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TRUSTEES OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY v. BETANCOURT

August 22, 2005.

THE TRUSTEES OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK a/k/a COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY Plaintiff,
v.
ALBERTO BETANCOURT, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: THOMAS GRIESA, Senior District Judge

OPINION

Defendant Alberto Betancourt has moved for reconsideration or vacating of this court's October 7 and October 29, 2004 orders pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) and Local Rule 6.3, as well as for an order certifying an interlocutory appeal and a stay of proceedings in this matter pending an interlocutory appeal or petition for mandamus before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Plaintiff Columbia University opposes these motions.

Defendant's motion for reconsideration or vacating of the earlier orders is denied. Defendant's motion for certification of an interlocutory appeal and a stay is denied as moot.

  PROCEDURAL HISTORY

  Plaintiff Columbia University brought this action against defendant Alberto Betancourt in the Civil Court of the City of New York alleging that defendant owes plaintiff unpaid tuition. On May 12, 2004 defendant removed the action to this federal district court. Plaintiff promptly moved for an order remanding the action to the state court. Plaintiff also sought an award of costs and expenses, including attorney fees, incurred as a result of the removal.

  By an order dated October 7, 2004 this court granted both of plaintiff's motions, and ordered plaintiff to submit an application regarding the amount of costs and expenses. The fees application will not be addressed in this opinion. The order dated October 29, 2004 put into effect the October 7 order regarding the remand.

  Defendant promptly appealed the orders. On October 27 defendant noticed his appeal of the October 7 order, and on December 1 defendant noticed his appeal of the October 29 order.

  Also, on November 22, 2004 defendant moved for reargument, reconsideration, or vacating of the October 7 and October 29 orders.

  Finally, defendant filed a petition for mandamus in the Court of Appeals on November 12, seeking an order disqualifying and removing Judge Griesa from both this action and another action involving Betancourt and Columbia University.

  On November 15 defendant moved in the District Court for an order certifying an interlocutory appeal and for a stay of this action pending the Court of Appeals' resolution of the petition for mandamus.

  THE DECISIONS OF THE COURT OF APPEALS

  On April 11, 2005 the Court of Appeals dismissed defendant's appeals of the October 7 and October 29 orders "because they lack an arguable basis in fact or law." The Trustees of Columbia University v. Betancourt, No. 04-6362-cv (2d Cir. Apr. 11, 2005). The mandate issued on June 1, 2005.

  Also on April 11, the Court of Appeals denied defendant's motion for mandamus because petitioners failed to demonstrate a clear abuse of discretion warranting such relief. In re: Ada Rodriguez, et al., No. 04-5991-op (2d ...


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