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State v. United Boatmen of New York

August 3, 2009

THE STATE OF NEW YORK, ALEXANDER B. GRANNIS, AS COMMISSIONER OF THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, AND THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, PLAINTIFFS, DEFENDANTS.
v.
UNITED BOATMEN OF NEW YORK, INC., NEW YORK FISHING TACKLE TRADE ASSOCIATION, INC., AND THE FISHERMEN'S CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION, INTERVENOR-PLAINTIFFS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles P. Sifton (electronically signed) United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

SIFTON, Senior Judge.

Gary Locke, in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce, the United States Department of Commerce, Jane Lubchenco, in her official capacity as Under Secretary of Commerce and as Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, James W. Balsiger, in his official capacity as Acting Assistant Administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service, Plaintiffs the State of New York, Alexander B. Grannis as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (together, "plaintiffs"), along with intervenor-plaintiffs United Boatmen of New York, Inc. ("UBNY"), New York Fishing Tackle Trade Association, Inc. ("NYFTTA"), and the Fishermen's Conservation Association ("FCA") (together, "intervenor-plaintiffs"), bring this action against defendants Gary Locke, in his official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce, the United States Department of Commerce, Jane Lubchenco, in her official capacity as Under Secretary of Commerce and Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ("NOAA"), James W. Balsiger, in his official capacity as the Acting Assistant Administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service ("NMFS") (together, the "federal defendants"),*fn1 and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (the "ASMFC" or "Commission"). Plaintiffs claim that the final management rule for the 2008 recreational summer flounder fishery issued by the Department of Commerce (the "DOC"), through the NMFS, pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended in 1996 by the Sustainable Fisheries Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1801, et seq. (the "MSA"), violates the MSA as well as standards of decision making under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 701, et seq. (the "APA"). In addition to these claims, intervenor-plaintiffs claim that that the final management rule for the 2008 recreational summer flounder fishery issued by the ASMFC violates the ASMFC Compact & Rules and Regulations, Pub. L. 77-539 (1942), as amended by Pub. L. 81-721 (1950) ("ASMFC Compact"), the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act, Pub. L. 103-206, 16 U.S.C. §§ 5101-5108 (the "ACFCMA"), the ASMFC Interstate Fisheries Management Program Charter (hereinafter "ISFMP Charter," available at http://www.asmfc.org (last visited Apr. 7, 2009)), and the APA.

Presently before this Court is intervenor-plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration of my June 30, 2009 order staying these proceedings with regard to defendant ASMFC pending resolution of ASMFC's interlocutory appeal. For the reasons set forth below, intervenor-plaintiff's motion for reconsideration is granted, and upon reconsideration, defendant ASMFC's motion for a stay is denied because I lack jurisdiction over further proceedings against defendant ASMFC pending decision on its appeal.

BACKGROUND

Familiarity with the factual background of this matter is presumed based on the record of proceedings before the undersigned. For a description of the facts of this case, see State of N.Y. v. Locke, No. 08-CV-2503, 2009 WL 1194085 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 30, 2009). What follows is a relevant procedural history.

On April 7, 2009, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b), I granted defendant ASMFC's request for certification of an immediate appeal of my ruling that intervenor-plaintiffs have a private right of action against ASMFC. In my memorandum opinion and order, I further noted that defendant ASMFC was entitled to seek immediate appeal of my decision that it is not entitled to sovereign immunity. Accordingly, on April 16, 2009, defendant ASMFC petitioned the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit for permission to appeal under § 1292(b). On June 9, 2009, the Court of Appeals granted ASMFC's petition for permission to appeal.

On June 11, 2009, defendant ASMFC filed its notice of interlocutory appeal pursuant to § 1292(b) and the collateral order doctrine. On the same day, it filed a motion to stay the proceedings against it pending resolution of the interlocutory appeal. On June 12, 2009, plaintiff the State of New York moved for summary judgment against the federal defendants, and intervenor-plaintiffs United Boatmen et al. moved for summary judgment against all defendants, including ASMFC.

On June 30, 2009, I granted defendant ASMFC's motion to stay the proceedings against it in a decision read from the bench. Intervenor-plaintiff's timely motion for reconsideration of that decision followed on July 14, 2009.

DISCUSSION

I. Standard for Reconsideration

Civil motions for reconsideration in this District are governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) and Local Civil Rule 6.3. U.S. v. James, No. 02 CV 0778, 2007 WL 914242, at *3 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 21, 2007). While timely motions for reconsideration are permitted under Local Civil Rule 6.3, "[t]he standard for granting such . . . motions 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 conclusions reached by the court." Shrader v. CSX Transp., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d. Cir. 1995). Reconsideration is also appropriate if there is an intervening change of controlling law, new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice. Doe v. N.Y. City Dep't of Social Servs., 709 F.2d 782, 789 (2d Cir. 1983); Casino, LLC v. M/V Royal Empress, No. 98-CV-2333, 1998 WL 566772, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 21, 1998).

Local Civil Rule 6.3 is to be narrowly construed and strictly applied so as to avoid repetitive arguments on issues that have been fully considered. See Caleb & Co. v. E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co., 624 F.Supp. 747, 748 (S.D.N.Y. 1985). In deciding a Local Rule 6.3 motion, courts will not allow a party to use the motion as a substitute for an appeal from a final judgment. See Morser v. A.T. & T. Info. Sys., 715 F.Supp. 516, 517 (S.D.N.Y. 1989); Korwek v. Hunt, 649 F.Supp. 1547, 1548 (S.D.N.Y. 1986). Accordingly, a party in its motion for reconsideration "may not advance new facts, issues or arguments ...


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