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Wade v. Colaner

June 17, 2009

GARY S. WADE, PRO SE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL COLANER, ET AL. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wolfson, United States District Judge

OPINION

Presently before the Court is a Motion brought by Defendants State Troopers Michael Colaner and David Ryan (collectively "Defendants") for reconsideration of this Court's March 20, 2009 Opinion denying Defendants' Motion to Dismiss with respect to pro se Plaintiff Gary S. Wade's excessive force claim. For the following reasons, Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration is denied.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The Court incorporates herein the facts as they are set forth in this Court's Opinion on March 20, 2009.

On March 20, 2009, this Court granted in part and denied in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. In particular, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's deliberate indifference claim but permitted Plaintiff to proceed with his excessive force claim. This Court further ordered that Plaintiff must inform the Court within twenty days of the March 20, 2009 Opinion of his intent to proceed with his excessive force claim against Defendants. On March 25, 2009, Defendants requested an extension of time to file a Motion for Reconsideration, which this Court subsequently granted on March 30, 2009. On April 2, 2009, Plaintiff informed this Court that he indeed wished to proceed with his excessive force claim against the remaining defendants. Thereafter, on April 17, 2009, Defendants filed the present Motion for Reconsideration pursuant to Local Rule of Civil Procedure 7.1(i). Plaintiff has filed no opposition thereto. For the reasons that follow, Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration is denied.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

While the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not expressly recognize motions for "reconsideration," United States v. Compaction Sys. Corp., 88 F.Supp.2d 339, 345 (D.N.J.1999), the Local Civil Rules governing the District of New Jersey do provide for such review. See Lite, N.J. Federal Practice Rules, Comment 6 to L. Civ. R. 7.1 (Gann 2008). Local Civil Rule 7.1(i) allows a party to seek reconsideration of a court's decision if there are "matters or controlling decisions which counsel believes the Judge ... has overlooked." See also Interfaith Cmty. Org. v. Honeywell Int'l, Inc., 215 F. Supp. 2d 482, 507 n. 12 (D.N.J. 2002). Relief by way of a motion for reconsideration is "an extraordinary remedy" that is to be granted "very sparingly." Id. at 507. A motion for such reconsideration must be filed "within 10 business days after the entry of the order or judgment on the original motion ." L. Civ. R. 7.1(i). A timely motion for reconsideration may only be granted upon a finding of "at least one of the following grounds: (1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not available when the court granted the motion ...; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice." Max's Seafood Café v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir.1999).

While it is not clear on which grounds Defendants wish this Court to reconsider its decision, Defendants argue that Defendants will suffer a "manifest injustice as to the claims asserted" if Plaintiff's excessive force claims is allowed to proceed.

B. Defendants' Previous Motion was a Motion to Dismiss, not a Motion for Summary Judgment

Defendants make much of the fact that this Court, in deciding their motions, was not privy to all of the evidence produced during this litigation, including an expert report by John Ryan, or disregarded other evidence, including the grand jury testimony of Defendant Colaner.

At the outset, Defendants' motions decided on March 20, 2009 were Motions to Dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), and not, as Defendants contend, Motions for Summary Judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. Defendants, in their moving papers, argued that "Plaintiff's claims against Defendants should be dismissed as they fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Brief, p. 6. In fact, Defendants go on to quote language from a case decided in this District at the Motion to Dismiss stage. See, Kelly v. Borough of Sayreville, 972 F. Supp. 797, 805 (D.N.J. 1996). Defendants cannot now, on a motion for reconsideration, relitigate a summary judgment motion that never was.*fn1

Simply put, if Defendants want this Court to review their expert declarations, attorney general handbooks, and the Federal Monitors Report, they must submit that evidence as attachments to a Motion for Summary Judgment. Defendants do not argue that this evidence was recently discovered and, in turn, unavailable at the time Defendants filed their motion. Nor do Defendants cite why this evidence, not originally submitted to the Court, should be considered on a Motion for Reconsideration, when such factual findings ...


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