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Bronson v. Lasky

February 12, 2008

PURCELL BRONSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MARTIN LASKY, D.O.; WILLIAM YOUNG, M.D.; P.A. NEWFIELD, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Caputo

MAGISTRATE JUDGE SMYSER

MEMORANDUM

Presently before the Court is Plaintiff Purcell Bronson's motion for reconsideration (Doc. 157) of the Court's December 18, 2007 Order (Doc. 156) granting Defendants' motion to strike Plaintiff's brief in opposition (Doc. 147), affidavit in opposition (Doc. 148), and plaintiff's response to the statement of facts (Doc. 149). For the reasons stated below, the Plaintiff's motion to reconsider will be denied.

BACKGROUND

On May 30, 2007, Defendants Lasky, Young, and Newfield filed a motion for summary judgment(Doc. 102), along with a supporting brief and materials. (Docs. 109, 110.) Plaintiff then requested a motion for extension of time to file a brief in opposition to Defendants' motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 112.) On June 19, 2007, Magistrate Judge J. Andrew Smyser dismissed Plaintiff's request for an enlargement of time to oppose the summary judgment motion as moot, as Plaintiff had filed a brief in opposition to summary judgment. (Doc. 116.)

On July 20, 2007, Magistrate Judge Smyser issued an Order addressing several outstanding issues in the case. (Doc. 130.) First, the Order denied Plaintiff's motion to reopen and/or enlarge the discovery period. (Doc. 130.) Second, upon further review of the opposition brief, Magistrate Judge Smyser reconsidered the June 19th Order, and noted that the summary judgment brief filed by the Plaintiff was filed in opposition to a different set of defendants, and not Lasky, Young, and Newfield. (Doc. 130.) Therefore, Judge Smyser ordered the Plaintiff to file a response to Defendants Lasky, Young, and Newfield's statement of facts and brief, and to provide any summary judgment evidence in opposition by August 9, 2007. (Doc. 130.) Plaintiff filed objections and a brief in support of his objections to Magistrate Judge's Smyser's July 20th Order on August 3, 2007. (Docs. 131, 132.) However, Plaintiff failed to file a brief, statement of facts, or other documentation in opposition to the summary judgment motion.

Magistrate Judge Smyser discussed the filing of Plaintiff's "Objections" in a footnote in the Report and Recommendation, and noted that such a document could possibly be construed as an appeal, but was not filed in accordance with the local rules. (Doc. 134 at 11 n.1.)

On September 18, 2007, Magistrate Judge Smyser issued his Report and Recommendation, recommending that the Defendants' motion for summary judgment be granted in part and denied in part. (Doc. 134.) In this Report and Recommendation, Judge Smyser noted that the Plaintiff failed to file any documentation in opposition to the Defendants' summary judgment motion. (Doc. 134.)

On September 27, 2007, Defendants Lasky, Young and Newfield filed their Objections to the Report and Recommendation. (Doc. 140.) On October 22, 2007, Plaintiff filed a document entitled "Reply," addressing Defendants' objections to the Report and Recommendation. (Doc. 150.) In his reply brief, Plaintiff argued that "Plaintiff has filed objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendations of July 20, 2007 and thus is not required to file 'any response in opposition whatsoever to the motion for summary judgment of moving defendants, Lasky, Young and Newfield,' until such time as his objections are overruled." (Doc. 150 at 1.)

On October 22, 2007, Plaintifffiled a brief in opposition to Defendants' motion for summary judgment, as well as an affidavit and counterstatement of material facts. (Docs. 147, 148, 149.) On November 21, 2007, Defendants Young, Newfield, and Lasky moved to strike these documents, as they were filed well outside of the time frame permitted by Judge Smyser's Order, and were filed after both the Report and Recommendation as well as the Objections to the Report and Recommendation. (Doc. 151.) On December 18, 2007, the Court granted Defendants' motion to strike, holding that the inclusion of these documents would be highly prejudicial to the Defendants at this time. (Doc. 156.)

On January 2, 2008, Plaintiff filed a motion to reconsider the Court's December 18, 2007 Order. (Doc. 157.) The motion is fully briefed and ripe for discussion.

LEGAL STANDARD

A motion for reconsideration is governed by Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which allows a party to move to alter or amend a judgment within ten days of entry. FED. R. CIV. P. 59(e). The purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence. Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir.1985). A judgment may be altered or amended if the party seeking reconsideration establishes at least one of the following grounds: "(1) an intervening change in 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." Max's Seafood Café, by Lou-Ann, Inc., v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir.1999). "A motion for reconsideration is not to be used as a means to reargue matters already argued and disposed of or as an attempt to relitigate a point of disagreement between the Court and the litigant." Ogden v. Keystone Residence, 226 F. Supp.2d 588, 606 (M.D. Pa. 2002). "[R]econsideration motions may not be used to raise new arguments or present evidence that could have been ...


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