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Skoorka v. Kean University

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

January 6, 2014

BRUCE M. SKOORKA, Plaintiff,
v.
KEAN UNIVERSITY, THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF KEAN UNIVERSITY, KEAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, COUNCIL OF NEW JERSEY STATE COLLEGE LOCALS, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, WILLIAM M. KEMPEY, DAWOOD FARAHI, VINTON THOMPSON, ALFRED NGOME NTOKO, and MARIA DEL C. RODRIGUEZ Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

KEVIN McNULTY, District Judge.

Pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(i), pro se Plaintiff Bruce Skoorka seeks reconsideration, Docket No. 108, of my Opinion (the "Opinion, " Docket No. 102) and Order (the "Order, " Docket No. 103), filed November 15, 2013, which denied Plaintiff's Letter of Appeal dated June 27, 2012, Docket No. 90. I write this unpublished opinion primarily for the parties and will not repeat the analysis in that prior opinion; familiarity with it is assumed. This motion for reconsideration is denied, as such relief is not necessary to correct a clear error of law or to prevent manifest injustice. I deny it without oral argument, pursuant to Fed, R. Civ. P. 78. Skoorka's motion raises no substantial arguments that have not already been thoroughly briefed, considered, and decided on the Letter of Appeal of certain of Magistrate Judge Hammer's discovery orders following a June 6, 2013 status conference, Docket Nos. 84, 86.

Furthermore, Plaintiff alternatively requests that this Court certify this matter for interlocutory appeal to the Third Circuit pursuant to either 28 U.S.C. Section 1292(b) or Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b). I find certification under either of these provisions to be inappropriate and deny Skoorka's request.

I. Legal Standard

Motions for reconsideration are governed by Local Civil Rule 7.1(i). Bowers a Nat'l Collegiate Athletics Assoc., 130 F.Supp.2d 610, 612 (D.N.J. 2001). That Rule states:

[A) motion for reconsideration shall be served and filed within 14 days after the entry of the order or judgment on the original motion by the Judge or Magistrate Judge. A brief setting forth concisely the matter or controlling decisions which the party believes the Judge or Magistrate Judge has overlooked shall be filed with the Notice of Motion.

L. Civ. R. 7.1(i).

A motion for reconsideration is "tan extremely limited procedural vehicle." Tehan a Disability Mgmt. Servs., Inc., 111 F.Supp.2d 542, 549 (D.N.J. 2000) (quoting Resorts Int'l, Inc. v. Greate Bay Hotel and Casino, Inc., 830 F.Supp. 826, 831 (D.N.J. 1992)). The movant has the burden of demonstrating either: (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. Max's Seafood Cafe ex rel. Lou-Ann, Ma a Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999); Beety-Monticelli Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 343 F.Appx. 743, 747 (3d Cir. 2009) (non-precedential). In other words, such a motion may be granted where facts or controlling legal authority were presented to, but not considered by, the court. Mauro a N.J. Supreme Ct., 238 F.Appx. 791, 793 (3d Cir. 2007) (non-precedential).

Reconsideration is not warranted, however, where (1) the movant simply repeats the cases and arguments previously analyzed by the court, Arista Recs., Inc. v. Flea World., Inc., 356 F.Supp.2d 411, 416 (D.N.J. 2005); see also Tehan, 111 F.Supp.2d at 549 ("Motions for reconsideration will not be granted where a party simply asks the court to analyze the same facts and cases it had already considered...."); or (2) the movant has tiled the motion merely to disagree with or relitigate the court's initial decision, id.; see Morris v. Siemens Components, Ma, 938 F.Supp. 277, 278 (D.N.J. 1996) ("A party's mere disagreement with a decision of the district court should be raised in the ordinary appellate process and is inappropriate on a motion for reargument."). The motion is not a vehicle for a litigant to raise new arguments or present evidence that could have been raised prior to the initial judgment. See Bapu Corp. v. Choice Hotels Int'l, Inc., Civ. No. 07-5938, 2010 WL 5418972, at *2 (D.N.J. Dec. 23, 2010) (citing P. Schoenfeld Asset Mgmt. LLC v. Cendant Corp., 161 F.Supp.2d 349, 352 (D.N.J. 2001)).

Accordingly, relief pursuant to Rule 7.1 is reserved for those instances where the Court may have "overlooked" pertinent facts or controlling case law. See L. Civ. R. 7.1(i). Because the requirements are so stringent, motions for reconsideration typically are not granted; rather, relief is "an extraordinary remedy" to be granted "sparingly." A.K. Stamping Co., Inc., v. Instrument Specialties Co., Inc., 106 F.Supp.2d 627, 662 (D.N.J. 2000) (quoting NL Indus., Inc., v. Commercial Union Ins. Co., 935 F.Supp. 513, 516 (D.N.J. 1996)).

III. Analysis

The Court refers the parties to the statement of facts in the Court's November 15, 2013 Opinion. Docket No. 102. In that Opinion, I affirmed Magistrate Judge Hammer's well-reasoned and balanced discovery decisions following a June 6, 2013 status conference, reflected in the Orders dated June 17, 2013 (Docket No. 84) and June 26, 2013 (Docket No. 86), and denied Skoorka's appeal. This Court found that Magistrate Judge Hammer's discovery rulings were within the bounds of his discretion and that they were not clearly erroneous or contrary to the law. While Judge Hammer has ordered Defendants to produce the majority of the documents requested by Plaintiff, he found that certain discovery requests were overly broad and/or irrelevant under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26. Recognizing Judge Hammer's thorough knowledge of these proceedings, I agreed with Judge Hammer's reasoning and denied Skoorka's appeal.

Plaintiff now argues that the Court's denial of his appeal creates a "manifest injustice" and that the decision should be reconsidered. In short, he argues that it would be a manifest injustice to compel Plaintiff to proceed without full discovery relevant to his claims. Furthermore, Plaintiff requests, if this Court denies this motion, that it certify this matter for interlocutory appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the ...


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