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Turano v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

November 7, 2017

JESSE TURANO, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
PORT AUTHORITY OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Esther Salas, U.S.D.J.

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration of the Court's March 31, 2017 Opinion and Order granting Defendants' motion to dismiss. (D.E. No. 23). Defendants opposed Plaintiffs' motion (D.E. No. 25), and Plaintiffs replied (D.E. No. 26).[1] Having considered the parties' submissions in support of and in opposition to the instant motion, the Court decides the motion without oral argument. See L. Civ. R. 78.1. For the reasons below, Plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration is DENIED.

         I. Background

         On March 31, 2017, the Court issued an Opinion and Order granting Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint. (D.E. No. 21 (“Opinion”); D.E No. 22 (“Order”) (together, the “March 2017 decision”)). As the Court already set forth the factual background in its prior Opinion, the Court incorporates those facts here. On April 12, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration with respect to the Court's March 2017 decision. (D.E. No. 23-4 (“Motion”)).

         II. Legal Standard

         In the District of New Jersey, Local Civil Rule 7.1 governs motions for reconsideration. Morton v. Fauver, No. 97-5127, 2011 WL 2975532, at *1 (D.N.J. July 21, 2011) (citing Bowers v. NCAA, 130 F.Supp.2d 610, 612 (D.N.J. 2001)). Reconsideration under Local Civil Rule 7.1 is an extraordinary remedy that is rarely granted. Interfaith Cmty. Org. v. Honeywell Int'l, Inc., 215 F.Supp.2d 482, 507 (D.N.J. 2002). A motion for reconsideration may be based on one of three separate grounds: (1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) new evidence not previously available; or (3) a need to correct a clear error of law or to prevent manifest injustice. Id. A motion for reconsideration is not an opportunity to raise new matters or arguments that could have been raised before the original decision was made. See Bowers, 130 F.Supp.2d at 612-13. Nor is a motion for reconsideration an opportunity to ask the Court to rethink what it has already thought through. See Interfaith Cmty. Org., 215 F.Supp.2d at 507. “Rather, the rule permits a reconsideration only when ‘dispositive factual matters or controlling decisions of law' were presented to the court but were overlooked.” Id. (quoting Resorts Int'l v. Greate Bay Hotel & Casino, 830 F.Supp. 826, 831 (D.N.J. 1992)).

         III. Discussion

         Plaintiffs make no claim that there was an intervening change in the controlling law or that evidence that was not previously available has become available. (See generally Motion). Plaintiffs instead ask the Court to reconsider its March 2017 decision dismissing without prejudice Plaintiffs' First Amendment claim on the grounds that the claim “was dismissed contrary to established Supreme Court precedent and is clearly erroneous.” (Id. at 1). Plaintiffs' Motion appears to rest on the position that reconsideration is necessary to correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice. Generally, this means that the Court overlooked some dispositive factual or legal matter that was presented to it. See L. Civ. R. 7.1(i); see also Rose v. Alternative Ins. Works, LLC, No. 06-1818, 2007 WL 2533894, at *1 (D.N.J. Aug. 31, 2007).

         Plaintiffs, however, fail to show a need to correct a clear error of law or to prevent manifest injustice. See Interfaith Cmty. Org., 215 F.Supp.2d at 507. Indeed, the Court's Opinion addresses most of the “established Supreme Court precedent” on which Plaintiffs currently rely.[2] And the Court's interpretation of Heffernan v. City of Paterson, which Plaintiffs argue is incorrect, appears to be consistent with Plaintiffs' proposed interpretation in their instant Motion.[3] Similarly, Plaintiffs' view on establishing a defendant's motive also appears to be consistent with the Court's March 2017 decision.[4] Rather, Plaintiffs' argument is based on their personal disagreement with the Court's application of established precedent to the facts alleged in the Complaint. But that is not an appropriate basis for a motion for reconsideration, as such disagreement should be raised through the appellate process. See Smart v. Aramark Inc., No. 14-3007, 2014 WL 4053961, at *6 (D.N.J. Aug. 15, 2015). Moreover, Plaintiffs already presented all of their substantive assertions in the underlying motion. Plaintiffs, therefore, have failed to proffer any change in law, unconsidered evidence, or persuasive argument that the Court has committed a clear error of law that requires correction. Accordingly, Plaintiffs' Motion is denied.

         IV. Conclusion

         For the reasons set forth above, Plaintiffs' Motion is DENIED. An appropriate Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.

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Notes:

[1] A reply is not permitted on a motion for reconsideration without permission from the Court. See L. Civ. R. 7.1(d)(3). Although the Court will consider Plaintiffs' reply, it cautions counsel that the Court will disregard any future filings that do not ...


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