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Poindexter v. Cash Money Records

United States District Court, S.D. New York

September 18, 2014



Cynthia S. Arato, Esq., James Darrow, Esq., SHAPIRO, ARATO & ISSERLES LLP, New York, NY, Attorneys for Defendant.


ROBERT W. SWEET, District Judge.

Defendant Cash Money Records ("Cash Money" or the "Defendant") has submitted a letter dated August 6, 2014 (the "August 6 Letter") requesting for clarification or, in the alternative, reconsideration of the Opinion and Order issued in this instant action filed on August 5, 2014 (the "Order"), No. 13 Civ. 5882, ECF. No. 34. The Order dismissed the complaint (the "Complaint") filed by pro se plaintiff Jacqueline Poindexter ("Poindexter" or "Plaintiff") sua sponte and granted Plaintiff leave to replead an amended complaint within 20 days of the filing of the Order. Defendant contends that given the grant of summary judgment in a related action, Poindexter v. Cash Money Records, No. 13 Civ. 1155, ECF No. 45 (the "Robert Poindexter Action"), and subsequent sua sponte dismissal in the Order, Plaintiff should not be given leave to replead.

Based on the reasoning set forth below, the Defendant's motion is denied

Prior Proceedings

The Complaint and Amended Complaint filed on August 25, 2014 (the "AC") allege that a recording titled "Still Ballin" contains an unauthorized sample of a musical composition and sound recording titled "Love Gonna Pack Up and Walk Out (Love Gonna Pack Up)" (" Love Gonna Pack Up "), which infringes Plaintiff's alleged rights in these works. A detailed recitation of the facts alleged in the Complaint, the AC, and complaint filed in the Robert Poindexter Action (the "Robert Poindexter Complaint") is provided in the opinions and orders filed on March 3, 2014, Robert Poindexter v. Cash Money Records, 13 Civ. 1155, 2014 WL 818955 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 3, 2014) (the "March 3 Opinion"), and April 8, 2014, Jacqueline Poindexter v. Cash Money Records, 13 Civ. 5882, 2014 WL 1383781 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 8' 2014) (the "April 8 Opinion"). Familiarity with the allegations set forth in those opinions is assumed.

The March 3 Opinion held that Robert Poindexter was barred by collateral estoppel from raising the issue of his ownership of the recording Love Gonna Pack Up, the same recording at issue in the Complaint and AC, based in part on the opinion of Honorable Laura Taylor Swain in Poindexter v. EMI Record Group Inc., No. 11 Civ. 559(LTS) (JLC), 2012 WL 1027639 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 27, 2012), and granted Defendant's motion for summary judgment as "Cash Money had no involvement" in the recording underlying the complaints, for "Still Ballin" was self-released by the artist Shad Gregory Moss, professionally known as Bow Wow ("Bow Wow") and not Cash Money.

The April 8 Opinion found the instant action to be related to the Robert Poindexter Action. The Robert Poindexter Complaint and Complaint are virtually identical. See April 8 Opinion, 2014 WL 1383781, at *2. Given the similarity of the two complaints, the April 8 Opinion ordered the Plaintiff to file an opposition to a potential sua sponte dismissal within twenty days. Id. The Order subsequently dismissed the Complaint sua sponte. See Order at 5-8.

Defendant submitted the August 6 Letter seeking clarification or, in the alternative, reconsideration of the portion of the Order which granted Poindexter leave to replead. Cash Money contends that since the March 3 Opinion dismissed the Robert Poindexter Action on summary judgment grounds Plaintiff should be barred from pleading an amended complaint. Plaintiff subsequently filed the AC on August 25, 2014. Treating the letter as a motion, the matter was marked fully submitted on September 3, 2014.

The Applicable Standard

Under Local Rule 6.3, a court may grant reconsideration where the party moving for reconsideration demonstrates an "intervening change in controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice." Schoolcraft v. City of New York, 298 F.R.D. 134, 136 (S.D.N.Y. 2014) (quoting Henderson v. Metro. Bank & Trust Co., 502 F.Supp.2d 372, 375-76 (S.D.N.Y. 2007)); see also Parrish v. Sollecito, 253 F.Supp.2d 713, 715 (S.D.N.Y. 2003) ("Reconsideration may be granted to correct clear error, prevent manifest injustice or review the court's decision in light of the availability of new evidence.") (citing Virgin Atl. Airways, Ltd. v. Nat'l Mediation Ed., 956 F.2d 1245, 1255 (2d Cir. 1992)).

Reconsideration of a court's prior order under Local Rule 6.3 or Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) "is an extraordinary remedy to be employed sparingly in the interests of finality and conservation of scarce judicial resources." Ferring B. V. v. Allergan, Inc., No. 12 Civ. 2650(RWS), 2014 WL 4082930, at *l (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 7, 2014) (quoting Sikhs for Justice v. Nath, 893 F.Supp.2d 598, 605 (S.D.N.Y. 2012)). Accordingly, the standard of review applicable to such a motion is "strict." Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995).

The burden is on the movant to demonstrate that the Court overlooked controlling decisions or material facts that were before it on the original motion, and that might "materially have influenced its earlier decision.'" Anglo Am. Ins. Group v. CalFed, Inc., 940 F.Supp. 554, 557 (S.D.N.Y. 1996) (quoting Morser v. AT&T Info. Sys., 715 F.Supp. 516, 517 (S.D.N.Y. 1989)). A party seeking reconsideration may neither repeat "arguments already briefed, considered and decided, " nor "advance new facts, issues or ...

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