United States District Court, S.D. New York
June 20, 2005.
CONNECTICUT INDEMNITY COMPANY, Plaintiff,
QBC TRUCKING, INC., JQ & SONS TRUCKING, INC., BERRY CHIU, PROGRESSIVE CASUALTY INSURANCE CO., APL LINES, INC., EAGLE INSURANCE CO., and SUNG-IK JUNG, Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: WILLIAM PAULEY, District Judge
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
On May 5, 2005, this Court granted Plaintiff Connecticut
Indemnity Company's ("Connecticut Indemnity") motion for summary
judgment, and granted in part and denied in part Defendant
Progressive Casualty Insurance Co.'s ("Progressive")*fn1
motion for summary judgment. Progressive now moves to amend that
ruling pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) on the
ground that this Court did not decide an issue raised by
Progressive. (Progressive's Memorandum of Law in Support of
Reconsideration, dated May 11, 2005 ("Progressive Mem.") at 1
(citing Progressive's Reply Memorandum in Support of Summary
Judgment, dated Dec. 9, 2004, at 2-3).)
For the reasons set forth below, Progressive's motion is
I. Standard for Rule 59(e) Motion for Reconsideration
"Motions for reconsideration pursuant to Rule 59(e) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are governed by the same
standards as those governing motions under Rule 6.3 of the Local
Civil Rules of the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and
Eastern Districts of New York." Naiman v. N.Y. Univ. Hosp.
Ctr., No. 95 Civ. 6469 (RPP), 2005 WL 926904, at *1 (S.D.N.Y.
Apr 21, 2005); see also JPMorgan Chase Bank v. Cook,
322 F. Supp. 2d 353, 354 (S.D.N.Y. 2004). This standard is "strict."
Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995);
In re Health Mgmt. Sys., Inc. Sec. Litig., 113 F. Supp. 2d 613,
614 (S.D.N.Y. 2000) (A motion for reconsideration is an
"extraordinary remedy to be employed sparingly in the interests
of finality and conservation of scarce judicial resources."
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted)).
The decision to grant a motion for reconsideration is within
the sound discretion of the district court. In re Currency
Conversion Antitrust Fee Litig., 361 F. Supp. 2d 237, 246
(S.D.N.Y. 2005); accord Dietrich, 76 F. Supp. 2d at 327. The
movant bears the burden of demonstrating the need to reconsider a
ruling. Anglo Am. Ins. Co. v. CalFed, Inc., 940 F. Supp. 554,
557 (S.D.N.Y. 1996).
II. Progressive's Instant Motion
Progressive argues that this Court did not decide whether
Progressive has any obligation under its federal filings.
(Progressive Mem. at 1.) Progressive further argues that this
Court should amend its judgment to "include a declaration that
[Progressive] has no obligation to pay any judgment for damages arising out of the subject motor
vehicle accident, because its federal filing is inapplicable to
those damages." (Progressive Mem. at 1.)
However, Progressive did not move for summary judgment on that
issue. Instead, Progressive sought a "declar[ation] that any
obligation [Progressive] may have under its Federal Filing to pay
a judgment against any defendant in the Underlying Action is
excess to the obligations of Connecticut Indemnity Company and/or
Eagle Insurance Company." (Progressive's Motion for Summary
Judgment, dated Oct. 28, 2004; see also Progressive's
Memorandum of Law in Support of Summary Judgment, dated Oct. 28,
2004, at 13-14.) The issue presented by Progressive's
reconsideration motion was raised for the first time in
Progressive's reply papers on the underlying summary judgment
It was entirely appropriate for this Court to decline to
consider that question on the summary judgment motion. See
Bowles v. N.Y.C. Transit Auth., No. 03 Civ. 3073 (BSJ), 2004 WL
548021, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 18, 2004) ("The Court need not
consider arguments raised for the first time in reply
memoranda."); Landau v. New Horizon Partners, Inc., No. 02 Civ.
6802 (JGK), 2003 WL 22097989, at *10 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 8, 2003)
(rejecting argument "raised for the first time in . . . reply
papers . . . because the plaintiff had no opportunity to respond
to such arguments, and in any event, full consideration and
development of this issue requires that the argument be raised in
the original moving papers."); Playboy Enters. Inc. v. Dumas,
960 F. Supp. 710, 720 n. 7 (S.D.N.Y. 1997) ("Arguments made for
the first time in a reply brief need not be considered by a
court.") (collecting cases), aff'd., 159 F.3d 1347 (2d Cir.
Because Progressive's summary judgment moving papers did not
present the issue of whether it has any obligations under its
federal filings, this Court declines to reconsider its May 5, 2005 Memorandum and Order. See Peca v. Delta Air
Lines, Inc., No. 97 Civ. 0882 (JTE), 2000 WL 914112, at *1-2
(W.D.N.Y. July 7, 2000) (denying reconsideration of issue that
defendants did not raise in their moving papers because "courts
have an interest in encouraging the parties to present their
arguments as completely as possible in the first set of
motions"). Further, because "[t]he Court does not and will not
make a practice of addressing the merits of issues first raised
in a reply, as the opposing party is not afforded any opportunity
to respond to new issues raised in a reply," Knapp v. Miller,
873 F. Supp. 375, 378 n. 3 (D. Nev. 1994), Progressive fails to
justify the need for reconsideration, Virgin Atlantic Airways,
Ltd. v. National Mediation Bd., 956 F.2d 1245, 1255 (2d Cir.
1992) ("The major grounds justifying reconsideration are `an
intervening change of controlling law, the availability of new
evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent
manifest injustice.'" (quoting 18 C. Wright, A. Miller & E.
Cooper, Federal Practice & Procedure § 4478 at 790)). CONCLUSION
For the reasons set forth above, Progressive's motion for
reconsideration of this Court's May 5, 2005 Memorandum and Order