Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Butz v. Schleig

April 2, 2010

MICHELLE BUTZ AND BRIAN BUTZ, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
JAMES SCHLEIG, WATSONTOWN TRUCKING COMPANY, JOHN DOE I, JOHN DOE II, AND JOHN DOE III, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge McClure

MEMORANDUM

I. Background

This action began on or around January 9, 2009, when the plaintiffs, Michelle and Brian Butz, filed a complaint in the Superior Court of Monmouth County, New Jersey. In their complaint, the plaintiffs allege that Watsontown Trucking Company ("Watsontown Trucking") and James Schleig negligently caused an accident with plaintiffs that occurred on June 4, 2008. That accident took place in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania.

The action was removed by defendants Watsontown Trucking and Schleig on February 20, 2009, to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

II. Procedural History

The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey ("New Jersey Court"), on March 3, 2009, issued an order, sua sponte, to show cause why the matter should not be transferred to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. (Rec. Doc. No. 4). Plaintiffs filed a response to this order on March 17, 2009, and defendants Watsontown Trucking and Schleig filed a response on March 24, 2009. (Rec. Doc. Nos. 5 and 11). On April 2, 2009, the plaintiffs filed a reply brief, with exhibits, in which the plaintiffs opposed transfer of the case to the District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and, in addition, sought reassignment of the action within the District of New Jersey. (Rec. Doc. Nos. 15 and 16). On April 7, 2009, the New Jersey Court issued a Memorandum Opinion, in which it granted the order to show cause and transferred the action to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. (Rec. Doc. Nos. 17 and 18).

Defendants Watsontown Trucking and Schleig filed an answer to the plaintiffs' complaint on March 19, 2009 (Rec. Doc. No. 8), an amended answer on March 19, 2009 (Rec. Doc. No. 9), and an additional amended answer on March 20, 2009 (Rec. Doc. No. 10)

On January 19, 2010, plaintiffs filed a motion, which was concurred in by defendants, for an extension of time in which to complete discovery. (Rec. Doc. No. 31). This Court granted the motion on January 25, 2010. (Rec. Doc. No. 41).

Also on January 19, 2010, plaintiffs filed a motion seeking the transfer of the action under 28 U.S.C. § 1404 to the District of New Jersey, with a brief in support thereof. (Rec. Doc. Nos. 32 and 34). On January 26, 2010, defendants Watsontown Trucking and Schleig filed a brief in opposition to the motion to transfer the case. (Rec. Doc. No. 42). Plaintiffs filed a reply brief on February 5, 2010. (Rec. Doc. No. 43). On February 9, 2010, we denied the motion for transfer. (Rec. Doc. No. 44). Our denial rested on the fact that we harbored substantial doubt as to whether the case could have been brought against defendant Schleig in New Jersey. We also noted that, even if the District of New Jersey could exercise personal jurisdiction over defendant Schleig, we would still conclude that transfer to the District of New Jersey under § 1404 would be improper.

At issue in the instant memorandum and order is plaintiffs' "Motion for Reconsideration of Order Entered February 9, 2010 or in the Alternative for Certification Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1292(b)," accompanied by a brief in support. (Rec. Doc. Nos. 45 and 46). Defendants have filed a memorandum of law in opposition to plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration (Rec. Doc. No. 47), and plaintiffs have filed a reply brief (Rec. Doc. No. 48). The motion for reconsideration is therefore ripe for disposition, and now for the following reasons we will deny the motion. (Rec. Doc. No. 45).

III. Discussion

1. Standard of Review for Motions for Reconsideration

A motion for reconsideration is a device of limited utility. Its purpose 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). Accordingly, a party seeking reconsideration must demonstrate at least one of the following grounds prior to the court's altering, or amending, a standing judgment: (1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not available when the court entered judgment; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice. Max's Seafood Café v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999) (citing North River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA Reinsurance Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995)); see also Pub. Interest Research Group v. Magnesium Elektron, 123 F.3d 111, 117 (3d Cir. 1997).*fn1 A motion for reconsideration is appropriate in instances where the court has "patently misunderstood a party, or has made a decision outside the adversarial issues presented to the Court by the parties, or has made an error not of reasoning but of apprehension." Rohrbach v. AT & T Nassau Metals Corp., 902 F.Supp. 523, 527 (M.D. Pa. 1995), vacated in part on other grounds on reconsideration, 915 F.Supp. 712 (M.D. Pa. 1996) (quoting Above the Belt, Inc. v. Mel Bohannan Roofing, Inc., 99 F.R.D. 99, 101 (E.D.Va.1983)).

Importantly, a motion for reconsideration may not be used as a means to reargue unsuccessful theories, or argue new facts or issues that were not presented to the court in the context of the matter previously decided. Drysdale v. Woerth, 153 F. Supp. 2d 678, 682 (E.D. Pa. 2001). "Because federal courts have a strong interest in the finality of judgments, motions for reconsideration should be ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.