United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING AND ORDER
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
August 12, 2015, Dwight Smith, Joanna Mrozek, and Laura Wnuk
(collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed a Complaint in
this Court against David Wilson, Rushike (“Ike”)
Chin, Derrick Chin, Amanda Basdeo, Wilson Bail Bond LLC, and
Rio Neuvo Village (collectively, “Defendants”)
for breach of contract, common law fraud, and civil
conspiracy. Compl., ECF No. 1; Am. Compl. at 3-4, ECF No. 80.
Litigation in the case proceeded until March 5, 2018, when
the Court dismissed the case for lack of subject-matter
jurisdiction. Order Dismissing Case, ECF No. 137. The Court
explained that, because the parties were not completely
diverse, it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(h)(3) and 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
Id. at 11. Plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal on
March 12, 2018. ECF No. 139.
have since filed two motions: a motion to dismiss Derrick
Chin from the case, ECF No. 141, and a motion to alter or
amend the judgment, ECF No. 142. The Court assumes
familiarity with the facts of this case. See Order
Dismissing Case at 2-4. For the following reasons, the Court
finds that it cannot rule on the first motion, and it
DENIES the second motion.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
standard for granting [a motion for reconsideration] is
strict, and reconsideration will generally be denied unless
the moving party can point to controlling decisions or data
that the court overlooked-matters, in other words, that might
reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion reached by the
court.” Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d
255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995). “The major grounds justifying
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
Atlantic Airways, Ltd. v. Nat'l Mediation Bd., 956
F.2d 1245, 1255 (2d Cir. 1992) (internal citations omitted).
A motion for reconsideration generally does not allow the
moving party to revisit arguments that have already been
presented before the court. See Shrader, 70 F.3d at
257 (“[A] motion for reconsideration should not be
granted where the moving party seeks solely to relitigate an
issue already decided.”).
have filed two motions after filing a notice of appeal: a
motion to dismiss Derrick Chin from the case, and a motion to
alter or amend the judgment. In the motion to dismiss,
Plaintiffs claim that Mr. Chin has filed for Chapter 7
Bankruptcy and claim therefore to be barred from continuing
to pursue their case against him. Mot. Dismiss at 1. In their
motion for reconsideration, Plaintiffs argue:
The Court dismissed plaintiffs['] case, with prejudice,
and ruled there was a lack of jurisdiction without plaintiffs
being afforded the procedural abilities to conduct
appropriate and timely discovery that would have, but for
defendants' non-cooperation and compliance with statutory
discovery propounded by plaintiffs, provided said plaintiffs
with the information necessary to make an informed decision
as to any defects in jurisdiction. . . .
It is the plaintiffs['] steadfast contention that, had
one or more defendants complied with the discovery
plaintiffs propounded, said plaintiffs would have been
provided with the necessary information needed to make
informed decisions regarding matters of jurisdiction well
before the expiration of any applicable statute of
Mot. for Reconsideration at 1-2.
filing of a notice of appeal is an event of jurisdictional
significance-it confers jurisdiction on the court of appeals
and divests the district court of its control over those
aspects of the case involved in the appeal.” Griggs
v. Provident Consumer Disc. Co., 459 U.S. 56, 58 (1982);
see also Brewer v. Hashim, No. 2:16-cv-326 (JMC),
2017 WL 3433904, at *1 (D. Vt. Aug. 10, 2017) (“While
the federal rules do permit the district court to
‘relieve a party . . . from a final judgment, '
see Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b), the Second Circuit has
repeatedly held that the docketing of a notice of appeal
ousts the district court of jurisdiction except insofar as it
is reserved to it explicitly by statute or rule.”)
(quoting Toliver v. Cty. of Sullivan, 957 F.2d 47,
49 (2d Cir. 1992)). This Court therefore has no jurisdiction
to rule on aspects of this case that are involved in the
appeal, including the motion to dismiss Derrick Chin from the
Court may, however, under certain circumstances even after
the filing of a notice of appeal, “relieve a party . .
. from a final judgment, ” including by ruling on
Plaintiffs' motion to alter or amend judgment. See
Toliver, 957 F.2d at 49. Specifically, the Court may
deny a motion for relief from a final judgment without the
Second Circuit's consent, but it may grant a motion only
with the Second Circuit's approval. Id. at 49.
Plaintiffs seek relief from this Court's judgment under
Rules 59(e) and 60(b).
Court entered judgment on March 5, 2018, and Plaintiffs filed
a timely motion to amend on March 26, 2018. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 59(e) (requiring motion “no later than 28
days after the entry of the judgment”). On the merits
of Plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration, however, the
Court finds that Plaintiffs have not shown that the Court has
subject-matter jurisdiction over the case. See
Shrader, 70 F.3d at 256-57 (explaining that Court will
grant a motion seeking reconsideration of a judgment 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
federal district courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.
See Lyndonville Sav. Bank & Trust Co. v.
Lussier, 211 F.3d 697, 700-01 (2d Cir. 2000) (“It
is axiomatic that federal courts are courts of limited
jurisdiction and may not decide cases over which they lack
subject matter jurisdiction. Unlike failure of personal
jurisdiction, failure of subject matter jurisdiction is not
waiveable and may be raised at any time by a party or by the
court sua sponte. If subject matter jurisdiction is
lacking, the action must be dismissed.”) (citing
Bender v. Williamsport Area Sch. Dist., 475 U.S.
534, 541 (1986)). In this case, Plaintiffs claimed that the
Court had subject-matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §
1332, Am. Compl. at 2, which grants the Court the power to
hear cases that involve citizens of different states and
damages that exceed $75, 000. See Handelsman v. Bedford
Village Assocs. Ltd. P'ship, 213 F.3d 48, 51-52 (2d
Cir. 2000) ...