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Suffolk Federal Credit Union v. Cumis Insurance Society, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

August 5, 2013

SUFFOLK FEDERAL CREDIT UNION, Plaintiff,
v.
CUMIS INSURANCE SOCIETY, INC., Defendant

Page 400

For Plaintiff: Amelia Katherine Seewann, Esq., Jeremy Seth Goldman, Esq., Jessie F. Beeber, Esq., Patrick J. Boyle, Esq., Of Counsel, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, P.C., New York, NY.

For Defendant: Arthur Aizley, Esq., Brian Maurice Oubre, Esq., Of Counsel, Sedgwick Detert Moran & Arnold LLP, New York, NY.

OPINION

Page 401

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER

ARTHUR D. SPATT, United States District Judge.

This is an insurance coverage action in which the Plaintiff Suffolk Federal Credit Union (" Suffolk" ) alleges that the Defendant CUMIS Insurance Society, Inc. (" CUMIS" ) breached the terms of the parties' fidelity bond (the " Bond" ) by refusing to indemnify Suffolk for losses arising from a fraud committed by Suffolk's loan servicer, CU National Mortgage, LLC (" CU National" ).

On December 15, 2012, the Court issued an Order in which it, in relevant part (1) denied Suffolk's motions for partial summary judgment; and (2) denied in part and granted in part CUMIS's motions for summary judgment (the " December 15, 2012 Order" ). In this regard, among other findings, the Court found as a matter of law that Suffolk was not entitled to coverage under Coverage A, Employee or Director Dishonesty, for acts committed by CU National outside the scope of the three enumerated traditional loan service functions listed under the Bond's definition of " servicing contractor" ; and (2) Suffolk was not entitled to recover attorneys' fees. Further, the Court found, in relevant part, that triable issues of fact remained as to whether Suffolk's losses resulted directly from the fraudulent acts committed by CU National while performing its servicing functions.

The Plaintiff now moves for reconsideration of the December 15, 2012 Order pursuant to Local Civil Rule 6.3 and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (" Fed. R. Civ. P." ) 59(e) and 60(b). For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies in part and grants in part Suffolk's motion.

I. DISCUSSION

The Court assumes the parties' familiarity with the background of this case and the December 15, 2012 Order that Suffolk now challenges. See Suffolk Federal Credit Union v. CUMIS Ins. Soc., Inc., 910 F.Supp.2d 446 (E.D.N.Y. 2012) (Spatt, J.). Accordingly, the Court need not repeat those facts here and proceeds to analyze Suffolk's motion for reconsideration.

A. Legal Standard

In this case, the Plaintiff relies on Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) and 60(b) to seek its request for reconsideration. Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) governs motions to " alter or amend a judgment." Courts have recognized three major grounds justifying reconsideration pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e): " an intervening change of controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice." Virgin Atlantic Airways, Ltd. v. Nat'l Mediation Bd., 956 F.2d 1245, 1255 (2d Cir.1992) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). " 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--matters, in other words, that might reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion reached by the court." Rafter v. Liddle, 288 Fed.Appx. 768, 2008 WL 3842709, at *1 (2d Cir. 2008)

Page 402

(quoting Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir.1995)).

Of importance, a motion for reconsideration is not an opportunity for litigants to reargue their previous positions or present new or alternative theories that they failed to set forth in connection with the underlying motion. See Trans-Pro Logistic Inc. v. Coby Elecs. Corp., No. 05 Civ. 1759, 2010 WL 4065603, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 15, 2010) (citing Ferrand v. Credit Lyonnais, 292 F.Supp.2d 518, 520 (S.D.N.Y. 2003)); see also Zdanok v. Glidden Co., Durkee Famous Foods Div., 327 F.2d 944, 953 (2d Cir. 1964) (" [W]here litigants have once battled for the court's decision, they should neither be required, nor without good reason permitted, to battle for it again." ). Indeed, a motion for reconsideration should be " narrowly construed and strictly applied so as to avoid repetitive arguments on issues that have already been considered fully by the court" and is considered an " extraordinary remedy to be employed sparingly in the interests of finality and conservation of scarce judicial resources." Trans-Pro Logistic Inc., 2010 WL 4065603, at *1 (internal quotation marks omitted). Ultimately, the decision as to whether to grant a motion for reconsideration rests within the sound discretion of the district court. Kapsis v. Bloom, No. 08 Civ. 3092, 2009 WL 414001, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 17, 2009).

By contrast, as an alternative to Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e), Fed R. Civ. P. 60(b) permits a court, in its discretion, to rescind or amend a final judgment or order in limited circumstances. In this regard, Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b) provides that " [o]n motion and upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party or a party's legal representative from final judgment, order, ...


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