The opinion of the court was delivered by: Seybert, District Judge
Presently pending before the Court is pro se Plaintiffs' William E. Farber, Mary Farber, and N.M.F.'s ("Plaintiffs") motions for reconsideration of this Court's December 1, 2009 Order ("December 1, 2009 Order") denying, among other things, Plaintiffs' application for a protective order maintaining the sealed status of the action. Additionally, Plaintiffs seeks leave to amend the Complaint. For the reasons discussed herein, Plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration is DENIED and their motion to amend is GRANTED.
For a more detailed discussion of the factual background of this case, see the Court's October 17, 2009 Order ("October Order"). On July 29, 2009, Plaintiffs commenced this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. At the time of the commencement, L.A.F., a minor child, was a party to the action. In its October Order, this Court held that William E. Farber and Mary Farber (collectively, "Mr. and Mrs. Farber"), as non-attorneys, could not represent their minor children, and noting that minor children may not proceed pro se.
On November 2, 2009, Plaintiffs filed a letter application. In that motion, Plaintiffs sought, among other things, to voluntarily dismiss the claims of minor L.A.F. and maintain the sealed status of this action. In its entirety, Plaintiffs' application consisted of one page, and did not contain a memorandum of law in support of any motion. In response, Defendants opposed the applications but ultimately consented to the withdrawal of L.A.F.'s claims. Defendants also objected to maintaining the sealed status of the case since the parties at interest were now of majority age.
On December 1, 2009, this Court allowed the voluntary dismissal of L.A.F.'s claim and denied Plaintiffs' application for a protective order maintaining the sealed status of the action. Presently before the Court is Plaintiffs' motion to reconsider this Court's denial of the sealing order.
I. Motion for Reconsideration
Motions for reconsideration may be brought pursuant to
Rules 59(e) and 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rule 6.3. See Wilson v. Pessah, No. 05-CV-3143, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17820, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. March 14, 2007). A motion for reconsideration is appropriate under Rule 59(e) when the moving party believes the Court overlooked important "matters or controlling decisions" that would have influenced the prior decision. Shamis v. Ambassador Factors Corp., 187 F.R.D. 148, 151, (S.D.N.Y. 1999). Reconsideration is not a proper tool to repackage and relitigate arguments and issues already considered by the Court in deciding the original motion. See United States v. Gross, No. 98-CR-0159, 2002 WL 32096592, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 5, 2002) ("A party may not use a motion to reconsider as an opportunity to reargue the same points raised previously."). Nor is it proper to raise new arguments and issues. See Lehmuller v. Inc. Vill. of Sag Harbor, 982 F. Supp. 132, 135 (E.D.N.Y. 1997).
Rule 60(b) provides "extraordinary judicial relief" that may "only be granted upon a showing of exceptional circumstances." Nemaizer v. Baker, 793 F.2d 58, 61 (2d Cir. 1986). Local Civil Rule 6.3 provides that a party moving for reconsideration must "set[ ] forth concisely the matters or controlling decisions which [the party] believes the court has overlooked." "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., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995); see also Medoy v. Warnaco Empls. Long Term Disability Ins. Plan, No. 97-CV-6612, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7635, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 15, 2006) ("The standard... is strict in order to dissuade repetitive arguments on issues that have already been considered fully by the Court.").
As a basis for their request to re-seal this case, Plaintiffs argue that they are subject to the protections of the Crime Victims Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3771 (the "Act"). But as a prerequisite to obtaining the Act's protections, Plaintiffs must show that they are "crime victims" within ...