United States District Court, D. New Jersey
SHAMSIDDIN A. ABDUR-RAHEEM, Plaintiff,
NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants.
Michael A. Shipp United States District Judge
Plaintiff Shamsiddin A. Abdur-Raheem, confined at New Jersey
State Prison in Trenton, New Jersey, filed the instant
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging various
violations of his constitutional rights. Presently before the
Court is Plaintiffs Motion for Reconsideration
("Motion") (ECF No. 62), challenging the
Court's March 20, 2017 order granting in part, and
denying in part, Defendants' motion to dismiss (ECF No.
24). (Order, Mar. 20, 2017, ECF No. 60.) For reasons stated
below, the Court denies Plaintiffs Motion.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion for reconsideration is governed in this District by
Local Civil Rule 7.1(i). Treusch v. Ctr. Square
Supermarket, LLC, No. 11-4874, 2013 WL 1405031, at *3
(D.N.J. Apr. 5, 2013). Rule 7.1(i) requires the moving party
to set forth the factual matters or controlling legal
authorities it believes the Court overlooked when rendering
its initial decision. L. Civ. R. 7.1(i). To prevail on a
motion for reconsideration, the movant must show: "(1)
an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the
availability of new evidence that was not available when the
court. .. [rendered the judgment in question]; or (3) the
need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent
manifest injustice." U.S. ex ml Schumann v.
Astrazeneca Pharm. L.P., 769 F.3d 837, 848-49 (3d Cir.
2014); see also Buzz Bee Toys, Inc. v. Swimways
Corp., 20 F.Supp.3d 483, 515 (D.N.J. 2014). To prevail
under the third prong, the movant must show that
"dispositive factual matters or controlling decisions of
law were brought to the court's attention but not
considered." Mitchell v. Twp. of Willingboro
Municipality Gov't, 913 F.Supp.2d 62, 77-78 (D.N.J.
2012) (quotation and citation omitted). The standard of
review involved in a motion for reconsideration is high and
relief is to be granted sparingly. Id. at 78.
does not point to an intervening change in the controlling
law since the Court's previous decision, nor does
Plaintiff rely on any new evidence that was not available
when the Court issued its previous decision. As such, the
Court analyzes Plaintiffs arguments solely under the third
prong described above, "the need to correct a clear
error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice."
Schumann, 769 F.3d at 848-49.
Motion raises five grounds for reconsideration: (1) the Court
erred in dismissing his property claim on the ground that he
had an adequate post-deprivation remedy under state law; (2)
the Court erred in dismissing his conditions of confinement
claims while in segregated confinement by misapplying
applicable precedent; (3) the Court overlooked his right to
petition the government claim; (4) the Court erred by
dismissing his November 8, 2012 assault claims as time-barred
because the Court erroneously rejected Plaintiffs equitable
tolling argument; and (5) the Court erred in dismissing
Plaintiffs state law tort claims for his failure to file a
notice of claim as required by state law. The Court will
examine each alleged error, in turn.
previous opinion, the Court dismissed Plaintiffs property
claim because it found that adequate and meaningful
post-deprivation remedies existed in state court. (Op. 33,
Mar. 20, 2017, ECF No. 59) ("Prior Opinion").
Plaintiff does not dispute this finding, but asserts that the
dismissal was improper because he had already availed himself
of an existing remedy, which was ineffective. As Plaintiff
concedes, however, he availed himself of the administrative
remedy created by state law, which served as an alternative
to the state court remedies. (PL's Br. 3, ECF No. 62-2.)
Even accepting Plaintiffs assertions as true, Plaintiff does
not explain why he could not have pursued his property claim
in state court once the administrative remedy proved
ineffective. As cited in the Prior Opinion, the Third Circuit
[a plaintiff] cannot prevail on his due process claim if the
state's post-deprivation procedures, including state tort
remedies, are adequate. [The plaintiff] has failed to explain
why New Jersey's state procedures to recover wrongfully
seized property, such as the ability to move in the criminal
action for return of his property or the ability to file a
separate action for a writ of replevin, are insufficient.
Revell v. Port Auth. of N.Y., N.J., 598 F.3d 128,
139 (3d Cir. 2010).
seems to conflate the Court's dismissal based on the
existence of adequate post-deprivation remedies with the law
on exhaustion. In this instance, regardless of whether
Plaintiff exhausted state court remedies, the Court would
have dismissed the claim. As the Third Circuit has plainly
held, the existence of adequate post-deprivation remedies in
New Jersey precludes Plaintiffs due process claim regarding
the deprivation of property. Unless and until Plaintiff can
establish that all remedies under state law are
either inadequate or not meaningful, there is no federal
claim. As such, relief on this ground is denied.
Segregated Confinement Claim
Prior Opinion, the Court dismissed this claim on the basis
that it essentially challenges the fact of Plaintiff s
placement in segregated confinement, and is not based upon
any independent ...