United States District Court, D. New Jersey
BRIAN R. MARTINOTTI, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is opened to the Court by Plaintiff Robert
McClees's (“Plaintiff”): (1) Motion for
Reconsideration of the Order denying the Emergent Motion to
Stay Eviction; and (2) Motion for Default Judgment as to all
Defendants. (ECF Nos. 9 and 10).
for reconsideration are proper pursuant to this
District's Local Civil Rule 7.1(i) if there are
“matters or controlling decisions which counsel
believes the Judge . . . has overlooked.” L.Civ.R.
7.1(i); Dunn v. Reed Grp., Inc., No. 08-1632, 2010
WL 174861, at *1 (D.N.J. Jan 13, 2010). The comments to
that Rule make clear, however, that “reconsideration is
an extraordinary remedy that is granted ‘very
sparingly.'” L.Civ.R. 7.1(i) cmt. 6(d) (quoting
Brackett v. Ashcroft, No. 03-3988, 2003 WL 22303078,
*2 (D.N.J. Oct. 7, 2003)). The Third Circuit has held the
scope of a motion for reconsideration is “extremely
limited.” Blystone v. Horn, 664 F.3d 397, 415
(3d Cir. 2011). “Such motions are not to be used as an
opportunity to relitigate the case; rather, they may be used
only to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present
newly discovered evidence.” Id. A court
commits clear error of law “only if the record cannot
support the findings that led to the ruling.” ABS
Brokerage Servs. 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. In short, “[m]ere ‘disagreement with
the Court's decision' does not suffice.”
ABS Brokerage Servs., 2010 WL 3257992, at *6
(quoting P. Schoenfeld Asset Mgmt. LLC v. Cendant
Corp., 161 F.Supp.2d 349, 353 (D.N.J. 2001)); see
also United States v. Compaction Sys. Corp., 88
F.Supp.2d 339, 345 (D.N.J. 1999) (“Mere disagreement
with a court's decision normally should be raised through
the appellate process and is inappropriate on a motion for
[reconsideration].”); Florham Park Chevron, Inc. v.
Chevron U.S.A., Inc., 680 F.Supp. 159, 163 (D.N.J.
1988); Schiano v. MBNA Corp., No. 05-1771, 2006 WL
3831225, at *2 (D.N.J. Dec. 28, 2006) (“Mere
disagreement with the Court will not suffice to show that the
Court overlooked relevant facts or controlling law, . . . and
should be dealt with through the normal appellate process . .
. .”) (citations omitted).
Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b) empowers the Court to enter a
default judgment against a party who has failed to plea or
otherwise defend an action against it. “If the party
against whom a default judgment is sought has appeared
personally or by a representative, that party of its
representative must be served with written notice of the
application at least seven days before the hearing.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b). The decision to deny or grant a request
for default judgment lies within the discretion of the Court.
See United States v. 55, 518.05 in U.S. Currency,
728 F.2d 192, 194 (3d Cir. 1984) (citing Tozer v. Charles
A. Krause Milling Co., 189 F.2d 242, 244 (3d Cir. 1984).
When exercising this discretion, the Court should consider
the following factors: (1) the merits of the plaintiff's
claim; (2) the sufficiency of the complaint; (3) the amount
of money at stake in the action; (4) the possibility of
prejudice to the plaintiff; (5) the possibility of a dispute
concerning material facts; (6) whether the default was due to
excusable neglect; and (7) the strong policy underlying the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure favoring decision on the
merits. Eitel v. MCCool, 782 F.2d 1470, 1471-72 (9th
Cir. 1986). The courts disfavor default because “the
interests of justice are best served by obtaining a decision
on the merits.” Choice Hotels Int'l, Inc. v.
Pennave Assocs., Inc., 192 F.R.D. 171, 173 (E.D. Pa.
Court has reviewed the submissions filed in connection with
the motions and enters its decision without oral argument
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78(b).
Plaintiff argues his Motion for Reconsideration should be
granted because of the “ambiguity of the complaint
instructions” and because the “clerk's act
cause [sic] my case to default and to receive the prejudicial
order.” (ECF No. 9 at 2 and 8).
Plaintiff's initial Emergent Motion (ECF No. 1-3) was
previously denied and the Complaint was dismissed without
prejudice upon screening for failure to state a claim. (ECF
No. 3, 4) Plaintiff was permitted thirty days to file a
motion to reopen accompanied by a proposed amended complaint.
(ECF No. 4.)
Plaintiff failed to timely move to reopen or file an amended
complaint, and pursuant to the Court's order, the matter
was automatically dismissed with prejudice on November 2,
2018-thirty days after the dismissal without prejudice.
(See ECF No. 4.)
November 14, 2018, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint (ECF
No. 5), which was substantively identical to the original
complaint, and a new Emergent Motion to Stay the Eviction
(ECF No. 6). Plaintiff did not file a motion to reopen.
Plaintiff's Emergent Motion was denied, and
Plaintiff's case was ordered to remain closed, as
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint failed to state a claim and
was therefore insufficient to reopen the matter. (ECF No. 7.)
Plaintiff moved for reconsideration of the dismissal (ECF No.
9), however Plaintiff fails to meet his burden in
demonstrating there are “matters or controlling
decisions . . . the Judge . . . has overlooked.”
Therefore, Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration is
Plaintiff additionally moves for default judgment pursuant to
Federal Rules of Civil ...