United States District Court, D. Connecticut
SCOTT D. JACKSON, State of Connecticut, Commissioner of Labor, Plaintiff,
FIRST NIAGARA BANK, N.A., Defendant.
RULING AND ORDER ON MOTION FOR
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
D. Jackson, Commissioner of the State of Connecticut
Department of Labor (the “Commissioner” or
“Plaintiff”), filed suit under Conn. Gen. Stat.
§ 31-72 to collect unpaid wages on behalf of Brian L.
Pelletier, from Mr. Pelletier's former employer First
Niagara Bank, N.A. (“First Niagara” or
“Defendant”), in Connecticut Superior Court. ECF
No. 1-1. First Niagara removed the case to this Court.
has moved for reconsideration of the Court's denial of
Plaintiff's motion to remand the case to Connecticut
Superior Court. ECF No. 35.
reasons that follow, the motion is DENIED.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
December 2, 2013, Mr. Pelletier allegedly filed a claim with
Plaintiff, seeking assistance in obtaining unpaid wages from
First Niagara. Id. ¶ 4. Plaintiff allegedly
investigated the claim and determined that First Niagara owes
Mr. Pelletier $43, 934 in unpaid wages, consisting of $6, 300
in “true up” commissions based on annual
production, $12, 634 in commissions on mortgage loans for
loans that closed more than thirty days after his October 17,
2013, termination, and a $25, 000 bonus based on Mr.
Pelletier's 2012 performance. Id. ¶ 5. The
$43, 934 in unpaid wages allegedly due to Mr. Pelletier
remains due and outstanding. Compl. ¶ 8. Under Conn.
Gen. Stat. §31-72, Plaintiff seeks to collect double
damages, for a total of $87, 868, in addition to reasonable
attorney's fees, costs and interest. Compl. § 9.
August 4, 2016, Plaintiff filed this action in the
Connecticut Superior Court for the Judicial District of
Hartford, see generally Compl., ECF No. 1-1,
alleging that First Niagara was an employer under Conn Gen.
Stat. § 31-71a(1)). Id. ¶ 2. First Niagara
then removed the case to this Court. ECF No. 1. Plaintiff
moved to remand this case to the Connecticut Superior Court.
ECF No. 19. In support of its motion to remand, Plaintiff has
provided a stipulation, signed by the Attorney General for
the State of Connecticut, George Jepsen, Assistant Attorney
General, Philip M. Schulz, Plaintiff's counsel, Assistant
Attorney General, Richard T. Sponzo, and Resa Spaziani, the
Director of the Wage and Workplace Standards Division of the
Connecticut Department of Labor. See generally
Stipulation, ECF No. 19-1. The Stipulation provides that the
State of Connecticut Commissioner of Labor, “will not
seek more than $75, 000.00 in his claims against” First
Niagara. Id. at 1. Plaintiff has also provided a
stipulation signed by Mr. Pelletier, where he agreed not to
seek more than $75, 000.00 from First Niagara. See
Pl.'s Reply Ex. A at 12, ECF No. 23. The Court denied the
motion. ECF No. 35.
has moved for reconsideration of the Court's ruling on
Plaintiff's motion to remand this case to Connecticut
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 Atl. 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.”).
argues that the Court's legal error is threefold: (1)
Schoonmaker v. Lawrence Brunoli, Inc., 265 Conn. 210
(2003) recognizes that Plaintiff is the real party in
interest in an enforcement suit under § 31-72; (2) this
Court should abstain from hearing this case because it
presents novel questions of statutory interpretation and
matters of public policy on which Connecticut courts have yet
to provide guidance; and (3) “the mere allegation of a
punitive damages claim . . . does not by itself render the
complaint unambiguous or preclude the Court's further
consideration of the punitive damages claim itself” and
thus the jurisdictional amount-in-controversy threshold has
not been met. See generally Pl.'s Br.
preliminary matter, Plaintiff's request for relief is
untimely. A motion for reconsideration must be filed within
seven days of the filing of the order from which such relief
is sought. D. Conn. L. Civ. R. 7(c)(1). Plaintiff filed his
motion for reconsideration twenty-eight days after the
Court's September 22, 2017, Ruling on Plaintiff's
motion to remand, and is therefore late. Plaintiff's
pending motion makes no ...