United States District Court, D. New Jersey
before the Court is pro se Defendants Eric Johnson,
Ann Johnson, and Robert Mahoney's
(“Defendants”) motion for reconsideration of this
Court's remand Order. (D.E. No. 27). Plaintiff JPMorgan
Chase Bank, National Association (“JPMorgan”)
opposed Defendants' motion (D.E. No. 29), and Defendants
replied (D.E. No. 30). For the following reasons,
Defendants' motion is DENIED.
In December 2015, JPMorgan filed a residential Mortgage
Foreclosure Complaint against Defendants in the Superior
Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Morris County. (D.E.
No. 15). JPMorgan's Complaint alleged that
Defendants' mortgage loan was in default. (See
id.). Defendants attempted to remove the case to this
Court based on diversity jurisdiction and federal-question
jurisdiction arising from a defense under the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act (the “FDCPA”), as well
as other federal statutes, regulations, and constitutional
provisions. (See D.E. No. 1-1). JPMorgan then moved
to remand because: (i) the Complaint raised no issues of
federal law and seeks relief based solely on state law; and
(ii) Defendants are New Jersey citizens, and therefore the
forum-defendant rule precludes this Court from exercising
diversity jurisdiction. (See D.E. No. 10-1).
October 11, 2017, the Hon. Steven C. Mannion, U.S.M.J.,
issued a Report and Recommendation (the
“R&R”) that the Court grant JPMorgan's
remand motion. (D.E. No. 22). Magistrate Judge Mannion
provided the parties fourteen days to file and serve any
objections to the R&R pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636
and Local Civil Rule 72.1(c)(2). The parties did not file any
November 15, 2017, this Court adopted Magistrate Judge
Mannion's R&R in full and remanded this case to the
Superior Court, Chancery Division, Morris County. (D.E. No.
25). Three months later, Defendants filed their motion for
Local Civil Rule 7.1(i) governs motions for reconsideration
in this District. Under that Rule, “a motion for
reconsideration shall be served and filed within 14 days
after the entry of the order or judgment on the original
motion by the Judge or Magistrate Judge.” L. Civ. R.
motion for reconsideration is “an extraordinary remedy
to be granted very sparingly.” In re Lord Abbett
Mut. Funds Fee Litig., 417 F.Supp.2d 624, 627 (D.N.J.
2005). To prevail on a motion for reconsideration, a party
must demonstrate: “(1) an intervening change in the
controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence . . .;
or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to
prevent manifest injustice.” Reardon v.
Zonies, No. 17-3551, 2018 WL 1747739, at *2 (3d Cir.
Apr. 11, 2018) (citation omitted) (alteration in original).
“A motion for reconsideration is improper when it is
used to ask the Court to rethink what it has already thought
through-rightly or wrongly.” Oritani Sav. &
Loan Ass'n v. Fid. & Deposit Co. of Md., 744
F.Supp. 1311, 1314 (D.N.J. 1990).
As an initial matter, Defendants' motion is untimely.
Defendants seek reconsideration of this Court's November
15, 2017 remand Order. So, under Local Civil Rule 7.1(i),
Defendants needed to file their motion by November 29, 2017.
Defendants did not file their motion until February 14,
2018-nearly three months later.
Court recognizes that Defendants are proceeding pro
se. See Mala v. Crown Bay Marina, Inc., 704
F.3d 239, 244 (3d Cir. 2013) (noting that courts in the Third
Circuit “tend to be flexible when applying procedural
rules to pro se litigants). And this Court may
extend the time in which a party may move for
reconsideration. See Gutiereez v. Johnson &
Johnson, 523 F.3d 187, 193 n.5 (3d Cir. 2008) (noting
that district courts are generally free to permit the filing
of motions for reconsideration beyond the deadline set by the
local rules). Thus, the Court will consider whether
Defendants have satisfied any of the three prongs under Local
Civil Rule 7.1(i).
do not contend that an intervening change in the controlling
law or new evidence warrant reconsideration. (See
generally D.E. No. 27). Rather, they argue that the
Court overlooked various facts and arguments in finding that
it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over the case. (See
Id. at 3) (arguing that Magistrate Judge Mannion
“made several erroneous statements which appear to be
due to failure to read Defendants' proofs”). In
particular, Defendants argue that their “removal was
due to the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution under which
Federal properties are domiciled.” (Id.;
see also D.E. No. 30 (“Defendants' [sic]
have many times addressed the fact that the Supremacy Clause
of the Constitution takes precedence as this is a Government
Owned Loan on a Government owned property. Federal
jurisdiction does apply.”)).
short, Defendants' motion reiterates the same arguments
that Magistrate Judge Mannion and this Court already
considered and rejected. Accordingly, Defendants have not
satisfied any of the prongs ...