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Nicholas v. City of Binghamton

United States District Court, Second Circuit

December 17, 2013

CECILIA NICHOLAS, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK, and Binghamton Police Officers CHARLES HARDER, JAMES MOONEY, Capt. JOHN CHAPMAN, and Chief JOSEPH ZIKUSKI. Defendants.

DECISION and ORDER

THOMAS J. McAVOY, Senior District Judge.

By Order dated September 3, 2013, the Court granted Defendant's motion for attorney fees and costs pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988 and 42 U.S.C. § 12205. See Dec. and Order, ECF No. 143. The Court declined to award any attorney fees or costs with respect to the state law claims. Id. Defendants were permitted to submit materials allowing the Court to conduct a meaningful review of the claimed attorneys' fees and costs. The Court has now received Defendant's Attorney's Affidavit Concerning Costs and Expenses and Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration. See Aff. in Supp., ECF No. 144; Mot. for Reconsideration., ECF No. 147 (amended at No. 148).

I. STANDARD

a. Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration

Plaintiff moves for reconsideration of the Court's order awarding fees arguing that her suit was not frivolous. ECF. No 148. It will be recalled that all but Plaintiff's claim regarding use of excessive force were dismissed on summary judgment. See Mem.-Dec. and Ord., ECF No. 54. In April 2013, a jury found no cause of action on Plaintiff's remaining claim. See Jury Verdict, ECF No. 131. On May 20, 2013, Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal. ECF No. 148 at 2, ¶ 5. However, Plaintiff did not follow through in continuing with the appeal. Id. at ¶ 7. By Order dated September 3, 2013, the Court granted Defendant's motion for attorney fees and costs pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988 and 42 U.S.C. § 12205. See ECF No. 143. Because this Court determined that Plaintiff's claims against Defendants were without merit, the City is entitled to attorney's fees and costs.

Rule 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides, in pertinent part, that

[o]n motion..., the court may relieve a party... from a final judgment for the following reasons:
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) fraud..., misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party;
(4) the judgment is void;
(5) the judgment has been satisfied, released or discharged; it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or applying it prospectively is no longer equitable; or
(6) any other reason that justifies relief.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). Reconsideration of a prior decision "is discretionary, and the factors that generally compel reconsideration are an intervening change of controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice.'" Musaelian v. Posada, 1997 WL 733865, at *1 (N.D.N.Y. 1997) (quoting Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. v. Nat'l Mediation Bd. , 956 F.2d 1245, 1255 (2d Cir. 1992)). "Naturally, a Court is disinclined to reconsider a prior decision unless a party has satisfied one of these factors, " and "is properly granted only upon a showing of exceptional circumstances." Musaelian, 1997 WL 733865 at *1; La Grande v. Decrescente Dist. Co., Inc., 2009 WL 890584, at *4 (N.D.N.Y. 2009). Moreover, "a motion for reconsideration is not a mechanism to ...


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