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Lynn Friedman and Kim Phillip Friedman v. Bank of America

August 1, 2012

LYNN FRIEDMAN AND KIM PHILLIP FRIEDMAN, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A. F/K/A FLEET BANK, N.A. F/K/A SUMMIT BANK OF NEW JERSEY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Jerome B. Simandle

MEMORANDUM OPINION

SIMANDLE, Chief Judge:

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs Lynn Friedman and Kim Phillip Friedman's motion to amend or alter judgment filed pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e). [Docket Item 70.] Specifically, Plaintiffs request that the Court amend or alter this Court's March 26, 2012 decision to grant summary judgment to Defendant Bank of America, N.A., f/k/a Fleet Bank, N.A., f/k/a Summit Bank of New Jersey ("Defendant" or "Bank of America") and dismiss Plaintiffs' case. [Docket Item 70]. Plaintiffs claim that the Court misinterpreted existing evidence, that the tortious interference with contract claims needed to be resolved at trial, and that the Court failed to apply the "most favorable facts to the Plaintiff" standard. [Id.] Defendant has filed opposition. [Docket Item 71.] The Court finds as follows:

1. The facts of this case are set forth in this Court's March 26, 2012 Opinion. [Docket Item 68]; Friedman v. Bank of Am., N.A., Civ. No. 09-2214, 2012 WL 1019220 (D.N.J. Mar. 26, 2012). This action arose out of Plaintiffs' failed attempts to refinance their home and obtain cash proceeds from the equity in their property. Id. at *1. Plaintiffs alleged that their inability to refinance was caused by Defendant's failure to provide Plaintiffs with a pay off statement on their defaulted mortgage. Id. Plaintiffs alleged four causes of action against Defendant: breach of contract, tortious interference, actual fraud, and violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, N.J.S.A. 56:8-1, et seq. Id.

2. Defendant moved for summary judgment on all claims. [Docket Item 53.] Plaintiffs filed opposition. [Docket Item 54.] On March 26, 2012, this Court granted Defendant's motion for summary judgment because Plaintiffs failed to provide evidence to establish essential elements of their claims. [Docket Item 68]; Friedman, 2012 WL 1019220, at *1.

3. Plaintiffs filed the instant motion to alter or reconsider judgment on April 23, 2012. [Docket Item 70.] Plaintiffs claim that the Court misinterpreted existing evidence when granting summary judgment on Plaintiffs' breach of contract claim; that the tortious interference with contract claims need to be resolved at trial; that the Court misinterpreted existing evidence when granting summary judgment on Plaintiffs' fraud claim; that the Court misinterpreted existing evidence when granting summary judgment on Plaintiffs' consumer fraud claim; that the Court misinterpreted existing evidence when granting summary judgment on Plaintiffs' contract claim by failing to treat the statutory requirements under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA") as implied terms in the contract; and that the Court failed to apply the "most favorable facts to the Plaintiff" standard in granting summary judgment. [Id.]

4. A motion under Rule 59(e), titled a motion to alter or amend a judgment, is governed in this District by Local Civil Rule 7.1(i).*fn1

United States v. Compaction Sys. Corp., 88 F. Supp. 2d 399, 345 (D.N.J. 1999) (discussing the predecessor L. Civ. R. 7.1(g)). Rule

7.1(i) requires the moving party to set forth the factual matters or controlling legal authorities it believes the Court overlooked when rendering its initial decision. L. Civ. R. 7.1(i). Whether to grant a motion for reconsideration is a matter within the Court's discretion, but it should only be granted where such facts or legal authority were indeed presented but overlooked. See DeLong v. Raymond Int'l Inc., 622 F.2d 1135, 1140 (3d Cir.1980), overruled on other grounds by Croker v. Boeing Co., 662 F.2d 975 (3d Cir. 1981); see also Williams v. Sullivan, 818 F. Supp. 92, 93 (D.N.J. 1993).

5. To prevail on a motion for reconsideration, the movant must show:

(1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not available when the court . . . [rendered the judgment in question]; or

(3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice.

Max's Seafood Cafe ex rel. Lou--Ann, Inc., v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999). To prevail under the third prong, the moving party must show that "dispositive factual matters or controlling decisions of law were brought to the court's attention but not considered." P. Schoenfeld Asset Mgmt. LLC v. Cendant Corp., 161 F. Supp. 2d 349, 353 (D.N.J. 2001). Because reconsideration of a decision after its entry is an extraordinary remedy, requests pursuant to these rules are to be granted "very sparingly." Ivan v. County of Middlesex, 612 F. Supp. 2d 546, 551 (D.N.J. 2009). Plaintiffs have not argued that the there was an intervening change in the controlling law or that there is ...


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