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PEYSER v. SEARLE BLATT & CO.

United States District Court, Southern District of New York


March 24, 2003

STEPHEN PEYSER D/B/A ONE BY DIANA, DIANE MOSS, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
SEARLE BLATT & CO., LTD., STEVE SEARLE, ALICE BLATT SEARLE, CAROL HORN, RONI RABL, INC., NEIMAN-MARCUS GROUP, INC. AND E.N.K. PRODUCTIONS LTD., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Whitman Knapp, Senior District Judge

ORDER

In July 2002, Plaintiffs Stephen Peyser and Diane Moss ("Plaintiffs"), proceeding pro se, brought to our attention a number of issues pertaining to the docket. On July 23, 2002, we issued an order addressing those concerns, albeit perhaps not to the Plaintiffs' satisfaction. (See Docket No. 182.) Thereafter, the Plaintiffs indicated that they intended to submit a "response" to that order. (See August 1, 2002 Letters of Diane Moss.) After we granted them eight extensions of time to submit such a "response," the Plaintiffs recently filed a Motion "to Correct the Clerical and Factual Inaccuracies of the July 23-24, 2002 Order of the Court and the Case Record of 99CV10785 (WK)."

The Plaintiffs bring their motion pursuant to Rule 60(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Rule 60(a) provides in pertinent part that "[c]lerical mistakes in judgments, orders or other parts of the record and errors therein arising from oversight or omission may be corrected by the court at any time upon its own initiative or on the motion of any party and after such notice, if any, as the court orders." Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(a). The decision to award relief pursuant to Rule 60(a) rests within the sound discretion of the district court. Matura v. United States (S.D.N.Y. 1999) 189 F.R.D. 86, 91. "The purpose of Rule 60(a) is to address clerical mistakes that appear on the face of a court's opinion or otherwise affect the accurate intentions of the court."*fn1 Id. at 90. See also Polanco v. Allan (N.D.N.Y. July 5, 1996) No. 93-CV-1498, 1996 WL 377074, at *1. However, Rule 60(a) "is not meant to provide a way for parties to relitigate matters already decided, to charge errors in what a court has deliberately done, or to attempt to establish a right to relief which the court has not previously recognized." Employers Mutual Casualty Co. v. Key Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (S.D.N.Y. 1995) 886 F. Supp. 360, 363, aff'd (2d Cir. 1996) 75 F.3d 815.

We have reviewed the Plaintiffs' notice of motion, the three affirmations submitted by them in support thereof, the Declarations of Joel Bohmart and John Dunne in opposition to the Plaintiffs' motion, the various letters from Diane Moss and Stephen Peyser to the Court (dated February 10, 2003, February 18, 2003, February 25, 2003, February 28, 2003, February 29, 2003, and March 3, 2003), the two letters from Robert Lynn to the Court (dated February 28, 2003), the Plaintiffs' Reply Declaration, the Proposed Order which the Plaintiffs submitted on March 7, 2003 (along with the accompanying cover letter attached thereto), and a number of letters which the Plaintiffs sent to Magistrate Judge Dolinger (dated February 11, 2003, February 14, 2003, and February 28, 2003). We have also reviewed the entire record available in this case. Upon such review, we find that nothing in the record justifies relief pursuant to Rule 60(a).

Although the Plaintiffs brought their motion pursuant to Rule 60(a) to "correct" purported mistakes and errors, certain sections of that lengthy motion are instead ill-disguised attempts to secure either reconsideration pursuant to Local Civil Rule 6.3 or relief pursuant to the provisions of Rule 60(b) with respect to various orders and decisions which we have made over the last three years. First, portions of the motion at bar seek reconsideration of the order that we issued on July 23, 2002, which addressed certain issues pertaining to the docket. "A motion for reconsideration is governed by Local Civil Rule 6.3 and is appropriate where a court overlooks `controlling decisions or factual matters that were put before it on the underlying motion . . . and which, had they been considered, might have reasonably altered the result before the court.'" Mopex, Inc. v. American Stock Exchange, LLC (S.D.N.Y. April 5, 2002) No. 02 Civ. 1656 (SAS), 2002 WL 523417, at *1 (quoting Range Road Music, Inc. v. Music Sales Corp. (S.D.N.Y. 2000) 90 F. Supp.2d 390, 392). "Although a party seeking reconsideration may advert to controlling decisions or factual matters that were before the court on the underlying motion, the party may neither put forth new facts, issues or arguments that were not presented to the court on that motion, nor revisit issues that the court has already fully considered such that the motion becomes a `substitute for appealing from a final judgment.'" Zeke N' Zoe Corp. v. Zeke N' Zoe, LLC (S.D.N.Y. May 15, 2002) No. 01 Civ. 4780 (HB), 2002 WL 1000957, at *1 (internal citations omitted). See also In re Solv-Ex Corp. Sec. Litig. (S.D.N.Y. 2002) 198 F. Supp.2d 587, 589 (quoting In re Houbigant, Inc. (S.D.N.Y. 1996) 914 F. Supp. 997, 1001) ("A Rule 6.3. motion is `not a motion to reargue those issues already considered when a party does not like the way the original motion was resolved.'")

