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Borough of Avalon v. United States Army Corps of Engineers

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

September 5, 2018

BOROUGH OF AVALON, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS and UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, Defendants.

          Daniel A. Greenhouse, Esq. CULLEN AND DYKMAN LLP Attorney for Plaintiff

          Jessica Rose O'Neill, Assistant U.S. Attorney Office of the U.S. Attorney Attorney for Defendants

          OPINION UPON RECONSIDERATION

          JEROME B. SIMANDLE U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff Borough of Avalon (hereinafter “Plaintiff”) brought this case against the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the United States Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service (hereinafter “Defendants”) alleging violations of § 706(2)(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (hereinafter, “the APA”), 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(a), specifically alleging an arbitrary and capricious interpretation of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, 16 U.S.C. § 3501, et seq. (hereinafter, “the CBRA”)[1]. (See generally Complaint [Docket Item 1].) Defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint, on the basis that Plaintiff's challenge to the application of the CBRA was moot, Plaintiff lacked standing to sue, and that Plaintiff failed to identify a final agency action subject to review by this Court. (See generally Motion to Dismiss [Docket Item 15].) The Court granted Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [Docket Item 15], holding that the dispute underlying Plaintiff's Complaint is moot and that Plaintiff lacks standing to challenge the Defendants' actions, because Plaintiff's injuries are “not sufficiently concrete or imminent.” Borough of Avalon v. United States Army Corps of Engineers, No. 16-8057, 2017 WL 3917138, at *6 (D.N.J. Sept. 7, 2017). However, the Court granted Plaintiff “leave to amend its Complaint in a [manner] consistent with the Court's Opinion.” (Id.) Plaintiff has not filed an amended complaint.

         Plaintiff now moves for reconsideration of the Court's Order granting Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. (Motion for Reconsideration [Docket Item 22].) The principal issue to be decided is whether there is a “need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice.”[2] U.S. ex rel. Shumann v. Astrazeneca Pharm. L.P., 769 F.3d 837, 848-49 (3d Cir. 2014) (citing Max's Seafood Café ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)). For the following reasons, the Court will deny Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration.

         II. Factual and Procedural Background

         The factual and procedural background of this case was thoroughly described in this Court's Opinion of September 9, 2017 and shall not be repeated herein. Borough of Avalon, 2017 WL 3917138, at *1-2.

         In that Opinion, the Court held that the controversy underlying Plaintiff's Complaint was rendered moot, that the funding was in place, due to Defendants' acceptance of a bid to undertake the next phase of the Project. Id. at *3-4. The Court also held that Plaintiff's injuries, as stated in its Complaint, are “not sufficiently concrete or imminent to create standing.” Id. at *6. “As the Court [dismissed the] matter on standing [and mootness] grounds, ” the Opinion did not address whether the case presented “a final agency action subject to judicial review.” Id.

         III. Standard of Review

         Local Civil Rule 7.1 allows a party to seek a motion for reconsideration or re-argument of “matter[s] or controlling decisions which the party believes the Judge or Magistrate Judge has overlooked . . . .” Local Civ. R. 7.1(i). Whether to grant a motion for reconsideration is a matter within the Court's discretion, but it should only be granted where such facts or legal authority were indeed presented but overlooked. See DeLong v. Raymond Int'l Inc., 622 F.2d 1135, 1140 (3d Cir. 1980), overruled on other grounds by Croker v. Boeing Co., 662 F.2d 975 (3d Cir. 1981); see also Williams v. Sullivan, 818 F.Supp. 92, 93 (D.N.J. 1993).

         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 rel. Shumann v. Astrazeneca Pharm. L.P., 769 F.3d 837, 848-49 (3d Cir. 2014) (citing Max's Seafood Café ex rel. Lou- Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)). The standard of review involved in a motion for reconsideration is high and relief is to be granted sparingly. U.S. v. Jones, 158 F.R.D. 309, 314 (D.N.J. 1994). “The Court will grant a motion for reconsideration only where its prior decision has overlooked a factual or legal issue that may alter the disposition of the matter. The word ‘overlooked' is the operative term in the Rule.” Andreyko v. Sunrise Sr. Living, Inc., 993 F.Supp.2d 475, 478 (D.N.J. 2014) (internal citations and quotation ...


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