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Cradle of Liberty Council, Inc. v. City of Philadelphia

January 6, 2010

CRADLE OF LIBERTY COUNCIL, INC., BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Buckwalter, S. J.

MEMORANDUM

Presently before the Court are Defendant City of Philadelphia's Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's November 18, 2009 Order and Plaintiff Cradle of Liberty Council, Inc., Boy Scouts of America's Memorandum in Opposition. For the reasons discussed below, Defendant's Motion is denied in part and granted in part.

I. BACKGROUND

This case arises from a dispute between the City of Philadelphia ("the City) and the Cradle of Liberty Council. Inc., Boy Scouts of America ("Cradle of Liberty") over Cradle of Liberty's use of the building located at 22nd and Winter Streets, now known as the Bruce S. Marks Scout Resource Center. The Court need not recount the entire background of this action here, as a comprehensive recitation of the dispute's relevant facts can be found in the Court's Memorandum of September 25, 2008. See Cradle of Liberty Council, Inc. v. City of Philadelphia, No. CIV.A.08-2429, 2008 WL 4399025 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 25, 2008). The Court, rather, focuses on the immediate occurrences that led to Defendant's latest Motion.

The parties informed the Court that on October 29, 2009 the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas sua sponte lifted the partial stay that had prevented litigation of the federal issues in state court and scheduled oral argument on the City's pending Summary Judgment Motion. The Court of Common Pleas also set December 5, 2009 as a possible trial date. Following this state court action, Cradle of Liberty filed with this Court, on November 16, 2009, a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction to enjoin the City from proceeding with its claim in state court. The City responded with a Memorandum in Opposition on November 17, 2009. The Court held a hearing on these Motions that same day. After the hearing, both parties submitted supplemental letter briefs following up on the arguments made before the Court.

On November 18, 2009, the Court issued a Memorandum and Order finding that Plaintiff had met its burden and enjoining the City from pursuing its ejectment action pending in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. See Cradle of Liberty Council, Inc. v. City of Philadelphia, No. CIV.A.08-2429, 2009 WL 3921140 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 18, 2009). The Court does not recite its conclusions and rationale for the purposes of this Opinion, but incorporates and references those conclusions herein. See id.

Subsequent to the Court's issuance of the preliminary injunction, the City filed a Motion for Reconsideration, or in the Alternative, for Dissolution of the Preliminary Injunction on November 25, 2009. Plaintiff responded to the City's Motion via its Memorandum in Opposition filed on December 15, 2009.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

The purpose of a motion for reconsideration is "to correct 'manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.'" Calhoun v. Mann, No. CIV.A.08-458, 2009 WL 1321500, at *1 (E.D. Pa. May 12, 2009) (quoting Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir. 1985).*fn1 The Third Circuit provides that a court may alter a judgment pursuant to a motion for reconsideration, if the party seeking reconsideration shows at least one of the following grounds:

(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.

Max's Seafood Café ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999); see also Knipe v. SmithKline Beecham, 583 F. Supp. 2d 553, 586 (E.D. Pa. 2008) (quoting Max's Seafood for the same test). Motions for reconsideration do not allow parties a "second bite at the apple" by "rehash[ing] arguments which have already been briefed by the parties and considered and decided by the Court." In re W.R. Grace & Co., 398 B.R. 368, 371-72 (D. Del. 2008) (internal quotations omitted); see also In re Le-Nature's Inc., No. CIV.A.08-1518, 2009 WL 3526569, at *1 (W.D. Pa. Oct. 23, 2009). "Nor may a motion for reconsideration be used to revisit or raise new issues with the benefit of the hindsight provided by the court's analysis." Knipe, 583 F. Supp. 2d at 586 (internal quotations omitted). A court faced with a motion for reconsideration, however, may properly address "factual and legal matters that the Court may have overlooked." Glendon Energy Co. v. Borough of Glendon, 836 F. Supp. 1109, 1122 (E.D. Pa. 1993). Nevertheless, "[m]otions for reconsideration are granted sparingly." Knipe, 583 F. Supp. 2d at 586.

III. DISCUSSION

Defendant City of Philadelphia's Motion for Reconsideration is largely an attempt at a second bite of the apple.The City points to no intervening change in the controlling law or any newly available evidence. Although the City does not explicitly indicate so, the Court takes the City's arguments as an attempt "to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice." Max's Seafood, 176 F.3d at 677. On that basis, the City contends that the Court erred in (1) applying the Hodory waiver exception to the Younger abstention doctrine; (2) issuing an "overly broad" preliminary injunction; and (3), not requiring Plaintiff Cradle of Liberty to post a bond pursuant to Rule 65(c). The Court finds the City's first two arguments unavailing, but recognizes the ...


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