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Deborah Trapp-Miley v. the City of New York

May 17, 2012

DEBORAH TRAPP-MILEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE CITY OF NEW YORK, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Matsumoto, United States District Judge:

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This court previously issued a Memorandum and Order ("Summary Judgment Memorandum and Order") adopting in part and modifying in part a Report and Recommendation ("R&R") prepared by Magistrate Judge Roanne Mann. Presently before the court are separate motions for reconsideration from plaintiff Deborah Trapp-Miley ("plaintiff") and the City of New York, Sergeant John Passamenti, and Police Officer Louis Morselli (collectively, "defendants"). For the reasons set forth below, the court denies the parties' motions for reconsideration.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff commenced the instant action against defendants, alleging violations of her civil rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983, and 1985, as well as pendent state law claims, all of which arose in connection with plaintiff's September 20, 2006 arrest for disorderly conduct and obstruction of governmental administration. (See generally ECF No. 1, Complaint.)

Defendants moved for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 (see generally ECF No. 43, Defendants' Memorandum of Law in Support of their Motion for Summary Judgment ("Defs.' SJ Mem.")), and the Honorable Roanne Mann issued an R&R, recommending that this court (1) deny summary judgment as to plaintiff's Section 1983 claims for false arrest and malicious prosecution against the individual officers; (2) deny summary judgment as to defendants' qualified immunity defense; (3) grant summary judgment as to plaintiff's Section 1983 claim for excessive force, Section 1981 and 1985 claims, Monell claim, and all state-law claims except plaintiff's malicious prosecution claim; and (4) grant plaintiff leave to amend her state-law malicious prosecution claim for the limited purpose of curing a pleading defect. (ECF No. 57, Report and Recommendation ("R&R"), at 34-35.) Defendants timely objected to specific portions of the R&R (see ECF No. 58, Defendants' Objections to the Magistrate's Report and Recommendation on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment ("Defs.' Obj.")), and plaintiff did not oppose or otherwise respond to defendants' objections.

On March 29, 2012, this court adopted Judge Mann's R&R, as modified. (See generally ECF No. 59, Memorandum and Order dated 3/29/2012 ("M&O").) Specifically, the court

(1) denied defendants' motion for summary judgment on plaintiff's federal and state claims for malicious prosecution with respect to disorderly conduct; (2) granted defendants' motion for summary judgment on all of plaintiff's remaining claims; (3) denied defendants' motion for summary judgment on their qualified immunity defense; and (4) granted plaintiff leave to amend her complaint for the limited purpose of curing a pleading defect regarding her malicious prosecution claim pursuant to New York General Municipal Law § 50-i. (Id. at 22-23.) The parties timely filed their motions to reconsider on April 13, 2012. (See ECF No. 62, Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration ("Defs.' Recon. Mem."); ECF No. 63-1, Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration ("Pl.'s Recon. Mem.").)

DISCUSSION*fn1

I.Legal Standard

The decision to grant or deny a motion for reconsideration falls squarely within the discretion of the district court. See Devlin v. Transp. Commc'ns Int'l Union, 175 F.3d 121, 132 (2d Cir. 1999). Local Civil Rule 6.3 provides that a party moving for reconsideration must set forth "concisely the matters or controlling decisions which counsel believes the court has overlooked." Local Rule 6.3. Undoubtedly, the "standard for granting such a motion is strict, and reconsideration will generally be denied unless the moving party can point to controlling decisions or data that the court overlooked . . . 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) (citations omitted). "The major grounds justifying reconsideration are 'an intervening change in controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice.'" Cordero v. Astrue, 574 F. Supp. 2d 373, 379--80 (S.D.N.Y. 2008) (quoting Virgin Atl. Airways, Ltd. v. Nat'l Mediation Bd., 956 F.2d 1245, 1255 (2d Cir. 1992)). "A motion for reconsideration may not be used to advance new facts, issues or arguments not previously presented to the Court." Davidson v. Scully, 172 F. Supp. 2d 458, 461 (S.D.N.Y. 2001). Moreover, "a motion to reconsider should not be granted where the moving party seeks solely to relitigate an issue already decided." Shrader, 70 F.3d at 257; see Shearard v. Geithner, No. 09--CV--0963, 2010 WL 2243414, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. May 30, 2010) ("Reconsideration is not a proper tool to repackage and relitigate arguments and issues already considered by the Court in deciding the original motion."); see also Torres v. Carry, 672 F. Supp. 2d 346, 348 (S.D.N.Y. 2009) ("A court must narrowly construe and strictly apply Rule 6.3 so as to avoid duplicative rulings on previously considered issues and to prevent Rule 6.3 from being used to advance different theories not previously argued, or as a substitute for appealing a final judgment."). The court reviews the parties' motions for reconsideration in light of the foregoing principles.

II.Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration

A.Probable Cause to Arrest for Obstruction of Governmental Administration

Plaintiff's first primary argument in her motion for reconsideration appears to address the court's finding that Sergeant Passamenti and Officer Morselli had probable cause to arrest plaintiff for obstruction of governmental administration in violation of New York Penal Law § 195.05.*fn2 (Pl.'s Recon. Mem. at 3.*fn3 ) Plaintiff urges the court to (1) reconsider its determination; (2) find that "there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether a reasonable officer would believe that plaintiff intentionally and physically interfered with defendants' investigation of the Trapp/Wright fight"; and reinstate plaintiff's Section 1983 false arrest claim and federal and state malicious prosecution claims. (Id. at 3-4.) Plaintiff fails to point to any "controlling decisions or data that the court overlooked" in support of her motion for reconsideration, however. Instead, plaintiff sets forth numerous "grounds" for reconsideration, none of which have merit.

First, plaintiff points to Provost v. City of Newburgh, 262 F.3d 146 (2d Cir. 2001), a case cited by Judge Mann in the R&R. (Id. at 3; cf. R&R at 13.) Provost, which addresses disorderly conduct, is inapposite to plaintiff's argument regarding the court's finding that, based on the undisputed factual record, Sergeant Passamenti and Officer Morselli had probable cause to arrest plaintiff for obstruction of governmental administration, a separate and unrelated charge. This finding that probable cause existed as a matter of law forecloses plaintiff's motion for reinstatement of her Section 1983 false arrest claim because, as the court noted in its March 29, 2012 Memorandum and Order, "probable cause as to any charge at the time of arrest is ...


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