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United States v. Waller

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

February 3, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
MICHAEL TYRONE WALLER, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM ORDER

NORA BARRY FISCHER, District Judge.

AND NOW, this 3rd day of February, 2015, upon consideration of Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Indictment for Miscarriage of Justice and False Information, (Docket No. 99), which this Court construes as a Motion for Reconsideration, (Docket No. 111 at 33:10), [1] the Government's Response, (Docket No. 102), the contents of the January 20, 2015 Status Conference/Argument as to whether a hearing on said Motion is warranted, (Docket No. 105), and the transcript of said proceedings, (Docket No. 111),

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that, for the reasons that follow, the Court will convene an evidentiary hearing on said Motion, (Docket No. 99), on February 9, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.

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.App'x 78, 81 (3d Cir. 2004) (quoting Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir. 1985)). Because "federal courts have a strong interest in the finality of judgments, " United States v. Hoey, 2011 WL 748152, at *2 (W.D.Pa. Feb.15, 2011) (citation omitted), the standard that must be met to prevail on a motion for reconsideration is high, see Berry v. Jacobs IMC, LLC, 99 F.App'x 405, 410 (3d Cir. 2004). The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit explains that:

[s]uch motions "are granted for compelling reasons, ' such as a change in the law which reveals that an earlier ruling was erroneous, not for addressing arguments that a party should have raised earlier." Solis v. Current Dev. Corp., 557 F.3d 772, 780 (7th Cir. 2009) (internal citations omitted). Though "[m]otions to reconsider empower the court to change course when a mistake has been made, they do not empower litigants... to raise their arguments, piece by piece." Id.

United States v. Dupree, 617 F.3d 724, 732-33 (3d Cir. 2010).

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. Perminter, 2012 WL 642530, at *3 (W.D. Pa. Feb. 28, 2012) (citing Max's Seafood Cafe by Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)). 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, see Hoey, 2011 WL 748152, at *2 (citation omitted), or for addressing arguments that a party had the opportunity to raise before the Court's decision, see United States v. Dupree, 617 F.3d 724, 732-33 (3d Cir. 2010) (quotations omitted). Rather, such a motion is appropriate only where the court misunderstood a party or where there has been a significant change in law or facts since the Court originally ruled on that issue. Hoey, 2011 WL 748152, at *2.

Ordinarily, the law of the case doctrine provides that "once an issue has been decided, parties may not relitigate that issue in the same case." Waldorf v. Shuta, 142 F.3d 601, 616 n. 4 (3d Cir. 1998). "Occasions will arise, however, when a pretrial denial of a motion to suppress is not binding upon the trial judge. If new facts come to light at trial, the trial judge in the exercise of his discretion may consider anew the suppression issue." United States v. Dorsett, 2009 WL 102705, at *4 (D.V.I. Jan. 9, 2009) aff'd sub nom. United States v. Petersen, 622 F.3d 196 (3d Cir. 2010) and subsequent mandamus proceeding sub nom. In re Dorsett, 397 F.App'x 776 (3d Cir. 2010) (quoting United States v. Montos, 421 F.2d 215, 220 (5th Cir.1970) (citations omitted)).

Here, Defendant moves to dismiss the indictment for "miscarriage of justice and false information" pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 48(b). (Docket No. 99). Rule 48 provides for dismissal only as follows:

(a) By the Government. The government may, with leave of court, dismiss an indictment, information, or complaint. The government may not dismiss the prosecution during trial without the defendant's consent.
(b) By the Court. The court may dismiss an indictment, information, or complaint if unnecessary delay occurs in:
(1) presenting a charge to a grand jury;
(2) filing an information against a ...

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