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The Hanover Insurance Company v. Lawrence P. Hopwood; Kerry P.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


July 29, 2011

THE HANOVER INSURANCE COMPANY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LAWRENCE P. HOPWOOD; KERRY P.
HOPWOOD; RICHARD J. HOPWOOD; ANN HOPWOOD; HFP INVESTMENT CO.;
MARTIN M. HOPWOOD, JR.; AND ANN M. HOPWOOD, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Briccetti, J.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

Defendants Lawrence P. Hopwood ("Lawrence") and Kerry P. Hopwood ("Kerry") have filed a motion for reconsideration (Doc. #31) of the Court's memorandum of decision denying their motion to vacate the judgment entered against them.

For the reasons set forth below, defendants' motion is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

The underlying facts and the identities of the parties are set forth in the Court's previous ruling and will not be repeated here.

The Court entered default judgment against Lawrence and Kerry on April 8, 2011 (Doc. #18). On April 14, they filed a motion to vacate the judgment (Doc. #19), which was denied on May 26, 2011 (Doc. #30).

In its previous ruling, the Court concluded Lawrence and Kerry's default was not willful but was due to "an oversight of their own creation, and that error weighs somewhat against granting relief." The Court did not find there would be any prejudice against plaintiff had the Court vacated the judgment. Most importantly, the Court found there was no showing by defendants of a meritorious defense.

Lawrence and Kerry filed their motion for reconsideration arguing (1) they have a meritorious defense; and (2) plaintiff failed to comply with Rule 55(b)(2) in seeking entry of default judgment.*fn1

DISCUSSION

To prevail on a motion for reconsideration, "the movant must demonstrate 'an intervening change of controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice.'" Catskill Dev., L.L.C. v. Park Place Entm't Corp., 154 F. Supp. 2d 696, 701 (S.D.N.Y. 2001) (quoting Doe v. NYC Dep't of Soc. Servs., 709 F.2d 782, 789 (2d Cir. 1983)). Such a motion should be granted only where the Court has overlooked facts or precedent which might have "materially influenced" the earlier decision. Park South Tenants Corp. v. 200 Cent. Park South Assocs. L.P., 754 F. Supp. 352, 354 (S.D.N.Y. 1991). The movant's burden is made weighty to avoid "wasteful repetition of arguments already briefed, considered and decided." Weissman v. Fruchtman, 124 F.R.D. 559, 560 (S.D.N.Y. 1989). The motion must be "narrowly construed and strictly applied in order to discourage litigants from making repetitive arguments on issues that have been thoroughly considered by the court." Range Road Music, Inc., v. Music Sales Corp., 90 F. Supp. 2d 390, 391-92 (S.D.N.Y. 2000) (citation omitted). Further, the motion may not "advance new facts, issues or arguments not previously presented to the Court." Morse/Diesel, Inc. v. Fidelity & Deposit Co. of Md., 768 F. Supp. 115, 116 (S.D.N.Y. 1991). This limitation ensures finality and "prevent[s] the practice of a losing party examining a decision and then plugging the gaps of the lost motion with additional


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