of a parent and two subsidiaries, operating
separate and apart from each other." (Def's Motion at p. 5).
Metairie claims that this evidence suggests the existence of a
joint venture, which would be significant because it was argued
that HP, HPFS and Indigo had essentially acted in concert with
regard to the transaction, and that representations were made by
Indigo that bound HPFS and HP.
To prevail on this claim, the moving party must show that
through the exercise of due diligence, the evidence was not and
could not have been discovered in time to produce it for trial.
Compass Technology, Inc. v. Tseng Labs, Inc., 71 F. 3d 1125,
1130 (3d Cir. 1995). Here, the securities filings which Metairie
wishes to proffer as new evidence would have been available to
them well before the action commenced. Metairie has submitted no
affidavits or other proof to demonstrate that it undertook due
diligence to find the securities filings, or to show that they
could not have been discovered earlier.
"A judgment also will not be reopened if the evidence is merely
cumulative and would not have changed the result." 11 Wright &
Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 2859 (2005); Coregis
Ins. Co. v. Baratta & Fenerty, Ltd., 264 F.3d 302 (3d Cir.
2001). The securities filings do not show why the Master Lease
and related documents should not be enforced according to their
terms. Moreover, they are insufficient to show that HPFS is a
joint venturer with HP and Indigo. The excerpted sections of the
securities filings do not even mention HPFS. Rather, they simply
state that HP made an investment in Indigo as part of its broader
market strategy. That is not a material issue in dispute between
Metairie and HPFS.
Metairie has failed to demonstrate that this evidence would
lead to a judgment in its favor. Under these circumstances, this
Court cannot grant the "extraordinary remedy" that Metairie prays
for. Yurecko, 279 F. Supp. 2d at 608.
It is on this 12th day of December, 2005,
ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED;
and this Court having reviewed the filings of both parties with
regard to damages, with good cause having been shown, it is
further ORDERED that final judgment is entered against Plaintiff
in the total amount of $390,454.69.
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