The opinion of the court was delivered by: Frank Maas, United States Magistrate Judge.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
ELECTRONICALLY FILED DOC #:
On January 22, 2009, the Plaintiffs moved for reconsideration and clarification of a Discovery Order ("Order") that I had issued on January 7, 2009. For the reasons set forth below, that motion (Docket No. 137), is denied, except insofar as it seeks clarification of the scope of an "attorneys' eyes only" restriction in the Order.
The Order denied the Plaintiffs' requests for:
(a) a protective order barring discovery of identifying immigration information (except to the extent disclosed in the Second Amended Complaint ("SAC")) and preventing the Defendants from using discovery designated as confidential for any purpose other than the defense of this suit; and (b) leave for six unnamed Plaintiffs to proceed anonymously. (See Docket No. 123).
With respect to the first application, I determined that immigration-related information ("Information") was central to the parties' claims and might help the Defendants demonstrate a lawful basis for their detention of certain Plaintiffs. (Order at 4-5). I also found that the Information might bolster the Defendants' assertions that they suspected illegality at certain residence locations, and also be relevant to the credibility of the Plaintiffs and their witnesses. (Id. at 5).
I further determined that the spectre of the Information's use in another lawsuit was not sufficient to warrant a broad protective order applicable not only to the putative class, but to anyone "identified through the discovery process." (Id. at 6-7). I nevertheless directed that the Information be limited (at least until trial) to "attorneys' eyes only." (Id. at 7).
I concluded with respect to the Defendants' second application that the Defendants would be severely prejudiced if the six unnamed Plaintiffs were permitted to proceed anonymously. (Id. at 9). I therefore directed that their names be provided to the Defendants, although I allowed such information to be designated for "attorneys' eyes only," and permitted the anonymous Plaintiffs to be referred to by pseudonyms in public filings. (Id. at 9-10).
On January 22, 2009, the Plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration of the Order, alleging that: (a) the Plaintiffs' Information is not relevant to the lawfulness of any seizures because those seizures occurred before the Defendants had obtained any Information; (b) any potential relevance of the Plaintiffs' immigration status to their credibility is insufficient to deny them the requested protective order; (c) there is no basis for requiring the disclosure the Information of third-party witnesses or putative class members; and (d) the Plaintiffs have shown good cause for a protective order. (See Pls.' Mem. at i). The Plaintiffs' motion also seeks to clarify whether the "attorneys' eyes only" designation permits in-house counsel at defendant Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") to view any information so designated. (See Pls.' Mem. at 19-22). The Defendants join in the Plaintiffs' motion only with respect to this request for clarification. (See Defs.' Mem. at 13-15).
The standard for granting a motion for reconsideration "is strict, and reconsideration will generally be denied unless the moving party can point to controlling decisions or data that the court overlooked -- matters, in other words, that might reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion reached by the court." Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995); see also In re Health Mgmt. Sys., Inc. Secs. Litig., 113 F. Supp. 2d 613, 614 (S.D.N.Y. 2000) (reconsideration is an "extraordinary remedy to be employed sparingly in the interests of finality and ...