The Plaintiffs have not identified any information enumerated in the letters they submitted to the Court in July 2002 which was overlooked. All of the information submitted in those letters, which set forth the Plaintiffs' concerns about certain purported inaccuracies in the docket, was carefully considered before the issuance of the July 23, 2002 Order. Accordingly, to the extent that the motion at bar seeks reconsideration of that order, the motion is denied,*fn2 albeit with one sole exception. In our July 23, 2002 Order, we directed the Clerk of the Court to file the Answer submitted by Defendants Searle Blatt & Co., Ltd., Steve Searle, and Alice Blatt Searle (collectively the "Searle Defendants") and erroneously held that the Answer would be deemed filed and entered on the docket nunc pro tunc as of "December 7, 2000." That date was incorrect because the Searle Defendants submitted their Answer on December 7, 1999. Accordingly, that Answer will instead be deemed filed and entered on the docket nunc pro tunc as of December 7, 1999.

Certain portions of the instant motion also constitute a renewed attempt on the Plaintiffs' part to seek relief pursuant to the provisions of Rule 60(b) from, inter alia, our prior decisions (a) granting summary judgment in favor of the Searle Defendants, (b) awarding the Searle Defendants attorneys' fees, and (c) denying the Plaintiffs' previous attempts to secure relief from that summary judgment and fee award pursuant to Rule 60(b). See Peyser v. Searle Blatt & Co., Ltd. (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 2, 2000) No. 99 Civ. 10785 (WK), 2000 WL 1071804 ("Peyser I"); Peyser v. Searle Blatt & Co., Ltd. (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 22, 2000) No. 99 Civ. 10785 (WK), 2000 WL 1876917 ("Peyser II"); Peyser v. Searle Blatt & Co., Ltd. (S.D.N.Y. July 27, 2001) No. 99 Civ. 10785 (WK) (unpublished order) ("Peyser III"); Peyser v. Searle Blatt & Co., Ltd. (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 13, 2001) No. 99 Civ. 10785 (WK), 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20844 ("Peyser IV"); Peyser v. Searle Blatt & Co., Ltd. (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 14, 2001) No. 99 Civ. 10785 (WK), 2001 WL 1602129 ("Peyser V"); Peyser v. Searle Blatt & Co., Ltd. (S.D. N.Y. Feb. 21, 2002) No. 99 Civ. 10785 (WK), 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2913 ("Peyser VI").

Nothing in the motion before us persuades us that any previous decision in this case should be vacated pursuant to the provisions of Rule 60(b) and, to the extent that the instant motion seeks such relief, we deny that motion for the explicit reasons set forth in Peyser II, III, IV, V, and VI. We once again remind the Plaintiffs that they should not resort to Rule 60(b) as a substitute for appeal.*fn3 See Comptex, S.A. v. Labow (2d Cir. 1986) 783 F.2d 333, 335; Batac Development Corp. v. B&R Consultants Inc. (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 23, 2000) No. 98 Civ. 721 (CSH), 2000 WL 307400, at *3.

For all of the foregoing reasons, the Plaintiffs' Motion "to Correct the Clerical and Factual Inaccuracies of the July 23-24, 2002 Order of the Court" as well as those in the "Case Record" is hereby denied, except that the Answer submitted by the Searle Defendants (i.e. Docket No. 181) is deemed filed and entered on the docket nunc pro tunc as of December 7, 1999.

SO ORDERED.


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