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Iris Gillon and Iris Gillon Music'n Celebrations, LLC v. Zambuto

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

May 9, 2014

IRIS GILLON AND IRIS GILLON MUSIC'N CELEBRATIONS, LLC D/B/A IGMC, Plaintiffs,
v.
EU TING AND JUSTIN ZAMBUTO, Defendants.

OPINION

KEVIN McNULTY, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court upon motion by Plaintiffs Iris Gillon and Iris Gillon Music'n Celebrations, LLC, d/b/a IGMC ("Plaintiffs") to alter or grant relief from a judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) or Fed.R.Civ.P. 60. (Docket No. 18). Plaintiffs seek reconsideration of Judge Cavanaugh's September 24, 2013 Opinion and Order (Docket Nos. 16 and 17) granting the motion to dismiss (Docket No. 4) filed by Defendants Eu Ting and Justin Zambuto ("Defendants"). This matter was reassigned to me on May 5, 2014. Docket No. 23. For the reasons expressed herein, Plaintiffs' motion is DENIED.

I. BACKGROUND

The facts of this matter are described in detail in this Court's September 24, 2013 Opinion, Docket No. 16 (the "Prior Opinion"). I assume familiarity with them.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

a. Altering or Amending Judgment/Reconsideration

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), a plaintiff must satisfy a high standard to have a judgment altered or amended. A motion pursuant to Rule 59(e) is considered the functional equivalent of a motion under Local Civil Rule 7.1 for reconsideration. Ashton v. AT&T Corp., Civ. No. 03-3158, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4787, *2 (D.N.J. Feb. 2, 2006). Such a motion may be granted only if (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. North River Insurance Co. v. CIGNA Reinsurance Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995). This relief is "an extraordinary remedy" that is to be granted "very sparingly." NL Indus. Inc. v. Commercial Union Ins. Co., 935 F.Supp. 513, 516 (D.N.J. 1996).

Local Rule 7.1(i) does not contemplate a recapitulation of arguments considered by the Court before rendering its original decision. See Bermingham v. Sony Corp. Of Am., Inc., 820 F.Supp. 834, 856 (D.N.J. 1992), aff'd, 37 F.3d 1485 (3d Cir. 1994). In other words, a motion for reconsideration or to alter a judgment is not an appeal. It is improper on such a motion to "ask the court to rethink what it ha[s] already thought through - rightly or wrongly." Oritani Say. & Loan Ass'n v. Fidelity & Deposit Co., 744 F.Supp. 1311, 1314 (D.N.J. 1990)).

b. Relief from Judgment or Order

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) provides that "the court may relieve a party... from final judgment, order or proceeding" on the grounds of:

(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or ...

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