JEFFREY BARTOSZEWSKI, STEVEN BARTOSZEWSKI, DAVID BARTOSZEWSKI, and BART'S TRUCKING & WATER COMPANY, Plaintiffs,
TOWN OF HANNIBAL, RONALD GREENLEAF, AARON CASS, DWAYNE SHEPARD, and JOE BLANCHARD, in their individual and official capacities, jointly and severally, Defendants.
MARK DAVID BLUM, ESQ., LAW OFFICE OF MARK DAVID BLUM, Manlius, New York, Attorneys for Plaintiffs.
JEFFREY D. BROWN, ESQ., MACKENZIE HUGHES LLP, Syracuse, New York, Attorneys for Defendants.
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
FREDERICK J. SCULLIN, Senior District Judge.
Currently before the Court is Defendants' motion for reconsideration of the Court's September 1, 2012 Memorandum-Decision and Order. See Dkt. No. 38. Defendants seek reconsideration on the ground that the Court inadvertently failed to address their qualified immunity argument. See Dkt. No. 38-2 at 1. Plaintiffs oppose this motion. See Dkt. No. 40.
In its Memorandum-Decision and Order dated September 1, 2012, the Court granted in part and denied in part Defendants' motion for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Dkt. No. 37. Specifically, the Court (1) granted Defendants' motion with respect to Plaintiffs' procedural due process claim regarding Defendants' shutting off of Plaintiffs' water at the Mill Street Property; (2) denied Defendants' motion with respect to Plaintiffs' procedural due process claim regarding Defendants' shutting off of Plaintiffs' water at the Route 104 Property; (3) denied Defendants' motion with respect to Plaintiffs' illegal seizure claim regarding the hydrant on the Mill Street property; (4) granted Defendants' motion with respect to Plaintiffs' illegal search and seizure claim in all other respects; (5) granted Defendants' motion with respect to Plaintiffs' claim for abuse of civil process; and (6) granted Defendants' motion with respect to Plaintiffs' Monell claim. See id. Accordingly, the only remaining claims are Plaintiffs' due process and illegal seizure claims against the individual Defendants. See id.
A. Standard of review for a motion for reconsideration
Local Rule 7.1(g) governs motions for reconsideration of interlocutory orders in this District. See Sumner v. McCall, 103 F.Supp.2d 555, 558 (N.D.N.Y. 2000). Generally, there are only three grounds on which a court may grant a motion for reconsideration: "(1) an intervening change in controlling law, (2) availability of new evidence not previously available or (3) to correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice." McCain v. Dimon & Bacorn, No. 3:10-CV-766, 2011 WL 3738455, *1 (N.D.N.Y. Aug. 24, 2011) (citation omitted); Taormina v. Int'l Bus. Machs. Corp., No. 1:04-CV-1508, 2006 WL 3717338, *1 (N.D.N.Y. Dec. 14, 2006) (citation omitted).
In this case, Defendants have proffered evidence to demonstrate that the Court inadvertently failed to address their qualified immunity defense once it became clear that Plaintiffs were suing Defendants in their individual capacities. Therefore, the Court grants Defendants' motion for reconsideration so that it can address their qualified immunity argument.
B. Qualified immunity
Qualified immunity protects government officials from liability when "their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known." Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982) (citations and footnote omitted); see also Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, 131 S.Ct. 2074, 2083 (2011) (citations omitted); Sudler v. City of New York, 689 F.3d 159, 174 (2d Cir. 2012) (citations omitted). The law of qualified immunity seeks to strike a balance between "the need to hold public officials accountable when they exercise power irresponsibly and the need to shield officials from harassment, distraction, and liability when they perform their duties reasonably." Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U.S. 223, 231 (2009).
A court may dismiss a claim based on qualified immunity at the summary judgment stage only if it finds that a defendant has met his burden to demonstrate that no rational jury could conclude (1) that he violated a statutory or constitutional right and (2) that the right was clearly established at the time of the challenged conduct. See Tavares v. ...