UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
July 14, 2011
ROBERT FREEMAN, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
JAMES E. MCGREEVEY, ET AL.,
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Katharine S. Hayden United States District Judge
OPINION & ORDER
This matter having come before the Court by way of motion of the Garden State Wine Grower=s Association to reconsider the Order dated, filed, and entered on June 15, 2011, denying its request to intervene in this case; and the Court having considered the June 15, 2011 Order, the record of proceedings, and the parties= submissions;*fn1 and the Court deciding this motion without oral argument pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 78 and Local Civ. R. 78.1 as the submission clearly sets forth the positions and the factual basis for the arguments; and a motion for reconsideration being governed by Local Civ. R. 7.1(i); and Local Civ. R. 7.1(i) providing for the reconsideration of an order if the motion for the same is filed within 14 days after entry of the disputed order; and the docket reflecting that the Order was entered on June 15, 2011, and the motion for reconsideration was filed on June 24, 2011, and therefore the motion is timely; and the Court noting that the purpose of a motion for reconsideration is Ato correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence,@ Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir. 1985); see also P. Shoenfeld Asset Mgmt. LLC v. Cendant Corp., 161 F. Supp. 2d 349, 352 (D.N.J. 2001); Yurecko v. Port Auth. Trans-Hudson Corp., 279 F. Supp. 2d 606, 609 (D.N.J. 2003); and a court may grant a properly filed motion for reconsideration for one of three reasons: A(1) an intervening change in the controlling law has occurred, (2) evidence not previously available has become available, or (3) it is necessary to correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice,@ Database Am., Inc. v. Bellsouth Adver. & Publ=g Corp., 825 F. Supp. 1216, 1220 (D.N.J. 1993) (citing Weyerhaeuser Corp. v. Koppers Co., 771 F. Supp. 1406, 1419 (D. Md. 1991)); Carmichael v. Everson, Civ. No. 03-4787, 2004 WL 1587894, at *1 (D.N.J. May 21, 2004); and Local Civ. R. 7.1(i) requiring that the moving party set forth Aconcisely the matters or controlling decision which counsel believes the Court has overlooked,@ G-69 v. Degnan, 748 F. Supp. 274, 275 (D.N.J. 1990) (citing former version of the rule); and a motion for reconsideration being improper when it is used Ato ask the Court to rethink what it had already thought through C rightly or wrongly,@ Ciba-Geigy Corp. v. Alza Corp., Civ. No. 91-5286, 1993 WL 90412, at *1 (D.N.J. Mar. 25, 1993) (citing Oritani Sav. & Loan Ass=n v. Fid. & Deposit Co. of Md., 744 F. Supp. 1311, 1314 (D.N.J. 1990), rev=d on other grounds, 989 F.2d 635 (3d Cir. 1993)); and because reconsideration of a judgment after its entry is an extraordinary remedy, motions to reconsider or reargue are granted Avery sparingly,@ Maldonado v. Lucca, 636 F. Supp. 621, 630 (D.N.J. 1986); accord Damiano v. Sony Music Entm=t, Inc., 975 F. Supp. 623, 634 (D.N.J. 1997); and the movant not arguing that there has been an intervening change in the law or that facts have been overlooked; and the Court finding that the caselaw the movant asserts the Court overlooked does not warrant reconsideration; and the Court further finding that allowing the June 15, 2011 Order to stand will not result in a manifest injustice; and for the reasons set forth herein;*fn2and for good cause shown;
Second, the movant fails to persuade the Court that allowing the movant to be heard as amicus curiae created a manifest injustice or an error of law. The movant contends that amicus status inadequately protects the interests of in-state wine growers. The posture of this case on remand, however, undercuts that argument. The Court of Appeals found that the statutory scheme at issue to be unconstitutional and provided only two options for a proper remedy on remand. Freeman, 629 F.3d at 164. To remain consistent with that mandate, the chosen remedy must place in-state wine growers and out-of-state wine growers on equal footing through one of these two options. See id. at 158B160. As a result, the future briefs in this case, whether from a party or an amicus, must argue the merits and/or weaknesses of each option. Because the Court will weigh those arguments whether they come from a party or an amicus, the interests that movant seeks to protect can be adequately represented in its amicus submission.
Third, and relatedly, the alleged inability to participate in an appeal is belied by Halderman v. Pennhurst State Sch. & Hosp., 612 F.2d 131, 134 (3d Cir. 1979), where the Court of Appeals observed that proposed intervenors are not prejudiced even when they are denied intervention because they have been granted amicus status and thereby had an opportunity to present their views.
Fourth, the movant=s complaint that the Court did not address prejudice does not warrant reconsideration. As the Court of Appeals has stated Athe stage of the proceeding is inherently tied to the question of the prejudice the delay in intervention may cause to the parties already involved.@ Mountain Top, 72 F.3d at 370. Notably, the movant never stated why the existing parties would not be prejudiced by its intervention. (See Garden State Wine Grower=s Ass=n Br. 16B17, Mar. 25, 2011, ECF No. 140.) Although no party objected to the request to intervene, this does not mean that they would not be prejudiced by the tardy motion. If the movant were permitted to intervene, it arguably may attempt to seek discovery or otherwise attempt to dictate the pace of the proceedings. The movant=s late action could delay the Court=s and the parties= efforts to promptly address remedy. The Court can ensure this does not occur by allowing the parties to proceed on the record established through the pretrial process and simultaneously preventing late-comers from disrupting an expeditious proceeding. Thus, while intervention could prejudice the parties, denying intervention does not prejudice the movant as the Court has provided an avenue for it to voice its concerns. Therefore, the absence of prejudice to the movant in this case and potential prejudice to the overall proceedings by its last minute request to participate supports the decision to deny intervention.
For these reasons, the movant has failed to show that the Court has overlooked controlling law, facts, or evidence or that a failure to reconsider the Order will result in a manifest injustice. Therefore, the movant has failed to satisfy the requirements for reconsideration and the motion for reconsideration is denied.
ORDEREDthat the Garden State Wine Grower=s Association=s motion for reconsideration of portions of the Order dated June 15, 2011 denying its motion to intervene [Docket Entry No. 143] is denied.