United States District Court, D. Connecticut
J.P. MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., Defendant, Counterclaim Plaintiff,
RICHARD CAIRES, Plaintiff, Counterclaim Defendant.
RULING RE: MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (Doc. No.
C. Hall United States District Judge
September 6, 2017, the court issued an Order sue sponte
remanding to state court this case between
plaintiff/counterclaim defendant Richard Caires
(“Caires”) and defendant/counterclaim plaintiff
J.P. Morgan Chase Bank (“J.P. Morgan”).
See Order Re: Remand to State Court (“Order to
Remand”) (Doc. No. 19). On September 11, 2017, Caires
filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Order to Remand.
See Motion for Reconsideration (“Mot. for
Recons.”) (Doc. No. 21).
court incorporates herein the factual background and relevant
legal analysis from its prior Order.
reasons stated below, the Motion for Reconsideration is
Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) permits a party to file a
“motion to alter or amend a judgment . . . no later
than 28 days after the entry of the judgment.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). Motions to alter a judgment under Rule
59(e), however, are treated the same as motions for
reconsideration under District of Connecticut Local Rule
7(c). See Murphy v. Feliciano, No. 3:17-CV-269
(VLB), 2017 WL 3698490, at *1 (D. Conn. Aug. 25, 2017);
InteliClear, LLC v. Victor, No. 3:16-CV-1403 (JBA),
2017 WL 2213125, at *1 (D. Conn. May 18, 2017) (citing
City of Hartford v. Chase, 942 F.2d 130, 133 (2d
Cir. 1991)). Under Local Rule 7(c), parties must file and
serve such motions within seven days of the ruling from which
relief is sought and provide “a memorandum setting
forth concisely the controlling decisions or data the movant
believes the Court overlooked.” D. Conn. Civ. R.
standard for granting a motion for reconsideration is
strict.” Ricciuti v. Gyzenis, 832 F.Supp.2d
147, 165 (D. Conn. 2011) (citing Shrader v. CSX Transp.,
Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995)); see
also D. Conn. Civ. R. 7(c)(1) (“Motions for
reconsideration shall not be routinely filed and shall
satisfy the strict standard applicable to such
motions.”). The three primary grounds for
reconsideration are “an intervening change of
controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or the
need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest
injustice.” Virgin Atl. Airways, Ltd. v. Nat'l
Mediation Bd., 956 F.2d 1245, 1255 (2d Cir. 1992)
(internal quotation marks and citations omitted). The court
should only grant reconsideration “when the
‘moving party can point to controlling decisions or
data that the court overlooked' and ‘that might
reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion reached by the
court.'” Doe v. Winchester Bd. of Educ.,
No. 10-CV-1179, 2017 WL 662898, at *2 (D. Conn. Feb. 17,
2017) (citing Shrader, 70 F.3d at 256- 57).
Additionally, “[a] motion for reconsideration is not a
means to reargue those issues already considered when a party
does not like the way the original motion was
resolved.” Id. (citing Pierce v. Lee,
No. 3:08-CV-1721 (VLB), 2010 WL 4683911, at *1 (D. Conn. Nov.
argues that the court should reconsider its Order remanding
the case to state court because the court overlooked
“new case law which supports Caires' claims to
retain personal and subject matter jurisdiction in this
venue.” Mot. for Recons. at 3. Caires advances two
arguments for reversing the remand.
Caires argues, “[W]hen JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.
removed the action, the [sic] subsequently filed a
counterclaim, it established Federal Jurisdiction pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Hence, Federal Jurisdiction over
the claims have [sic] been established since 2010 in this
action . . . .” Mot. for Recons. at 4. However,
Caires' initial complaint was dismissed on August 23,
2012, and on August 25, 2012, the court issued an Order to
Show Cause why the case should not be remanded to state court
because the only remaining claim was J.P. Morgan's state
law counterclaim. See Caires v. JP Morgan Chase Bank,
N.A., No. 3:09-cv-2142 (VLB) (D. Conn.) (“D. Conn.
Case #1”), Order Granting Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No.
92); D. Conn. Case #1, Order to Show Cause (Doc. No. 94).
Although the Order was directed to J.P. Morgan, Caires did
not object or respond in any way. Caires could have raised
this argument of federal diversity jurisdiction before the
court then, but he did not do so. In the absence of any
objection from either party, Judge Bryant issued an Order
remanding the case to state court on September 11, 2012.
See D. Conn. Case #1, Order (Doc. No. 96). As this
court already noted in its Order to Remand on September 6,
2017, Judge Bryant's Order is binding on subsequent
stages of the same litigation, including the current matter
before the court. See Order to Remand at 4 (citing
In re PCH Assocs., 949 F.2d 585, 592 (2d Cir.
1991)). Therefore, Caires' claim that diversity
jurisdiction was established in 2010 does not now serve as a
ground for reconsidering jurisdiction. Additionally, this
argument does not resolve the untimeliness of his removal,
which was also addressed in the court's Order and itself
requires remand. See id. at 6-7.
Caires argues that he has a claim under the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), which
establishes the basis for federal question jurisdiction.
See Mot. for Recons. at 5-6. This claim, raised now
in the Motion for Reconsideration, is untimely. See
Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh v. Stroh
Companies, Inc., 265 F.3d 97, 115 (2d Cir. 2001)
(affirming the district court's rejection of an argument
raised for the first time in a motion for reconsideration as
untimely); see also Universitas Educ., LLC v. T.D.
Bank, No. 15-CV-5643 (SAS), 2016 WL 80210, at *1-2
(S.D.N.Y. Jan. 5, 2016) (noting that a motion for
reconsideration is not “an opportunity for making new
arguments that could have been previously advanced” and
rejecting as untimely the argument raised for the first time
in the motion for reconsideration (internal quotation marks
and citations omitted)). Caires did not assert an FDCPA claim
in the Notice of Removal. See Notice of Removal
(Doc. No. 1). While he mentioned the FDCPA in his claims
under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act in his
Second Amended Complaint before Judge Bryant, those claims
were dismissed. See D. Conn. Case #1, Amended
Complaint Second (Doc. No. 67) at ¶ 77, 85, 88-89; D.
Conn. Case #1, Order Granting Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No.
92). Therefore, the court rejects Caires' current FDCPA
argument as untimely.
the claim were timely, however, it would not serve as grounds
for federal question jurisdiction. As noted in the Order to
Remand, under the well-pleaded complaint rule, “a suit
‘arises under' federal law only when the
plaintiff's statement of his own cause of action shows
that it is based upon [federal law]. Federal jurisdiction
cannot be predicated on an actual or anticipated defense . .
. . Nor can federal jurisdiction rest upon an actual or
anticipated counterclaim.” Vaden v. Discover
Bank, 556 U.S. 49, 60 (2009) (quotation marks and
citations omitted). Here, Caires' FDCPA claim-which, as
noted above, is not even correctly pled, but if pled-would be
a counterclaim to J.P. Morgan's counterclaim. In the only
case cited by Caires, the FDCPA claim serves as the basis for
federal question jurisdiction because it is brought by the
plaintiff in the complaint. See Glazer v. Chase Home
Finance, LLC, 704 F.3d 453, 455 (6th Cir. Jan. 14,
2013). Therefore, Glazer is inapplicable to
Caires' claim. Thus, even if the court were to consider
Caires' untimely argument, it would nevertheless be
rejected as failing to identify a valid basis for