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.

Wronko v. Martin

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

March 27, 2019

STEVEN WRONKO and COLLENE WRONKO, Husband and Wife, Plaintiffs,
v.
NANCY MARTIN, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION

          ANNE E. THOMPSON, U.S.D.J.

         INTRODUCTION

         This 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.

         BACKGROUND

         The 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 Martin.
• On Count VIII (civil conspiracy), Plaintiffs retain claims against Defendants Borough, Manney, and Martin.

(Op. at 25.)

         On 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.)[1] Defendant Martin did not file a reply. The Motions are presently before the Court.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         “The 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 citation omitted).

         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. 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 ...


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.