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David B. Jacobs v. Michael Mostow

August 20, 2012

DAVID B. JACOBS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL MOSTOW, HORACE WILLIAMS, HERSCHEL WILLIAMS, ARNOLD GOLDBERG, ROOSEVELT UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT, BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE ROOSEVELT UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT, GLENN SIMMONS, ARTHUR REGAL, JASPAN SCHLESINGER HOFFMAN L.L.P., LAWRENCE TENENBAUM, STEVEN A. FAYER, M.D., PEARSON, RANDALL SOLOMON, M.D., NEW YORK STATE UNITED TEACHERS, ROOSEVELT TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION, THE NEW YORK STATE TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM, THE STATE OF NEW YORK EDUCATION DEPARTMENT, AND THE STATE OF NEW YORK, DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

Presently pending before the Court is pro se Plaintiff David B. Jacobs' motion pursuant to Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure seeking relief from the Judgment entered in favor of Defendants on September 22, 2005. For the following reasons, Plaintiff's motion is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

The Court assumes familiarity with the facts of this case which the Court detailed in its September 22, 2006 Memorandum and Order dismissing this action. (Docket Entry 77.) Thus, the Court will only briefly summarize the relevant facts and procedural history that developed subsequent to the Court's Order.

The Clerk of the Court entered judgment in favor of Defendants on September 22, 2006. (Docket Entry 78.) On October 18, 2006, Plaintiff timely filed a Notice of Appeal. (Docket Entry 79.) On March 27, 2008, the Second Circuit issued a summary order affirming this Court's Order dismissing Plaintiff's Complaint. (Docket Entry 81.)

In April 2007, while his appeal to the Second Circuit was pending, Plaintiff commenced an action in Nassau County Supreme Court seeking "similar if not identical relief" to the present action. (Camhi Aff. Ex. C.) That action was dismissed with prejudice (Camhi Aff. Exs. C-D), and such dismissal was affirmed by the Appellate Division on January 5, 2010 (Camhi Aff. Exs. E-F).

In May 2011, Plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment in a related, earlier-filed action in Nassau County Supreme Court. (Camhi Aff. Ex. G.) That motion raised many of the same issues presented to the Court in Plaintiff's pending motion. On January 18, 2012, the state court denied Plaintiff's motion and dismissed the majority of the claims in Plaintiff's complaint. (Docket Entry 107-1.) Plaintiff indicated in a letter to this Court, dated February 18, 2012, that he filed a notice of appeal of that decision. (Docket Entry 112.) The current status of that appeal is unknown.

On December 9, 2011, Plaintiff filed a motion for relief from this Court's September 22, 2006 judgment. That motion is presently pending before the Court.

DISCUSSION

Plaintiff moves to vacate the judgment pursuant to subsections (4), (5), and (6) of Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Defendants argue, inter alia, that Plaintiff's motion must be denied (1) as time-barred and (2) because the Court lacks jurisdiction to consider it. The Court will address each of these arguments separately.

I. Timeliness

Any motion under Rule 60(b)(4), (5), or (6) "must be made within a reasonable time." FED. R. CIV. P. 60(c)(1). Determining whether a motion to vacate has been filed within a reasonable time "requires scrutin[izing] the particular circumstances of the case, and balanc[ing] the interests in finality with the reason for delay." Hom v. Brennan, 840 F. Supp. 2d 576, 581 (E.D.N.Y. 2011) (alterations in original) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted); see also DeWeerth v. Baldinger, 38 F.3d 1266, 1275 (2d Cir. 1994). In striving for this balance, courts in this Circuit require the party seeing vacatur to:

[1] produce "highly convincing" evidence in support of the motion, [2] show good cause for ...


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