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Fairview Ritz Corporation v. Borough of Fairview

United States District Court, Third Circuit

December 20, 2013



JOSE L. LINARES, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court by way of Defendants Borough of Fairview ("Borough"), Borough of Fairview Police Department ("Police Department"), and Lieutenant Anthony F. Anari, Jr. ("Lt. Anari") (collectively "Defendants")' motion for partial reconsideration of this Court's Opinion and Order denying in part summary judgment in favor of Lt. Anari. The Court has considered the submissions made in support of and in opposition to the instant motion, and decides this matter without oral argument pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 78. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motion is denied.


The relevant facts of this case are fully detailed in this Court's November 1, 2013 Opinion ("Opinion"), and are repeated here only to the extent they are pertinent to the instant motion for reconsideration.

Plaintiff brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that police, on several occasions, unconstitutionally searched its business-a fitness center and day spa-on suspicion of prostitution activities, and unlawfully revoked its business license. (Compl. ¶ 15.) Plaintiff alleged that Defendants unlawfully targeted its business as being a cover for prostitution. ( Id. at ¶ 22.) Plaintiff further alleged that as a result of Defendants' actions, Plaintiff was forced to shut down the business, which has not reopened. ( Id. at ¶¶ 22, 24.) The Complaint, filed on February 25, 2009, asserted claims for damages against all Defendants for (1) wrongful search and seizure under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act; (2) state law torts of trespass and invasion of privacy; (4) Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment violations pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, namely (a) wrongful search and seizure; (b) trespass and invasion of privacy; and (c) denial of due process. On January 14, 2011, Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed with prejudice the Third Count of the Complaint in which it alleged that Fairview Ordinance 4-17.1, which was passed in October 2003 and requires massage operators to be licensed, was unconstitutional facially and as applied to Plaintiff. (CM/ECF No. 20.)

On September 13, 2013, Plaintiff moved for summary judgment on its Fourth Amendment claims arising out of a January 17, 2008 search by Lt. Anari and members of the Fort Lee department of its premises and seizure of its property. (CM/ECF No. 81.) Defendants moved for summary judgment as to all claims asserted in the Complaint. (CM/ECF No. 85.) The Court denied Plaintiff's motion and granted in part and denied in part Defendants' motion. Specifically, Defendants' motion for summary judgment was granted as to: (1) Plaintiff's tort claims under New Jersey law; (2) all of Plaintiff's municipal liability claims; and (3) Plaintiff's illegal seizure claims against Lt. Anari. Defendants' motion was denied as to: (1) Plaintiff's procedural due process claim against Lt. Anari; and (2) Plaintiff's illegal search claims under the Fourth Amendment and New Jersey Civil Rights Law, stemming from the January 17, 2008 search, against Lt. Anari. Defendants filed the instant motion for reconsideration on November 15, 2013.


"Reconsideration is an extraordinary remedy" and should be granted "very sparingly." See L. Civ. R. 7.1(i) cmt. 6(d); see also Fellenz v. Lombard Investment Corp., 400 F.Supp.2d 681, 683 (D.N.J. 2005). 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., LLC v. Cendant Corp., 161 F.Supp.2d 349, 352 (D.N.J. 2001). To prevail on a motion for reconsideration, the moving party must "set [] forth concisely the matter or controlling decisions which the party believes the Judge or Magistrate Judge has overlooked." L. Civ. R. 7.1.

The Court will reconsider a prior order only where a different outcome is justified by: 1) an intervening change in law; 2) the availability of new evidence not previously available; or 3) a need to correct a clear error of law or manifest injustice. See N. River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA Reinsurance, Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995). 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 City, No. 98-5186, 2008 WL 58820, at *2 (D.N.J. Jan. 2, 2008).


In their motion, Defendants neither argue that there has been an intervening change in the law, nor that new evidence compels a result different from the one this Court previously reached. Accordingly, to prevail on their motion for reconsideration, Defendant must establish either that this Court committed clear error in granting summary judgment, or that reconsideration is appropriate to prevent manifest injustice. See N. River Ins. Co., 52 F.3d at 1218.

Defendants make three claims in support of their instant motion. The Court will address each argument in turn.

A. Claim for Wrongful Search and Seizure Pursuant to the NJCRA

First, Defendants assert that this Court erroneously interpreted Plaintiff's claim for unlawful search and seizure as a claim pursuant to the New Jersey Civil Rights Act ("NJCRA"). (Def. Br. at 3-4.) In essence, Defendants assert that since Plaintiff did not specify the precise statute under which it intended to pursue its claim for wrongful ...

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