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Robert Slack, et al v. Suburban Propane Partners

February 14, 2011

ROBERT SLACK, ET AL.,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
SUBURBAN PROPANE PARTNERS, L.P., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Linares, District Judge.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

This matter comes before the Court by way of two motions for reconsideration of portions of this Court's December 22, 2010 Opinion and Order filed by Plaintiff and Defendant, respectively [Docket Entry Nos. 60 and 61]. The Court has considered the submissions made in support of and in opposition to the instant motions.*fn1 No oral argument was heard. Fed. R. Civ. P. 78. Based on the reasons that follow, both motions are denied.

BACKGROUND

As the Court writes only for the parties, a familiarity with the factual and procedural background of this matter will be presumed and only repeated where necessary to provide proper context for the pending motions. Plaintiff's original Complaint was filed on May 17, 2010. An Amended Complaint was filed on July 12, 2010. Defendant subsequently filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). On September 21, 2010, this Court granted Defendant's motion in its entirety and granted Plaintiff leave to amend the following claims: (1) violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, (2) unjust enrichment, (3) breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and (4) violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint on October 18, 2010. Defendant subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint. On December 22, 2010, the Court granted in part and denied in part Defendant's motion. In particular, the Court: (1) dismissed with prejudice Plaintiff's newly asserted claim for violation of the New Jersey Propane Gas Customer Protection Act, (2) dismissed without prejudice Plaintiff's claim for violation of N.J.S.A. 12A:2-305, (3) dismissed without prejudice Plaintiff's Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty & Notice Act claim, (4) dismissed with prejudice Plaintiff's New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claim, (5) dismissed with prejudice Plaintiff's unjust enrichment claim, and (6) dismissed without prejudice all claims asserted against Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. The Court denied Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and Fair Credit Reporting Act claims, finding, instead, that such claims may proceed as pled at this time.

Currently before the Court is a motion for reconsideration of the Court's December 22, 2010 holding as it pertains to the following two claims: (1) New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claim, and (2) implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing claim. Plaintiff asks the Court to reconsider its dismissal of Plaintiff's New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claim. Defendant asks the Court to reconsider its denial of Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

LEGAL STANDARD

"Reconsideration is an extraordinary remedy" and should be "granted 'very sparingly.' " See L.Civ.R. 7.1(i) cmt.6(d); see also Felons v. Lombard Investment Corp., Nos. 04-3993, 04-5768, 04-3992, 04-6105, 2005 WL 3104145, at *1 (D.N.J. Oct. 18, 2005). A party seeking reconsideration shall file and serve its motion within fourteen days after the entry of the order on the original motion.

L. Civ. R. 7.1(I). A motion for reconsideration must "set[] forth concisely the matter or controlling decisions which the party believes the Judge or Magistrate Judge has overlooked." Id. When the assertion is that the Court overlooked something, the Court must have overlooked "some dispositive factual or legal matter that was presented to it." McGovern v. City of Jersey, No. 98-5186, 2008 WL 58820, at *2 (D.N.J. Jan. 2, 2008). Moreover, a motion for reconsideration may not be used to re-litigate old matters or argue new matters that could have been raised before the original decision was reached. See, e.g., P. Schoenfeld Asset Mgmt., L.L.C. v. Cendant Corp., 161 F. Supp. 2d 349, 352 (D.N.J. 2001).

DISCUSSION

The parties ask the Court to reconsider its December 22, 2010 holding as it pertains to the following two claims: (1) New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claim, and (2) breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

1. New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act

Plaintiff seeks reconsideration of this Court's dismissal of its New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claim with prejudice. In support of its motion, Plaintiff presents a variety of arguments, the majority of which were previously presented to and rejected by the Court in its September 21, 2010 Opinion.*fn2 As the Court stated in its December 22, 2010 Opinion, Plaintiff did not seek reconsideration of this Court's September 21, 2010 decision; thus, such holdings are now final and may not be revisited by way of a motion for reconsideration of this Court's December 22, 2010 Opinion. As the Court previously explained, Plaintiff's New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claim was not amended in any meaningful way after it was dismissed without prejudice on September 21, 2010. In liberally construing the Second Amended Complaint, the Court did analyze any "new" facts asserted in support of this claim which the Court was able to glean from the Second Amended Complaint. Plaintiff does not challenge those portions of the Court's December 22, 2010 decision. Instead, Plaintiff essentially rehashes argument which were ...


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