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Teri Woods Publishing, LLC v. Williams

United States District Court, Third Circuit

December 6, 2013

TERI WOODS PUBLISHING, L.L.C., et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
DESEAN WILLIAMS, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM

ROBERT F. KELLY, Senior District Judge.

Presently before this Court is Plaintiffs, Teri Woods Publishing, LLC ("Plaintiff Publishing") and Teri Woods' ("Plaintiff Woods") (collectively, "Plaintiffs"), Motion for Reconsideration, and Defendants, Urban Knowledge ("Defendant Knowledge") and Carl Weber's ("Defendant Weber") (collectively, "Defendants"), Response in Opposition. For the following reasons, Plaintiffs' Motion is Denied.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Publishing is a domestic, limited liability company engaged as a "mom-and-pop sort of book publishing company" in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Compl. at 2. Plaintiff Woods, is an adult individual and a "well known, New York Times best selling author" residing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Id . Plaintiffs aver that they are the rightful and lawful copyright holders of the following literary works:[1] "Dutch I"; "Dutch II" a/k/a "Dutch II: Angel's Revenge"; and, "Dutch III: International Gangster" (collectively, the "Dutch series.")[2] Id.

Defendant Knowledge is a limited liability company with a principal place of business in Baltimore, Maryland. Id. at 3. Defendant Knowledge is operated by its principal, Defendant Weber. Id . In the Complaint, Plaintiffs allege Defendants engaged in the unlawful distribution and/or sale of Plaintiffs' copyrighted literary works. Id. at 4-6.

On August 23, 2012, Plaintiffs filed suit against seven Defendants including Defendants Knowledge and Weber. Id . Plaintiffs' Complaint sets forth fourteen counts including: Copyright Infringement; Civil Conspiracy; Unjust Enrichment; Accounting; Constructive Trust; Permanent Injunction; Violation of N.J. Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations ("RICO") statute; False Light Invasion of Privacy; and New Jersey State Civil Rights Violations. Id. at 6-18.

On August 30, 2013, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim for Which Relief May be Granted. See Doc. 59. Plaintiffs filed a Response in Opposition on September 30, 2013. See Doc. No. 64. On October 25, 2013, we granted Defendants' Motion to Dismiss finding that res judicata barred Plaintiffs' claims. See Doc. No. 65.

Plaintiffs sought reconsideration of our Order dismissing Plaintiffs' claims against Defendants by motion on November 8, 2013. See Doc. No. 69. Eleven days later, Defendants responded in opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion. See Doc. No. 70. In consideration of the arguments raised in these filings, we proceed to analyze Plaintiffs' Motion.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Motions for reconsideration are governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). See 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. Lazaridis v. Wehmer , 591 F.3d 666, 669 (3d Cir. 2010). Accordingly, a judgment may be altered or amended if the party seeking reconsideration demonstrates one of the following narrowly defined circumstances: (1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not available at the time of the Court's judgment; or, (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or to prevent manifest injustice. See Max's Seafood Cafe ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros , 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999) (citing N. River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA Reinsurance Co. , 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995)). "Mere dissatisfaction with the Court's factual or legal rulings... does not meet the manifest injustice standard; the motion for reconsideration should be more than a forum to express dissatisfaction with the result ordered in the Court's opinion." Kansas City Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Consolidated Rail Corp., 97-8134, 1999 WL 497232, at *1 (E.D. Pa. July 14, 1999). Due to the strong interest by the judiciary in the finality of its decisions, the reconsideration of a court's judgment is an extraordinary remedy, and therefore, should be granted sparingly. See In re Commonwealth's Mot. to Appoint Counsel, No. 13-510, 2013 WL 5781732, at *1 (M.D. Pa. Oct. 25, 2013); Conway v. A.I. DuPont Hosp. for Children, No. 04-4862 , 2009 WL 1492178, at *2 (E.D. Pa. May 26, 2009).

III. DISCUSSION

In a Memorandum Opinion dated October 25, 2013, we granted Defendants' Motion to Dismiss finding that res judicata barred Plaintiffs from re-litigating the claims arising from the Dutch Series due to our prior dismissal of the exact same claims between the two parties in a prior action. See Teri Woods Publishing, LLC, v. Williams, No. 11-cv-6341; see also Doc. No. 65. Furthermore, we found that Defendants' claim preclusion arguments should be treated as unopposed due to Plaintiffs' failure to respond to these arguments. Id .; see also E.D. Pa. Loc. R. 7.1(c); Dale v. Abeshaus, No. 06-4747, 2013 WL 5379384, at *14 n.76 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 26, 2013) (finding where a plaintiff fails to respond to an argument raised in a motion to dismiss, the court may grant the motion as to that argument as uncontested); Matthew M. v. William Penn Sch. Dist., No. 01-7177, 2002 WL 1286910, at *4 (E.D. Pa. June 11, 2002). Plaintiffs now seek the reconsideration of this dismissal.

A. Manifest Injustice

Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration is premised on the necessity for this Court to correct a clear error of law and prevent manifest injustice.[3] Plaintiffs neglect to identify any clear error of law, but rather, focus their Motion on fairness considerations, which they believe undermine the dismissal of the claims against Defendants. We interpret ...


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