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Julia Johnson and Djm v. Eddie James Myers

June 22, 2011

JULIA JOHNSON AND DJM, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
EDDIE JAMES MYERS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Seybert, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

On February 23, 2010, the Court issued an Order ("February 23 Order") addressing three separate motions to dismiss. See Docket No. 77. The February 23 Order dismissed with prejudice all claims against Defendants Donna Guarton, Nassau County Baldwin, U.S.F.D., and Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. It also dismissed some of the claims asserted against Defendant Eddie James Myers, Jr. Plaintiffs Julia Johnson and DJM, pro se, have now moved for reconsideration of the portion of the February 23 Order dismissing with prejudice the claims against Ms. Guarton, Nassau County Baldwin, U.S.F.D., and Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. For the following reasons, that motion is DENIED.

DISCUSSION

I. Standard of Review

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, 05--CV--3143, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17820, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. March 14, 2007). Rule 59(e) permits a party to move for reconsideration when it 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, 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). Reconsideration may only be granted when the Court did not evaluate decisions or data that might reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion reached by the Court. Wechsler v. Hunt Health Sys., 186 F. Supp. 2d 402, 410 (S.D.N.Y. 2002).

Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides relief from a judgment for, inter alia, mistakes, inadvertence, excusable neglect, newly discovered evidence, and fraud. FED. R. CIV. P. 60(b). 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).

II. Application

Plaintiffs identify no "matters or controlling decisions" that the Court overlooked. Shamis, 187 F.R.D. at 151. Nor do Plaintiffs identify any mistakes, inadvertence, excusable neglect, newly discovered evidence, or fraud. FED. R. CIV. P. 60(b). Instead, Plaintiffs seek to relitigate issues and legal arguments the Court already decided against them, or raise entirely new issues and claims. Such conduct is, precisely, what reconsideration is not for. See Gross, 98--CR--0159, 2002 WL 32096592 at *4; Lehmuller, 982 F. Supp. at 135. The Court explains below, in more detail.

A. Claims Against Mr. Vance

With respect to Mr. Vance, Plaintiffs contend that the case should not be dismissed against him because Ms. Johnson was supposedly illegally terminated on October 23, 2008. This "new" fact, which Plaintiffs neglected to plead (alleging only Ms. Johnson's March 2007 suspension) does not warrant reconsideration. To begin with, raising it now is procedurally improper, because reconsideration is not the right vehicle for raising new issues. Lehmuller, 982 F. Supp. at 135. And, in any event, it would not have affected the Court's decision.

Plaintiffs' Title VII claim would still fail because--as Plaintiffs pled in the Complaint--Ms. Johnson failed to file suit within ninety days of receiving her right to sue letter.

See Docket No. 77 at 15 (citing Compl. p. 5). Thus, the claim is time-barred.

And Plaintiffs' 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim fairs no better. If, as Plaintiffs now allege, Ms. Johnson was not fired until October 2008, the claim may be timely. But it is neither well-pled nor legally cognizable.

If Plaintiffs sue Mr. Vance in his individual capacity, they allege no facts suggesting his personal involvement in the alleged harassment, discrimination, or improper termination. And, because Mr. Vance did not become the New York County District Attorney until January ...


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