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Vineyard Vines, LLC v. Macbeth Collection, L.L.C.

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

January 9, 2019




         On December 5, 2018, the Court issued a ruling (the “December Ruling”) granting, in part, and denying, in part, a motion filed by plaintiff Vineyard Vines, LLC (“plaintiff”) seeking additional relief, including enforcement of the judgment previously entered in this case. See Doc. #134. Defendants MacBeth Collection, L.L.C., MacBeth Collection By Margaret Josephs, LLC, MacBeth Designs LLC, and Margaret Josephs (collectively, “defendants”), now move for “partial reconsideration” of the Court's December Ruling. See Doc. #136. For the reasons set forth herein, the defendants' Motion for Partial Reconsideration [Doc. #136] is DENIED.


         The Local Rules of Civil Procedure provide the standard for motions for reconsideration. “Motions for reconsideration shall not be routinely filed and shall satisfy the strict standard applicable to such motions. Such motions will generally be denied unless the movant can point to controlling decisions or data that the court overlooked in the initial decision or order.” D. Conn. L. Civ. R. 7(c)(1).

Motions for reconsideration
must be narrowly construed and strictly applied in order to discourage litigants from making repetitive arguments on issues that have been thoroughly considered by the court. A motion for reconsideration is not a vehicle for relitigating old issues, presenting the case under new theories, securing a rehearing on the merits or otherwise taking a second bite at the apple.

Steiner v. Lewmar, Inc., No. 3:09CV1976(DJS), 2016 WL 9113438, at *1 (D. Conn. Oct. 12, 2016) (citations and quotation marks omitted). For reconsideration to be appropriate,

the motion must demonstrate that newly discovered facts exist that require consideration, that there has been an intervening change in the law, or that the court has overlooked and thus failed to consider an aspect of the law presented by the moving party which, if left unredressed, would result in a clear error or cause manifest injustice.

Morien v. Munich Reinsurance Am., Inc., 270 F.R.D. 65, 69 (D. Conn. 2010) (citations and quotation marks omitted).


         Defendants appear to proceed under both prongs of the Local Rule's standard, asserting that (1) the Court applied the wrong standard to its review of the plaintiff's motion and (2) the evidence previously submitted does not support the Court's finding or, in the alternative, new evidence is available that would affect the Court's decision.

         A. The Motion does not cite any intervening change in the law or point to any controlling decision or aspect of the law that the Court overlooked.

         As the Court noted in the December Ruling, neither party made any argument in the extensive briefing provided regarding the burden of proof applicable to a claim that the terms of a permanent injunction and/or consent judgment had been violated. See Doc. #134 at 15 (“Neither party articulates the standard of proof that must be met by plaintiff in establishing that the Permanent Injunction has been violated for purposes of awarding liquidated damages.”). The Court therefore made its own determination as to the appropriate burden of proof, finding that plaintiff would need to establish a violation of the Permanent Injunction, for purposes of the award of liquidated damages -- a remedy available here only by virtue of the parties' agreement to it in their settlement agreement -- by the preponderance of the evidence. See Id. at 15-17.

         Defendants do not contend that there has been any change in the law on this point. Rather, defendants argue, in effect, that the only mechanism for enforcement of the settlement agreement and consent judgment in this case is a finding of civil contempt. See Doc. #136-1 at 3-4. Defendants are incorrect. See, e.g., United States v. Visa U.S.A., Inc., No. 98CV7076(BSJ), 2007 WL 1741885, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. June 15, 2007) (“Visa argues: (1) that as a procedural matter, a party may enforce a court order only through a contempt proceeding; and (2) that contempt standards should nevertheless apply here in light of the nature of MasterCard's proposed remedy. Visa is mistaken on both accounts.”); Canada Dry Delaware Valley Bottling Co. v. Hornell Brewing Co., No. 11CV4308(PGG), 2013 WL 5434623, at *7 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2013) (“Canada Dry bears the burden of proving by a preponderance of evidence that Hornell violated the Judgment.”); ...

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