Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Morning Sun Books, Inc. v. Division Point Models, Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

October 12, 2018

MORNING SUN BOOKS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
DIVISION POINT MODELS, INC., et al., Defendants.

          OPINION

          CLAIRE C. CECCHI, U.S.D.J.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court by way of Defendant Uncle Dave's Brass Model Trains' ("Defendant") motion for reconsideration of the Court's March 21, 2017 Order denying Defendant's motion for attorneys' fees and costs ("Order"). (ECF No. 152 ("Motion for Reconsideration")). For the reasons that follow, Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration is denied.[1]

         II. BACKGROUND

         On February 2, 2011, Plaintiff Morning Sun Books, Inc. ("Plaintiff") brought this copyright and trademark infringement action against Defendant as well as Division Point Models, Inc., K Johnson Ltd., Kenneth Johnson, and Jack Vansworth. (ECF No. 1). On December 13, 2013, Defendant moved for summary judgment on all counts of Plaintiffs complaint. (ECF No. 65). On April 8, 2015, before the Court issued a decision on the motion, Plaintiff and Defendant entered into a settlement agreement, (ECF No. 145-1 (the "Settlement Agreement")), and on April 9, 2015, the parties filed a stipulation of dismissal dismissing with prejudice all of Plaintiff s claims against Defendant. (ECF No. 109 (the "Stipulation of Dismissal")).

         The Stipulation of Dismissal provides in relevant part, "Defendant. . . hereby retains its rights to seek an award of attorneys' fees, but only following entry of a final judgment (or its equivalent) terminating the lawsuit[.]" (ECF No. 109 at 2). The Stipulation of Dismissal further provides that "Plaintiff... would oppose" Defendant's motion for attorneys' fees and costs. (Id.). Plaintiff subsequently settled with the remaining defendants in this action and on March 7, 2016, the Court entered an order dismissing the case. (ECF No. 119). On May 9, 2016, Defendant filed a motion for attorneys' fees and costs. (ECF No. 135).

         On March 21, 2017, the Court entered an Order denying Defendant's motion for attorneys' fees and costs, finding that Defendant was not a "prevailing party" in this litigation. (ECF No. 151 at 2-3). Moreover, the Court held that even if the Court were to find Defendant as the prevailing party, it would not find an award of fees appropriate under the Copyright Act or the Lanham Act based on the circumstances and history of this case. (Id. at 4). On April 15, 2017, Defendant filed a Motion for Reconsideration. (ECF No. 152).

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         The Court will reconsider a prior order only where a different outcome is justified by: (1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence not previously available; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice. See N. River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA Reinsurance Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995). A court commits clear error of law "only if the record cannot support the findings that led to [the] ruling." ABS Brokerage Servs., LLC v. Penson Fin. Servs., Inc., No. 09-4590, 2010 WL 3257992, at *6 (D.N.J. Aug. 16, 2010) (citing United States v. Grape, 549 F.3d 591, 603-04 (3d Cir. 2008)). "Thus, a party must... demonstrate that (1) the holdings on which it bases its request were without support in the record, or (2) would result in 'manifest injustice' if not addressed." Id. "Mere 'disagreement with the Court's decision' does not suffice." Id. (citations omitted).

         IV. DISCUSSION

         As a preliminary matter, the Court notes that Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration is untimely. Defendant filed its motion on April 15, 2017, twenty-five days after the Court's March 21, 2017 decision denying Defendant's motion for attorneys' fees and costs, and eleven days after the time period set forth in Local Rule 7.1(i). (ECF No. 152). Indeed, Defendant concedes that its Motion for Reconsideration was not filed within 14 days after the Court's Order. (ECF No. 152-1 at 1). Defendant further "concede[s] that [it] may have erred in believing that reconsideration was controlled by Rule 59(e), rather than Local Rule 7.1(i)." (ECF No. 158 at 6; see also Id. at 8 (Defendant admitting that "the failure to file what could easily have been a simple motion was [its] fault.")).

         Nonetheless, the Court will consider the arguments made in Defendant's Motion for, Reconsideration.[2] For the reasons set forth below, the Court once again finds that Defendant is not entitled to attorneys' fees and costs, and will deny Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration.

         Defendant first contends that the Court erroneously applied Buckhannon Board & Care Home, Inc. v. West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources in its March 21, 2017 Order denying Defendant's motion for attorneys' fees and costs. (ECF No. 152-1 at 2). In Buckhannon, the Supreme Court explained that some statutes permit courts to award attorneys' fees and costs to "prevailing parties." 532 U.S. 598, 602 (2001). In determining whether a party has prevailed in a certain matter, courts must determine whether such party "has been awarded some relief by the court[.]" Id. at 603. Two ways in which a party may make such a showing is through a judgment on the merits or a court-approved settlement agreement. See Id. at 604.

         Defendant concedes that neither a judgment on the merits nor a court-approved settlement agreement exist in this matter. (ECF No. 158 at 7; see also ECF No. 152-1 at 3). Nevertheless, Defendant avers that it is the prevailing party because Buckha ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.