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QUARTARARO v. CATTERSON

October 14, 1999

MICHAEL QUARTARARO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JAMES M. CATTERSON, DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF SUFFOLK COUNTY; MARK COHEN, CHIEF ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY; DEMETRI JONES, AND MICHAEL MILLER, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEYS; RAUL RUSSI, CHAIRMAN OF NEW YORK STATE DIVISION OF PAROLE; MARTIN HORN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF PAROLE; WILLIAM K. ALTSCHULLER, DIRECTOR OF THE APPEALS UNIT OF THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF PAROLE; PATRICK HOY, AREA SUPERVISOR; PHILIP DELUCA, AND JOHN CALLENDER, SENIOR PAROLE OFFICERS; GERALD BURKE, THOMAS BIDDLE, MARIA RIVERA BUCHANAN, LEO LEVY, J. KEVIN MCNIFF, ANTHONY UMINA, BARBARA TREEN, DANIEL TAURIELLO, GEORGE KING, JULIAN ROSE, PAROLE COMMISSIONERS, AND OTHERS, AS EMPLOYEES OF THE DIVISION OF PAROLE; THOMAS A. COUGHLIN, COMMISSIONER OF THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES; JAMES F. RECORE, DIRECTOR OF TEMPORARY RELEASE PROGRAMS; BRIAN FISCHER, SUPERINTENDENT OF QUEENSBORO CORRECTIONAL FACILITY; ENOC ESTEVES, DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT; WILLIAM LESTER, SENIOR COUNSELOR AND TEMPORARY RELEASE CHAIRMAN; RUDOLPH F. JEFFREY, CORRECTION COUNSELOR; AS EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES; WILLIAM G. MCMAHON, FORMER COMMISSIONER OF THE NEW YORK STATE COMMISSION OF CORRECTION, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Seybert, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

Pending before the Court is the State Defendants'*fn1 motion for reconsideration of this Court's June 25, 1999 Order. For the reasons discussed below, the motion is denied.

BACKGROUND*fn2

In their motion for summary judgment, the State Defendants argued that the Plaintiff's procedural due process claim failed on two grounds: (1) the claim was barred by the holdings of the Supreme Court in Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 117 S.Ct. 1584, 137 L.Ed.2d 906 (1997), and Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 114 S.Ct. 2364, 129 L.Ed.2d 383 (1994); and (2) the defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. See State Defendants' Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment, at 12, 19. Notably, the State Defendants did not move for summary judgment on this claim on the basis that they did not violate Plaintiff's procedural due process rights.

In his cross-motion, Plaintiff argued that his procedural due process rights were violated by his summary removal from the Temporary Work Release Program, without having received, inter alia, adequate advance notice of the February 12, 1992 Temporary Release Committee hearing, and a meaningful statement of reasons for his removal. See Plaintiff's Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, at 1-2. Plaintiff also rebutted the Defendants' arguments that his claim was barred by Edwards and Heck, and disputed the Defendants' claim to qualified immunity. See id., at 6, 17.

At oral argument on June 25, 1999, the State Defendants conceded that Plaintiff's procedural due process claim was not barred by Edwards and Heck, in light of the then-recent Second Circuit decision in Jenkins v. Haubert, 179 F.3d 19 (2d Cir. 1999). See Transcript of Oral Argument ("Transcript"), at 4. After hearing oral argument, the Court delivered its opinion from the bench. See Transcript, at 42-49. The Court noted that in their Answer, the State Defendants had not denied the Plaintiff's allegation that he was given no notice of the February 12, 1992 TRC hearing, but merely had denied any wrongdoing. See Transcript, at 47; see also State Defendants' Answer to Third Amended Complaint, ¶ 100. The Court also pointed out that, in response to the Plaintiff's statement pursuant to Local Civil Rule 56.1, the State Defendants merely commented that they "disputed" Plaintiff's statements that he received no notice of the February 12, 1999 TRC hearing, and that he did not receive a statement of reasons for his removal from the program until July 1993. See Transcript, at 47.

Finding that the general denials found in the State Defendants' Answer and 56.1 Counter-Statement were insufficient to raise a genuine issue of material fact that would defeat summary judgment, the Court granted Plaintiff's cross-motion on the procedural due process claim, and correspondingly denied the State Defendants' motion on this claim. See Transcript, at 48. The remainder of the State Defendants' motion was granted in part and denied in part. The Court reiterated its holding in a summary Order issued the same day. See Order dated June 25, 1999.

The State Defendants now contend that the Court overlooked a material fact which, if it had been considered, would have affected the outcome of the Court's decision to grant summary judgment to the Plaintiff on the procedural due process claim. Specifically, the State Defendants argue that the Court misapprehended their Rule 56.1 Counter-Statement. See State Defendants' Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Reconsideration, at 4. The State Defendants argue that, if the Court properly had viewed the statement, the Court could not have granted summary judgment to the plaintiff on this claim.

LEGAL STANDARD

A motion for reconsideration is governed by Local Civil Rule 6.3. A motion under this rule is appropriate where a party believes that the Court has overlooked "matters or controlling decisions" that might have influenced the earlier decision. Local Civil Rule 6.3; see also Shamis v. Ambassador Factors Corp., 187 F.R.D. 148, 151 (S.D.N.Y. 1999) (citing cases). Local Civil Rule 6.3 is narrowly construed, and consideration of a motion under the rule is committed to the sound discretion of the district court. Shamis, 187 F.R.D. at 151.

In keeping with its design to prevent relitigation of matters already plainly reviewed by the Court, the rule also requires that a motion for reconsideration be served within ten days after the docketing of the determination of the original motion. Local Civil Rule 6.3. Moreover, no oral argument is available on a motion for reconsideration and no affidavits may be filed unless the court so directs. Id.

DISCUSSION

A. Violation of Local ...


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