United States District Court, D. New Jersey
JOHN V. COSTELLO, PAULINE W. COSTELLO, and the PAULINE W. COSTELLO TRUST, dated 5/13/1988, Plaintiffs,
LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE Defendant.
B. KUGLER United States District Judge.
matter arises upon Plaintiffs John V. Costello, Pauline W.
Costello, and the Pauline W. Costello Trust's
(“Plaintiffs”) motion to sever and reinstate
claims against Defendant Liberty Mutual Insurance
(“Defendant”). For the reasons discussed below,
Plaintiffs' motion is DENIED.
about March 24, 2014, Plaintiffs commenced suit against
Liberty Mutual Insurance in the Superior Court of New Jersey,
Law Division, Ocean County. Defendant removed this case to
the District Court of New Jersey on May 19, 2014 (Civil
Action 1:14-cv-03208). On October 7, 2014, Plaintiffs filed
suit against Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company (Civil
Action 1:14-cv-06203). Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 42(a) and in the interest of efficiency, these
cases were consolidated into case number 1:14-cv-03208 on
February 5, 2015. See Doc. No. 16. Case Number
1:14-cv-06203 was terminated on February 5, 2013, consistent
with the order to consolidate.
consolidated case was then ultimately terminated on June 9,
2015 after the parties reported it to the Court as
tentatively settled. See Doc. No. 21. The order
included a right to reopen the case within 60 days of entry
of the order, and on August 13, 2015, another order extended
that right to a total of 120 days. See Id.; Doc. No.
22. On March 28, 2017, Plaintiffs filed this motion to sever
the consolidated cases and reinstate the case against Liberty
Mutual Insurance. See Pl. Br.
60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
provides that the Court may “relieve a party or its
legal representative from a final judgment, order, or
proceeding for the following reasons:
(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 misconduct by an opposing party;
(4) the judgment is void;
(5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged;
it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or
is vacated; or applying it prospectively is no longer
(6) any other reason that justifies relief.”
60(c)(1) states, “[a] motion under Rule 60(b) must be
made within a reasonable time-and for reasons (1), (2), and
(3) no more than a year after the entry of the judgment or
order or the date of the proceeding.” See also
Pioneer Inv. Servs. V. Brunswick Assoc. Ltd. P'ship,
507 U.S. 380, 393 (“a party who failed to take timely
action due to excusable neglect may not seek relief more than
a year after the judgment by resorting to subsection
(6)”). Furthermore, “[t]he remedy provided by
Rule 60(b) is extraordinary, and special circumstances must
justify granting relief under ...