associations a power of consent meant to be "withdrawn or varied only within the regular contractual process of negotiating an agreement as to terms and conditions between the horsemen's group and the host racing association." See Alabama Sportservice, Inc. v. National Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Ass'n, 767 F. Supp. 1573, 1579 (M.D. Fla. 1991). "It is the legislative intent of [the act] that [horsemen's associations] give consent in exchange for acceptable 'terms and conditions'--agreements as to money and exclusivity." Id. In short, the act provides consent powers to be negotiated with reference to the contractual relationship between the host racing association and the local horsemen's association.
Concerning SBOA-NJ, plaintiff alleges that the various defendants caused defendant SBOA-NJ to wrongfully withhold their consent to the simulcasting to Saratoga of harness racing from Meadowlands, Garden State Park and Freehold Raceway, SBOA-NJ's host racing associations' racetracks, whereby Saratoga was deprived of simulcasts from these tracks.
B. Procedural History:
SBOA-NJ previously claimed that this court lacked the requisite personal jurisdiction over them to adjudicate plaintiff's claims. Plaintiff claimed that long-arm personal jurisdiction was proper under N.Y. Civ. Prac. L. & R. § 302(a)(1) ("contracts anywhere to supply goods or services in the state"), and § 302(a)(3)("commits a tortious act without the state causing injury to person or property within the state"), under both subdivisions (i) and (ii) of that section.
The Court concluded, construing plaintiff's jurisdictional allegations in the light most favorable to them, that plaintiff had met its prima facie burden of demonstrating that jurisdiction over these defendants was proper under 302(a)(1). The Court found that SBOA-NJ, as the representative body of its horsemen membership, had contracted with its host racing associations to supply services into New York. As part of that conclusion, the Court found that the supplying of simulcasting into New York for purposes of interstate wagering constituted the provision of services into New York within the meaning of § 302(a)(1). The Court also concluded that, as agents and negotiators of the horsemen, SBOA-NJ had agreed to provide its members' services for, and its own negotiated consent to, both the simulcasting of racing in New York and the acceptance of wagers from New York. As such, the Court found that SBOA-NJ's negotiated written consent constituted a contract to provide services into New York.
Defendant SBOA-NJ now seeks the Court's reconsideration of its decision that it properly had personal jurisdiction over them under New York's long-arm statute.
A. Standard for Reconsideration
A court is justified in reconsidering its previous ruling if: (1) there is an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) new evidence not previously available comes to light; or (3) it becomes necessary to remedy a clear error of law or to prevent obvious injustice. Larsen v. Ortega, 816 F. Supp. 97, 114 (D. Conn. 1992).
SBOA-NJ relies on the third, "clear error of law" ground in seeking reconsideration. "With regard to the third ground, the Court cautions that any litigant considering bringing a motion to reconsider based upon that ground should evaluate whether what may seem to be a clear error of law is in fact simply a point of disagreement between the Court and the litigant." Atkins v. Marathon LeTourneau Co., 130 F.R.D. 625, 626 (S.D. Miss. 1990). The motion for reconsideration is not a device "intended to give an unhappy litigant one additional chance to sway the judge." Durkin v. Taylor, 444 F. Supp. 879, 889 (E.D. Va. 1977). It is in light of these considerations that the court undertakes reconsideration of its January 31, 1994 order.
B. Defendants' Bases for Reconsideration:
For personal jurisdiction to lie in a New York court under § 302(a)(1), the non-domiciliary must have transacted business within New York State or contracted anywhere to supply goods or services in the state and the cause of action must arise out of such transaction. Pellegrino v. Stratton Corp., 679 F. Supp. 1164, 1172 (N.D.N.Y. 1988).
SBOA-NJ offers three arguments why the Court erred in finding personal jurisdiction in the first instance: 1) that it never contractually consented to simulcasting its members' races; 2) that assuming arguendo it contracted with its host racing association to provide simulcasting into New York, simulcasting is not "supplying goods or services in the state" within the meaning of § 302(a)(1); and 3) that irrespective of the Court's determination of the first two objections, plaintiff's claims did not "arise out of" the alleged contracts.
i. No Contract, No Consent:
When it decided that SBOA-NJ had contracted to supply services in the state, the Court relied on plaintiff's uncontroverted allegations that SBOA-NJ had "agreed to provide simulcasts and accept wagers from off-track betting systems located in New York State." (Pltff. Memo in Opp. to Motion to Dismiss, at 4). See Ball v. Metallurgie Hoboken-Overpelt, S.A., 902 F.2d 194, 197 (2d Cir. 1990), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 854, 111 S. Ct. 150, 112 L. Ed. 2d 116 (1990)("prior to discovery, a plaintiff challenged by a jurisdiction testing motion may defeat the motion by pleading in good faith . . . legally sufficient allegations of jurisdiction. At that preliminary stage, [then,] the plaintiff's prima facie showing may be established solely by allegations.") (emphasis added). While it is undisputed that by federal statute the host racing association (i.e. the simulcasting track) "must have a written agreement with the horsemen's group" representing the participants in the race which is to be subject to interstate wagering, See 15 U.S.C. § 3004(a)(1)(A),
on the original motion neither party placed the relevant statutorily required written agreement before the Court. Defendant SBOA-NJ now submits to the Court its written agreements with its host racing associations, and claims that these establish that it "never entered into a contract to supply simulcasting services into New York," (Deft. Memo for Recons. at 1). Upon examination of these artfully drafted agreements, however, the Court concludes that they in fact constitute contracts between the New Jersey host racing associations and SBOA-NJ to provide simulcasting services into New York.
The interstate simulcasting provision of these agreements reads in pertinent part as follows:
TWENTIETH: In the event that the Authority considers proposals for inter-track betting, . . . the following provisions apply: