United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
D. MARIANI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is a Motion for Reconsideration, (Doc. 22),
filed by Plaintiffs, Daniel and Karen Hagan. The Motion asks
this Court to reconsider its Memorandum Opinion and
accompanying Order of January 3, 2018, (Docs. 18, 19), which
denied Plaintiffs' Motion for Remand. Also before the
Court is a Motion to Strike Plaintiffs' Motion for
Reconsideration, (Doc. 26), filed by Defendant Progressive
Insurance Company. Because the Court finds that
Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration should be denied,
the Court need not reach Progressive's Motion to Strike.
lawsuit arose in the wake of a two car accident involving
Daniel Hagan and Deisy Bravo Leon. (Doc. 1-1). According to
Plaintiffs' Complaint, Mr. Hagan was driving his car on
July 5, 2016, when a Dodge Durango-owned by Efrain Hernandez
but driven by Deisy Bravo Leon-made an improper turn and
collided with Mr. Hagan's car. (Doc. 1-1 at ¶¶
8-10, 26). As a result, Mr. and Mrs. Hagan filed suit in
state court on September 12, 2017. (Doc. 1 at¶ 1). In
addition to suing Hernandez and Leon, Mr. Hagan also included
a claim against his car insurance provider, Progressive,
asserting that Mr. Hagan was entitled to underinsured
motorist benefits under his policy. (Doc. 1-1 at ¶¶
29-33). On October 12, 2017, Plaintiffs released Hernandez
and Leon from "all claims and demands that [Plaintiffs]
ever had, or now have, or may have, known or unknown, against
[Hernandez and Leon], created by, or arising out of the
incident of July 5, 2016." (Doc. 1-2). In exchange for
the release, Hernandez and Leon agreed to pay Plaintiffs $15,
000 and to "refus[e] to consent to Removal if
[Progressive] seeks to Remove the matter to Federal
filed a Notice of Removal on November 22, 2017. (Doc. 1).
Plaintiffs then filed a Motion to Remand on November 30,
2017, which argued that removal was improper because (1) the
Notice of Removal failed to allege the citizenship of all
parties at the time the Complaint was filed, and (2) not all
of the defendants consented to removal. (Doc. 3). On the same
day, Progressive Amended its Notice of Removal to allege the
citizenship of all parties at the time the Complaint was
filed. (Doc. 7).
January 3, 2018, this Court issued an Opinion denying
Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand. (Doc. 18). The Court first
found that any defect in the citizenship allegations was
cured by Progressive's Amendment. (Id. at 3).
The Court then held that the consent of Hernandez and Leon
was not required to remove the action to federal court
because both Hernandez and Leon had settled Plaintiffs'
claims against them, had no remaining interest in the
litigation, and were nominal parties. (Id. at 4-6).
On January 18, 2018, Plaintiffs' filed their Motion for
Reconsideration. (Doc. 22).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
purpose of a motion for reconsideration 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). Specifically, the motion is
generally permitted only if (1) there is an intervening
change in the controlling law; (2) new evidence becomes
available that was not previously available at the time the
Court issued its decision; or (3) to correct clear errors of
law or fact or prevent manifest injustice. Max's
Seafood Cafe ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176
F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999). Moreover, "motions for
reconsideration should not be used to put forward arguments
which the movant... could have made but neglected to make
before judgment." United States v. Jasin, 292
F.Supp.2d 670, 677 (E.D. Pa. 2003) (internal quotation marks
and alterations omitted) (quoting Reich v. Compton,
834 F.Supp.2d 753, 755 (E.D. Pa. 1993) rev'd in part
and aff'd in part on other grounds, 57 F.3d 270 (3d
Cir. 1995)). Nor should they "be used as a means to
reargue matters already argued and disposed of or as an
attempt to relitigate a point of disagreement between the
Court and the litigant." Donegan v. Livingston,
877 F.Supp.2d 212, 226 (M.D. Pa. 2012) (quoting Ogden v.
Keystone Residence, 226 F.Supp.2d 588, 606 (M.D. Pa.
put forth a number of arguments as to why this Court should
reconsider its January 3, 2018, Opinion and Order, all
falling within the category of clear errors of law or fact.
(Doc. 23 at 1). First, Plaintiffs argue that this Court erred
in determining that Hernandez and Leon were nominal parties
because the Court should have examined whether Hernandez and
Leon had an interest in the litigation at the time the
Complaint was filed, not at the time the Notice of Removal
was filed. (Id. at 2-4). Relying on cases that hold
that a party's citizenship for diversity jurisdiction
purposes is determined with respect to the time a complaint
is filed-that is, subsequent changes in citizenship do not
impact diversity jurisdiction-Plaintiffs urge that the same
should be true for a party's status as interested or
nominal. Stated otherwise, Plaintiffs argue that if they had
a viable claim against Hernandez and Leon at the time the
Complaint was filed, subsequent developments in the case do
not render Hernandez and Leon nominal parties.
are several problems with this argument. First, Plaintiffs do
not cite a single case which holds that a Court, in
determining whether or not a party is nominal, should only
examine the party's interest at the time the complaint
was filed. Thus, Plaintiffs are in the untenable position of
arguing this Court made a clear error of law without being
able to point to any authority that directly supports their
position. Without any such authority, Plaintiffs'
argument fails. Second, Plaintiffs' position is
contradicted by the removal statute. Section 1446 of Title 28
of the United States Code provides, in part, that
if the case stated by the initial pleading is not removable,
a notice of removal may be filed within 30 days after receipt
by the defendant, through service or otherwise, of a copy of
an amended pleading, motion, order or other paper from which
it may first be ascertained that the case is one which is or
has become removable.
28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(3) (emphasis added). This provision
clearly contemplates that a case that is not initially
removable may ...