United States District Court, S.D. New York
RONNISH D. GUPTA, Petitioner,
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent
For Ronnish D Gupta, Plaintiff: Deborah Austern Colson, LEAD ATTORNEY, Colson & Harris LLP, New York, NY.
For Attorney General Of The United States of America (AG), Defendant: Dana Michelle Camilleri, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC; Yanal Harbi Yousef, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Office of Immigr, Washington, DC; Ann Varnon, Yanal H Yousef, United States Dept of Justice Office of Immigration Liti., Civil Division, Washington, DC.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
FRANK MAAS, United States Magistrate Judge.
In this proceeding pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1252(b)(5)(B), Plaintiff Ronnish Gupta (" Gupta" ) seeks a declaratory judgment that he is a United States citizen because he attained citizenship derivatively through his father, Ranjit Gupta (" Ranjit" ). On March 20, 2014, I issued a decision denying that application. (ECF No. 44 (" March 20 Decision" )). Familiarity with the March 20 Decision is presumed.
Gupta has now filed a motion for reconsideration, (ECF No. 50) (" Mot. to Reconsider" ), which the Attorney General opposes. As set forth below, I have reconsidered my prior evidentiary rulings and now conclude that the weight of the evidence tips, albeit only slightly, in Gupta's favor. Gupta's motion for reconsideration therefore is granted.
I. Standard of Review
Gupta has moved for reconsideration of the Court's prior ruling under Local Civil Rule 6.3. Pursuant to that rule and Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a court may reconsider its decision only if it has " overlooked 'controlling decisions or factual matters that were put before it on the underlying motion ... and which, had they been considered, might have reasonably altered the result before the court.'" Kubicek v. Westchester County, No. 08 Civ. 372 (ER), 2014 WL 4898479, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2014) (quoting Mikol v. Barnhart, 554 F.Supp.2d 498, 500 (S.D.N.Y. 2008) (ellipsis in original)). Accordingly, a motion to reconsider is not " a vehicle for litigants to make repetitive arguments that the court has already considered and it cannot be used to fill in the gaps of a losing argument." United States v. Treacy, No. 08 Cr. 0366 (RLC), 2009 WL 47496, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 8, 2009) (citing Range Road Music, Inc. v. Music Sales Corp., 90 F.Supp.2d 390, 391-92 (S.D.N.Y. 2000)); see also De Los Santos v. Fingerson, No. 97 CIV. 3972 (MBM), 1998 WL 788781, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 12, 1998) (a movant may not use a motion to reconsider as a means to commence a " dialogue ... to advance new theories or adduce new evidence in response to the court's rulings" ). To prevail, the movant thus must establish either the existence of an intervening change in the controlling law, or the availability of new evidence, or that manifest injustice or clear error would otherwise result. Treacy, 2009 WL 47496, at *1. This is a strict standard. SBC 2010-1, LLC v. Morton, 552 F.App'x 9, 11 (2d Cir. 2013); Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995). Ultimately, however, the decision on a motion for reconsideration is committed to the sound discretion of the district court Devlin v. Transp. Commc'ns Int'l Union.
175 F.3d 121. 132 (2d Cir. 1999); Mendell ex rel. Viacom, Inc. v. Gollust, 909 F.2d 724, 731 (2d Cir. 1990).
Gupta's reconsideration motion argues that the " Court made four critical errors warranting reversal" of the March 20 Decision, by (a) wrongfully " excluding as hearsay the testimony of Ranjit's brothers that Ranjit's letters were mailed from the United States; " (b) wrongfully " excluding as hearsay the contents of Ranjit's September 1970 phone call to Margaret Fried; " (c) " engag[ing] in improper speculation regarding the missing pages in Ranjit's second passport; " and (d) " misappl[ying] the preponderance of the ...