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Fields v. Dickerson

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

March 30, 2017

ALBERT J. FIELDS, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
FRANCINE DICKERSON and ELIZABETH LOYLE, Defendants.

          Albert J. Fields, Jr. Bruce W. Padula Ashley Elizabeth Malandre Cleary Giacobbe Alfieri Jacobs, LLC Attorneys for Defendant Elizabeth Loyle.

          Brian Patrick Budic Florio Perrucci Steninhardt & Fader, LLC Lester E. Taylor, III Florio Perrucci Steninhardt & Fader, LLC Attorneys for Defendant Francine Dickerson.

          OPINION

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         Plaintiff Albert Fields, pro se, brings this § 1983 action asserting that Defendants Dickerson and Loyle deprived him of his federal constitutional and statutory rights when they allegedly failed to provide him with a grievance hearing prior to evicting him from his public housing.

         Presently before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of the Court's opinion and order granting summary judgment to the Defendants on the basis of collateral estoppel. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration will be DENIED.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDRUAL HISTORY

         The opinion and order which are the subject of the instant motion for reconsideration are available at Fields, Jr. v. Dickerson, et al., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87206 (D.N.J. July 6, 2016), and are incorporated herein by reference.

         The Court granted summary judgment to Defendants on the basis of collateral estoppel because the undisputed record evidence conclusively established that the issue of whether Defendants were required to provide Plaintiff with a grievance hearing was raised, litigated, and decided against Plaintiff within the context of Plaintiff's eviction proceeding. Specifically, the Court gave preclusive effect to the state court's conclusion that Defendants were not required to provide Plaintiff a grievance hearing, because, the state court found, Plaintiff “‘had not requested'” a grievance hearing. Fields, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87206 at *5 (quoting the state court's written decision).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         In this District, Local Civil Rule 7.1(i) governs motions for reconsideration. Local Civil Rule 7.1(i) will apply where no final judgment has been entered pursuant to Rule 54(b). See Warner v. Twp. of S. Harrison, 885 F.Supp.2d 725, 747-48 (D.N.J. 2012). However, the standard for evaluating the request is the same as the standard under Rule 59(e). Id.

         “The scope of a motion for reconsideration . . . is extremely limited.” Blystone v. Horn, 664 F.3d 397, 415 (3d Cir. 2011). “The purpose of a motion for reconsideration is ‘to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.'” Lazaridis v. Wehmer, 591 F.3d 666, 669 (3d Cir. 2010)(citing Max's Seafood Cafe ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)). A motion for reconsideration “must rely on one of three grounds: (1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence; or (3) the need to correct clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice.” Id. (citing N. River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA Reinsurance Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995)).

         “A party seeking reconsideration must show more than a disagreement with the Court's decision, and recapitulation of the cases and arguments considered by the court before rendering its original decision fails to carry the moving party's burden.” Facteon, Inc. v. Comp Care Partners, LLC, Civ. No. 13-6765, 2015 WL 519414, at *1 (D.N.J. Feb. 9, 2015)(quoting G-69 v. Degnan, 748 F.Supp. 274, 275 (D.N.J. 1990)). “A motion for reconsideration should not provide the parties with an opportunity for a second bite at the apple.” Tishcio v. Bontex, Inc., 16 F.Supp.2d 511, 533 (D.N.J. 1998) (citation omitted).

         IV. DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff asserts that “[t]he Court erred in determining the Plaintiff attempted to re-litigate the state court action.” (Moving Brief, p. 6) According to Plaintiff, he “availed himself of the state court remedies regarding the landlord tenant action with the Housing Authority and does not require this court ...


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