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R&J HOLDING CO. v. REDEVELOPMENT AUTH.

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania


February 11, 2004.

R&J HOLDING CO., et al.
v.
THE REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF THE COUNTY OF MONTGOMERY, et al.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: LEGROME DAVIS, District Judge

MEMORANDUM ORDER

By Memorandum and Order dated October 14, 2003 (the "October Order"), the Court granted Defendants' Motions to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint. Plaintiff now moves for clarification and reconsideration of that decision or, in the alternative, for leave to amend the Complaint to replead their substantive due process claim.

Courts should grant motions for reconsideration sparingly, reserving them for instances where there has been "(1) an intervening change in controlling law, (2) the emergence of new evidence not previously available, or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or to prevent a manifest injustice." General Instrument Corp. of Delaware, v. Nu-Tek Elecs. & Mfg. Inc., 3 F. Supp.2d 602, 606 (E.D. Pa. 1998), aff'd., 197 F.3d 83 (3d Cir. 1999): see also Harsco. Corp. V. Zlotnicki. 779 F.2d 906. 909 (3d Cir. 1985). cert. denied. 476 U.S. 1171, 106 S.Ct. 2895 (1986) ("The purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence."). Mere dissatisfaction with the court's ruling is not a proper basis for reconsideration. See U.S. v. Phillips. Nos. Civ. A. 97-6475, 93-CR-513, 2001 WL 527810, at *1 (E.D.Pa. May 17, 2001) (citing Burger King Corp. v. New England Hood and Duct Cleaning Co., No. 98-3610, 2000 WL 133756, at *2 (E.D.Pa. Feb. 4, 2000).

  Plaintiff's ask the Court to clarify whether it dismissed their takings claim for lack Page 2 of jurisdiction with or without prejudice. Plaintiffs' Memorandum in Support of Its Motion for Reconsideration ("Pis.' Mem.") 3-4. The import of such a dismissal is set forth in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b): "Unless the court in its order for dismissal otherwise specifies, a dismissal under this subdivision and any dismissal not provided for in this rule, other than a dismissal for lack of jurisdiction . . . operates as an adjudication upon the merits." Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b). (emphasis added). Accordingly, Plaintiffs' takings claim was dismissed without prejudice.

  In addition, Plaintiffs argue that they are entitled to reconsideration because the Court failed to draw all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to Plaintiffs when determining that the March Letter Agreement and paragraph 59 of the Complaint did not amount to a continuing violation of Plaintiffs' substantive due process rights. Pls.' Mem. 4-11. The "inferences" Plaintiffs ask the Court to draw, however, are wholly unreasonable. The March Letter Agreement cannot "plausibly be viewed as continuing the unlawful agreements and wrongful actions by the Redevelopment Authority and Pulver." Id. at 9.*fn1 As the Court previously concluded, "the language of the Agreement itself belies Plaintiffs' claim that it confirmed Defendants' obligations under the unlawful agreements and continued their unlawful Page 3 conduct." October Order 15-16.*fn2 Moreover, the March Letter Agreement contradicts the allegations in paragraph 59 of the Complaint.*fn3

  Finally, Plaintiffs request leave to amend the Complaint in order to base their Section 1983 conspiracy claim on conduct after December 31, 2000. Pls.' Br. 10-11. Plaintiffs, at no time prior to filing the instant Motion, asserted that their Section 1983 claim, though not styled as such, was a conspiracy claim. "A motion for reconsideration may not advance new facts, issues, or arguments not previously presented to the court." Vaidya v. Xerox Corp., No. Civ. A. 97-547, 1997 WL 732464, at *2 n.3 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 25, 1997) (citing Smith v. City of Chester, 155 F.R.D. 95, 97 (E.D. Pa. 1994)). Plaintiffs failed to raise this argument in either their Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motions to Dismiss or their Sur-Rely Memorandum. For this reason, Plaintiffs' request for leave to amend is denied.*fn4 Page 4

  ACCORDINGLY, this day of February, 2004, upon consideration of Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration (Dkt. No. 23), and Defendants' responses thereto, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that said Motion is DENIED.


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