United States District Court, S.D. New York
OPINION AND ORDER
KATHERINE POLK FAILLA, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Opinion and Order resolves Plaintiff Kelly Price's
motions to reconsider and to amend her complaint. Plaintiff
filed this action pro se on July 24, 2015. On
December 2, 2016, the Court granted Plaintiff leave to file a
fourth amended complaint (“FAC”) for the limited
purpose of naming Inspector Olufunmilo F. Obe and Selvena
Brooks (together with the City of New York, the “City
Defendants”) as defendants who allegedly blocked
Plaintiff from viewing or posting replies to two Twitter
accounts administered by the City of New York, namely, the
account for the New York City Police Department's
(“NYPD”) 28th Precinct, @NYPD28PCT, and the
account for the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic
Violence, @NYCAgainstAbuse. (Dkt. #30 at 13-14). On January
3, 2017, Plaintiff filed a FAC that was not compliant with
the Court's December 2 order. (Dkt. #41). Among other
deficiencies, the FAC failed to name Obe and Brooks as
defendants, reasserted claims that the Court had previously
dismissed, and contained additional facts in support of other
claims. (Id.). Because Plaintiff failed to comply
with the Court's December 2 Order, on January 11, 2017,
the Court struck the FAC, deemed the third amended complaint
(“TAC”) to be the operative pleading, and added
Obe and Brooks as defendants under Rule 21 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. (Dkt. #45).
letter dated January 26, 2017, the City Defendants requested
a pre-motion conference concerning their anticipated motion
to dismiss certain claims in the TAC. (Dkt. #46). That same
day, Plaintiff submitted a motion for reconsideration of the
January 3 Order that struck the FAC (Dkt. #47), and on
February 28, 2017, the City Defendants filed an opposition to
Plaintiff's motion (Dkt. #55). The Court thereafter held
a conference on March 15, 2017, at which the parties
discussed both the anticipated motion to dismiss and the
motion for reconsideration.
considered carefully the parties' submissions and the
arguments made at the March 15 conference, and mindful of its
obligation to construe a pro se plaintiff's
submissions liberally, see Tracy v. Freshwater, 623
F.3d 90, 101 (2d Cir. 2010), the Court construed
Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration as a hybrid motion
for reconsideration and motion to amend the TAC. (Dkt. #58).
In an Order issued on April 4, 2017 (the “April 4
Order”), the Court directed the City Defendants to
submit letter briefs addressing the issue of whether
Plaintiff should be granted leave to file an amended pleading
that limited Plaintiff to the claims discussed in that Order.
April 14, 2017, the City Defendants filed their letter
opposing Plaintiff's motion to amend. (Dkt. #61). Also in
response to the Court's directive, former Defendants
District Attorney of New York County Cyrus Vance, the New
York County District Attorney's Office
(“DANY”), and various employees of that Office
(together, the “Former DANY Defendants”) filed a
letter opposing Plaintiff's motion on April 18, 2017.
(Dkt. #64). For the reasons outlined below, Plaintiff's
motion for reconsideration is granted in part and denied in
part. Plaintiff's motion for leave to amend the TAC is
granted in part and denied in part.
Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration Is Granted in Part
and Denied in Part
Court liberally construes Plaintiff's submission as a
motion under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) to alter or amend judgment
and a motion under Local Civil Rule 6.3 for reconsideration,
and, in the alternative, as a motion under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)
for relief from a judgment or order. See Triestman v.
Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir.
2006); see also Tracy, 623 F.3d at 101 (observing
that the solicitude afforded to pro se litigants takes a
variety of forms, including liberal construction of papers,
“relaxation of the limitations on the amendment of
pleadings, ” leniency in the enforcement of other
procedural rules, and “deliberate, continuing efforts
to ensure that a pro se litigant understands what is required
of [her]” (citations omitted)).
standards governing Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) and Local Civil Rule
6.3 are the same. R.F.M.A.S., Inc. v. Mimi So, 640
F.Supp.2d 506, 509 (S.D.N.Y. 2009). The movant must
demonstrate that the Court overlooked “controlling law
or factual matters” that had been previously put before
it. Id. (discussion in the context of both Local
Civil Rule 6.3 and Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e)); see Padilla v.
Maersk Line, Ltd., 636 F.Supp.2d 256, 258-59 (S.D.N.Y.
2009). “Such motions must be narrowly construed and
strictly applied in order to discourage litigants from making
repetitive arguments on issues that have been thoroughly
considered by the court.” Range Road Music, Inc. v.
Music Sales Corp., 90 F.Supp.2d 390, 391-92 (S.D.N.Y.
2000); see also SimplexGrinnell LP v. Integrated Sys.
& Power, Inc., 642 F.Supp.2d 206, 210 (S.D.N.Y.
2009) (“A motion for reconsideration is not an
invitation to parties to ‘treat the court's initial
decision as the opening of a dialogue in which that party may
then use such a motion to advance new theories or adduce new
evidence in response to the court's ruling.'”
(internal citations omitted)). 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.” See Shrader v.
CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995);
id. (“[A] motion to reconsider should not be
granted where the moving party seeks solely to relitigate an
issue already decided.”).
regard to the majority of Plaintiff's claims in the
stricken FAC, the Court finds that Plaintiff seeks only to
relitigate issues already decided by this Court and Judge
Preska. As indicated in the April 4 Order, therefore, the
Court will only reconsider its decision to dismiss the TAC
insofar as it applies to Plaintiff's (i) § 1983
claim under the First Amendment, against the City, Obe, and
Brooks, related to their alleged blocking of Plaintiff from
viewing two City-run Twitter accounts; (ii) § 1983 claim
under the Fourth Amendment, against the City, John Doe, and
Jane Doe, related to their alleged false arrest; (iii) §
1983 malicious prosecution claim under the Fourth Amendment,
against the City and Det. Simmons, related to the prosecution
that allegedly terminated in Plaintiff's favor on
September 9, 2016; (iv) § 1983 substantive due process
claims under the Fourteenth Amendment, related to
Plaintiff's allegations of denial of services at the
Family Justice Center and the Midtown North Precinct in 2015,
along with her new allegations concerning District Attorney
Vance, Raheem Powell, and the 137th Street Crew; (v) §
1983 claims under the First Amendment, against the City and
Pierre-Louis, related to Pierre-Louis's alleged blocking
of Plaintiff from viewing and posting replies to the @RPLNYC
Twitter feed, as supplemented by statements made by Plaintiff
at the March 15 conference; and (vi) claims related to
incidents that allegedly occurred on November 17, 2016, and
January 24, 2017, as described in Plaintiff's motion for
reconsideration and at the March 15 conference. (Dkt. #58).
Plaintiff's motion to reconsider these claims is granted
because Plaintiff has provided the Court with new evidence
and arguments previously unavailable or overlooked.
Plaintiff's motion to reconsider is denied as it applies
to the rest of Plaintiff's FAC claims.
Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend Is Granted in ...