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Reginald Simms v. the City of New York


September 14, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Levy, United States Magistrate Judge:



On May 19, 2011, I issued a Report and Recommendation (the "R&R") in which I respectfully recommended that defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint be granted due to plaintiff's failure to adequately plead a Monell claim against the City of New York for malicious prosecution. In addition to filing objections, plaintiff has moved for reconsideration of the R&R.

Motions for reconsideration are governed by Local Civil Rule 6.3, which provides that such a motion shall "set forth the matters or controlling decisions which counsel 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., Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995). A motion for reconsideration "should not be granted where the moving party seeks solely to relitigate an issue already decided." Id. At the same time, the movant may not assert new arguments or claims that were not before the court on the original motion. See Cohen v. Federal Express Corp., No. 07 Civ. 1288, 2007 WL 1573918, at *4 (S.D.N.Y. May 24, 2007) ("The law in this Circuit is clear: a party is not permitted to put forth new facts, issues or arguments that were not presented to the court on the original motion.") (internal quotation marks omitted); Levin v. Gallery 63 Antiques Corp., No. 04 Civ. 1504, 2007 WL 1288641, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 30, 2007) ("It is clear that the sole function of a proper motion for reconsideration is to call to the Court's attention dispositive facts or controlling authority that were plainly presented in the prior proceedings but were somehow overlooked in the Court's decision; in other words, an obvious and glaring mistake. Motions for reconsideration allow the district court to correct its own mistakes, not those of the Parties.") (internal quotation marks and citations omitted); Koehler v. The Bank of Bermuda Ltd., No. M18-302, 2005 WL 1119371, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. May 10, 2005) ("It is implicit in [the] language [of Rule 6.3] that a motion for reconsideration cannot assert new arguments or claims which were not before the court on the original motion and consequently cannot be said to have been considered.") (emphasis in original). In other words, the movant "is not supposed to treat the court's initial decision as the opening of a dialogue in which that party may then use [Local Rule 6.3] to advance new facts and theories in response to the court's rulings." Lawson v. New York City Bd. of Educ., No. 05 Civ. 825, 2011 WL 873146, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 11, 2011). Rather, the purpose of the rule is "to ensure the finality of decisions and to prevent the practice of a losing party examining a decision and then plugging the gaps of a lost motion with additional matters." Id. (citations omitted).

In addition, under Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the court may grant relief from an order where there is: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence; (3) fraud, misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party; (4) the judgment is void; (5) the judgment has been satisfied or otherwise discharged; or (6) for any other reason that justifies relief. Relief under Rule 60(b) is "extraordinary" and can be granted "only upon a showing of exceptional circumstances." Nemaizer v. Baker, 793 F.2d 58, 61 (2d Cir. 1986); accord United States v. Bank of N.Y., 14 F.3d 756, 759 (2d Cir. 1994).

Here, plaintiff does not claim that the court overlooked any controlling factual or legal matters that were put before it in the briefs or at oral argument on defendants' motion. Nor does plaintiff establish a basis to grant relief under Rule 60(b).

In the R&R, I found that plaintiff's boilerplate allegation of a policy, practice or custom of failing to properly train, supervise and discipline New York City police officers and prosecutors did not meet the fair-notice pleading standard set forth in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937 (2009). In addition to repeating some of the cites included in his original opposition brief (most of which pre-date Twombly and Iqbal and all of which the court considered), plaintiff now cites a number of district court decisions to which he did not refer previously. Obviously, the court could not have "overlooked" cases that plaintiff did not bring to its attention.*fn1 Moreover, nearly all of the new citations are to unpublished decisions, which are not binding precedent.*fn2 In sum, having reviewed plaintiff's motion for reconsideration throughly, I find no basis for granting it.*fn3


For the reasons stated above, plaintiff's motion for reconsideration is denied. SO ORDERED.

ROBERT M. LEVY United States Magistrate Judge

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