The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Nora Barry Fischer
On August 3, 2010, Defendant pled guilty to one count of Wire Fraud Conspiracy pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1349, at Count One of the Indictment filed at Criminal No. 09-200. (Docket No. 31). The Court initially scheduled sentencing to take place on December 14, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. (Docket No. 38).
Prior to sentencing, Defendant offered voluminous evidence in mitigation of his forthcoming sentence. (Docket No. 51). In a separate investigation of Defendant, the Government seized property (the "Property") from 100 Mulberry Lane in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, during the week of December 6, 2010 pursuant to a grand jury subpoena. (Docket No. 54). Two days later, the Government filed a motion to continue Defendant's sentencing hearing, asserting that it had recently uncovered evidence indicating that Defendant was involved in a scheme to defraud individuals of substantial funds and that such evidence is highly relevant to the upcoming sentencing hearing. (Docket No. 52 at 1). Defendant objected to the Government's motion arguing reliance on the Government's previous representations that the instant action would "close the book" on its investigation. (Docket No. 53). The Court granted the Government's motion and re-scheduled sentencing to take place on February 25, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. (Docket No. 55).
In light of email correspondence between counsel and Defendant's subsequent Motion for Discovery (Docket No. 58), the Court held a status conference on December 21, 2010. (Docket No. 59). Upon consideration of Defendant's Motion for Discovery (Docket No. 58) and having heard oral argument thereon, the Court ordered the Government to provide Defendant the grand jury subpoena it obtained to seize the Property, and all documents that the Government deemed discoverable, including agent statements or reports that were made during the execution of said seizure. (Docket No. 59).
Next, Defendant filed a Motion to Suppress Evidence and Return Property arguing that Defendant is entitled to suppression of the Property and to have it returned to him because the Government's seizure of the Property was unlawful. (Docket No. 67). In turn, the Government filed its Response to Defendant's Motion asserting that Defendant did not have an expectation of privacy in the Property. (Docket No. 73 at 6). In addition, the Government stated that it "does not intend to use any of the evidence obtained from the issuance of the subpoena at the sentencing hearing." (Docket No. 73 at 8).
The Court held a hearing to address Defendant's Motion to Suppress Evidence and Return Property (Docket No. 67) on January 26, 2011. The parties agreed at the outset of the hearing that Defendant's Motion to Suppress Evidence was no longer at issue because the Government does not intend to use any of the seized evidence at the sentencing hearing. (Docket No. 79 at 3).*fn1 Therefore, the Court denied Defendant's Motion to Suppress Evidence, as moot. (Docket No. 75).
The Court acknowledges that Defendant proffered two emails (D-9, D-10) at said hearing in support of his Motion to Return Property. (Docket No. 79 at 6). Counsel for the Government objected to the admission of said proffered exhibits arguing that defense counsel has not properly authenticated them. (Docket No. 79 at 6-7). Defense counsel raised a parallel objection to the Government's email exhibits, (Docket Nos. 73-1, 73-2, 73-3, 73-4, 73-5, 73-6), attached to its Response to Defendant's Motion. (Docket No. 73). In light of Federal Rule of Evidence 901(a) and given that no evidence was presented to provide the Court with any basis for authentication, the Court sustained the objections. (Docket No. 78). Accordingly, the Court did not consider same in ruling on Defendant's Motion to Return Property. (Docket No. 82).
On February 3, 2011, Defendant filed a Motion to Reconsider the Order Excluding Government Exhibits. (Docket No. ). The Government submitted its Response to Defendant's Motion to Reconsider on February 9, 2011. (Docket No. 84). For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's Motion to Reconsider the Order Excluding Government Exhibits (Docket No. ) is DENIED, without prejudice.
[i]t's my understanding based on the government's response filed yesterday afternoon [January 26, 2011] and a subsequent conversation and email with Mr. Conway, that the government is not going to use any of the evidence, namely, the nine boxes of documents, or any fruits at the sentencing hearing. So we believe that the only issue left for the Court to decide is whether there was an unlawful seizure of the documents, in which case it would be our position that under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(g), the documents must be returned. (Docket No. 79 at 3). Despite defense counsel's contradicting statement that the January 26, 2011 hearing was "a suppression hearing to which the rules of evidence do not apply," said hearing was not a suppression hearing. (Docket No. 79 at 15).
The purpose of a motion for reconsideration "is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence." Kabacinski v. Bostrom Seating, Inc., 98 F.Appx. 78, 81 (3d Cir. 2004) (quoting Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir. 1985)). The standard that Defendant must meet to prevail on a motion for reconsideration is high. Berry v. Jacobs IMC, LLC, 99 F.Appx. 405, 410 (3d Cir. 2004). The Court may grant a motion for reconsideration if the moving party shows: (1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence which was not available when the court issued its order; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent a manifest injustice. United States v. Banks, 2008 WL 5429620, at *1, Crim. Act. No. 03-245 (W.D. Pa. Dec. 31, 2008) (citing Max's Seafood Cafe by Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)).
A party's mere disagreement with the Court does not translate into the type of clear error of law which justifies reconsideration of a ruling. Miller v. Lamas, 2011 WL 398408, at *1, Civ. Act. No. 10-51 (M.D. Pa. Feb. 2, 2011) (citing Dodge v. Susquehanna Univ., 796 F.Supp. 829, 830 (M.D. Pa. 1992)). Furthermore, "because federal courts have a strong interest in the finality of judgments, motions for reconsideration should be granted sparingly." Id. (quoting Continental Casualty Co. v. Diversified Indus., Inc., 884 F.Supp. 937, 943 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 27, 1995)). It is evident that a motion for reconsideration is not a tool to re-litigate and reargue issues which have already been considered and disposed of by the Court. Id. (citing Dodge, 796 F.Supp. at 830). Rather, such a motion is appropriate only where the court misunderstood a party or ...