United States District Court, D. New Jersey
STEVEN WRONKO and COLLENE WRONKO, Husband and Wife, Plaintiffs,
NANCY MARTIN, et al., Defendants.
E. THOMPSON, U.S.D.J.
matter comes before the Court upon two Motions for
Reconsideration: one filed by Defendants Borough of Helmetta
(“Borough”), Robert Manney, Michael Baltazar,
Devon Gannon, Chad Lockman, Richard Recine, and Gene
Scheicher (collectively, “Borough Defendants”)
(ECF No. 114), and the other filed by Defendant Nancy Martin
(ECF No. 115). Plaintiffs Steven Wronko and Collene Wronko
(collectively, “Plaintiffs”) oppose. (ECF No.
119.) The Court has decided this matter on the written
submissions of the parties, pursuant to Local Civil Rule
78.1(b). For the reasons stated herein, Defendants'
Motions are granted, and the Court will amend its Summary
Judgment Order (ECF No. 110) accordingly.
facts of this case are familiar to the parties and will not
be reiterated in full here. (See generally Op. at
2-9, ECF No. 109 (providing a more detailed background).)
Defendant Nancy Martin was the Mayor of Defendant Borough,
Defendant Manney was the Police Director, and all other
Borough Defendants were police officers. Plaintiffs allege
that Defendants attempted to prohibit them from documenting
abuse and neglect at the Helmetta Regional Animal Shelter and
retaliated against them for doing so. They alleged a number
of constitutional and common law violations. On January 25,
2019, all parties moved for summary judgment. (ECF Nos.
93-96.) On February 21, 2019, the Court denied summary
judgment altogether for Plaintiffs and granted summary
judgment for some Defendants on some Counts. (Order, ECF No.
110.) As the Court summarized in its Opinion, the following
claims remained outstanding after summary judgment:
• On Counts I (free speech) and II (free assembly and
petition), Plaintiffs retain claims against Defendants
Manney, Baltazar, Lockman, and Recine for preventing
Plaintiff Steven Wronko from videorecording; against
Defendants Baltazar and Gannon for threatening arrest;
against Defendant Baltazar for arresting Plaintiff Steven
Wronko; and against Defendants Borough, Manney, and Martin
for Monell liability.
• On Count III (due process), Plaintiffs retain a claim
against Defendant Borough for retaliation.
• On Count VI (unconstitutional policymaking),
Plaintiffs retain claims against Defendants Manney and
• On Count VIII (civil conspiracy), Plaintiffs retain
claims against Defendants Borough, Manney, and Martin.
(Op. at 25.)
March 7, 2019, Borough Defendants moved for reconsideration
of the Summary Judgment Order. (ECF No. 114.) Defendant
Martin separately moved for reconsideration on the same day.
(ECF No. 115.) Plaintiffs opposed both Motions on March 19,
2019. (ECF No. 119.) Borough Defendants replied on March 20,
2019. (ECF No. 123.) Defendant Martin did not file a reply. The
Motions are presently before the Court.
purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to correct
manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered
evidence.” Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d
906 (3d Cir. 1985). Reconsideration is an extraordinary
remedy that is to be granted “very sparingly.”
E.g., Friedman v. Bank of Am., N.A., 2012
WL 3146875, at *2 (D.N.J. Aug. 1, 2012). Filed pursuant to
Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local
Civil Rule 7.1(i), 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 clear error of law or prevention of
manifest injustice. N. River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA Reins.
Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995) (internal
motion for reconsideration is not an opportunity to raise new
matters or arguments that could have been raised before the
original decision was made. E.g., Bowers v.
NCAA, 130 F.Supp.2d 610, 613 (D.N.J. 2001). Nor is it an
opportunity to ask the Court to rethink what it has already
thought through. E.g., Oritani S & L v.
Fidelity & Deposit, 744 F.Supp. 1311, 1314 (D.N.J.
1990). Rather, a motion for reconsideration may be granted
only if there is a dispositive factual or legal matter that
was presented but not considered that would have reasonably
resulted in a different conclusion by the court.
E.g., Champion Labs., Inc. v. Metex Corp.,
677 F.Supp.2d 748, 750 (D.N.J. 2010). “Mere
disagreement with a court's decision normally ...