United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
September 6, 2005.
GARY V. SKIBA, TRUSTEE Appellant,
TIMOTHY M. LAHER, et al., Appellees.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: SEAN McLAUGHLIN, District Judge
This matter is before the Court upon Appellees' motion for
reconsideration (Dkt. #11). In the underlying opinion in this
case, we ruled that the Appellees' interest in a TIAA-CREF
retirement plan could not be excluded from their bankruptcy
estate under 11 U.S.C. § 541(c)(2). In reaching our decision, we
cited In re Quinn, 299 B.R. 450 (Bankr. W.D. Mich. 2003)
("Quinn I"). On July 15, 2003, the United States District Court
for the Western District of Michigan overturned Quinn, holding
that the TIAA annuity was "tantamount" to a trust and therefore
excluded under § 541(c)(2). In re Quinn, 2005 WL 1879273 (W.D.
Mich. 2005) ("Quinn II").
The purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to "correct
manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered
evidence." Max's Seafood Cafe ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc. v.
Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3rd Cir. 1999) (citing Harsco
Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3rd Cir. 1985). Thus,
the appropriate grounds for granting such a motion are limited
to: (1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the
availability of new evidence that was not available when the
court granted the motion for summary judgment; or (3) the need to
correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest
injustice. Id; see also North River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA
Reinsurance Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995).
Here, Appellees ask us to reconsider our prior ruling based on
the fact that one of several cases relied upon in our opinion has been overturned. The facts
and evidence are not in dispute here, and a Michigan district
court case is not "controlling law." Thus, we read Appellees
motion as a request to correct what they perceive to be a clear
error of law.
Upon review, we decline to grant the requested motion for
reconsideration. The decision by a district court in another
jurisdiction to align itself with those cases that we have
rejected rather than those upon which we relied does not
demonstrate a clear error of law. Indeed, we are particularly
unpersuaded by Quinn II given its heavy reliance upon the
rationale stated in Skiba v. Gould (In re Gould), 322 B.R. 741,
744 (Bankr. W.D. Pa. 2005), the very bankruptcy court decision
that we overturned in our underlying opinion.
For the reasons state above, Appellees' motion for
reconsideration (Dkt. #11) is DENIED.
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