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Mary Anne Wolf v. Prd Management

May 8, 2012

MARY ANNE WOLF, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PRD MANAGEMENT, INC., JAMES MCGRATH, AND KARIN MCGRATH DUNN, DEFENDANTS.



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

[Dkt. No. 17]

OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Mary Anne Wolf ("Plaintiff") moves for reconsideration of the portion of the Court's March 27, 2012 Opinion and Order dismissing Counts 2-6 of Plaintiff's 6-count Complaint (the "Complaint") and for the opportunity to file an Amended Complaint. For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's motion is DENIED.

I. Background

Plaintiff's Complaint alleged six causes of action against the Defendants. Defendants moved for dismissal of all but the first cause of action -- a federal claim under the Age Discrimination and Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA") - based on the expiration of the applicable statutes of limitations. Plaintiff did not dispute that, but for a finding of equitable tolling or equitable estoppel, these claims would be time-barred. However, Plaintiff claimed that these doctrines did, in fact, apply. This Court concluded, on the facts before it, that neither of these doctrines applied and that these claims were time-barred.

Plaintiff has now moved for reconsideration of the Court's prior ruling and to allow her an opportunity for leave to amend the Complaint to assert new facts that she did not previously present to the Court. These purportedly new facts are that: (1) the Defendants received notice of all of Plaintiff's claims as of January 30, 2009 when she filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"); (2) Plaintiff believed that the EEOC would dual-file her claims with the appropriate New Jersey state agency; (3) Plaintiff believed that her claims could not be asserted in court until after the EEOC had an opportunity to investigate and potentially pursue them;

(4) Defendants indicated a desire to attempt to settle the claims before going to formal litigation and the parties conducted an unsuccessful mediation session; (5) Plaintiff believed that the EEOC process would be the most effective way to resolve her claims, even when she learned that the EEOC was backlogged; (6) it was Plaintiff's understanding that her federal claim would need to be filed in federal court but her state law claims could also be considered there; (7) in February 2011, Plaintiff learned that the EEOC investigation was not progressing and she was instructed by her attorney that she should pursue her claims in a private lawsuit; (8) Plaintiff had no intention of delaying the filing of her lawsuit or the presentation of her state law claims; and (9) Plaintiff followed her attorney's advice in her continued reliance on the EEOC forum as her attorney counseled her that the EEOC process was a proper one and one through which she could avoid burdening the court system.

II. Standard of Review

Plaintiff's motion is denominated as one for reconsideration. In this District, motions for reconsideration are governed by Local Rule 7.1(i), which allows a court to reconsider a decision upon a showing that either (1) there has been an intervening change in controlling law; (2) evidence not available when the Court issued its order has become available; or (3) it is necessary to correct a clear error of law or fact to prevent manifest injustice. Flores v. Predco Servs. Corp., No. 10-1320, 2011 WL 3273573, at *1 (D.N.J. July 29, 2011).

Here, Plaintiff does not contend that there has been an intervening change of law, present evidence unavailable to her previously (the facts she cites were all known to her from the beginning), or assert that the Court made a clear error of law or fact. Therefore, reconsideration of the Court's prior Opinion and Order is unwarranted.

The Court will, however, notwithstanding the motion's denomination, construe it as a motion for leave to amend. Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("FRCP") 15(a)(2) leave to amend should be granted freely when justice so requires. FRCP 15(a)(2). However, leave to amend is denied where leave would be futile. Free Speech Coalition, Inc. v. Attorney General of U.S., No. 10-4085, 2012 WL 1255056, at *18 (3d Cir. April 16, 2012).

II. Analysis

Plaintiff argues that the facts described above would warrant the application of equitable ...


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