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Belgada v. Hy's Livery Service, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

May 10, 2019

MEHDI BELGADA, HORMOZ AKHUNDZADEH, and ADANIEL DZIEKAN, individually and on behalf of all other similarly situated individuals, Plaintiffs,
v.
HY’S LIVERY SERVICE, INC., ROBERT LEVINE, MATTHEW LEVINE, and SHELLEY LEVINE, Defendants.

          RULING ON MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

          Victor A. Bolden United States District Judge.

         On February 20, 2019, Hy’s Livery Service, Inc., Robert Levine, Matthew Levine, and Shelley Levine (“Defendants”) moved for partial reconsideration of the Court’s February 14, 2019 Ruling and Order. Defendants’ Motion for Reconsideration of Court’s Decision Denying Costs, dated Feb. 20, 2019 (“Defs.’ Mot.”), ECF No. 123. Specifically, Defendants ask the Court to reconsider its determination that Defendants were not prevailing parties entitled to costs from Mehdi Belgada, Hormoz Akhundzadeh, and Adaniel Dziekan (“Plaintiffs”) as a result of the voluntary dismissal of Plaintiffs’ claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. Id.

         For the reasons that follow, the Court DENIES Defendants’ motion for reconsideration.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Familiarity with the facts and prior proceedings, summarized in the Court’s February 14, 2019 Ruling and Order, is assumed. See Ruling and Order on Motion for Voluntary Dismissal and Cross-Motion for Attorney’s Fees, dated Feb. 14, 2019 (“Ruling & Order”), ECF No. 121.

         On February 14, 2018, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion to voluntarily dismiss their FLSA claims with prejudice.). See Ruling & Order at 7–8 (“[T]he reason for voluntary dismissal is simple . . . given recent Second Circuit precedent, Plaintiffs’ FLSA claims may no longer be viable.”).[1] Having determined that all federal claims over which the Court had original jurisdiction should be dismissed, the Court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ remaining state-law claims. Id. at 13. The Court also determined that Defendants were not prevailing parties with respect to the dismissed FLSA claims and thus declined to award them costs under Rule 54(d)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Id. at 8–10. Finally, the Court denied Defendants’ cross-motion for attorney’s fees for the dismissed FLSA claims. Id. at 13–14.

         On February 20, 2019, Defendants moved for reconsideration of the Court’s decision that Defendants were not prevailing parties with respect to the dismissed FLSA claims. Defs.’ Mot.

         On March 13, 2019, Plaintiffs opposed reconsideration. Plaintiffs’ Objection to Defs.’ Mot., dated Mar. 13, 2019, ECF No. 124.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         “The 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) (citations omitted); see, e.g., Lawyer v. Cota, No. 18-1136-cv, 2019 WL 1466936, at *2 (2d Cir. Apr. 2, 2019) (“Defendants-Appellees argued below that the district court was bound by Second Circuit precedent to apply the corrected affidavit doctrine and determine whether Cota’s probable cause affidavit still supported a finding of probable cause when the false statements were removed from the affidavit. But the district court did not apply the corrected affidavit doctrine in adjudicating Defendants-Appellees’ motion to dismiss. The district court therefore overlooked controlling precedent, giving Chief Judge Crawford grounds to grant the motion for reconsideration.”) (footnote and citations omitted).

         “Reconsideration is not intended for the court to reexamine a decision or the party to reframe a failed motion.” Fan v. United States, 710 F. App’x 23, 24 (2d Cir. 2018) (citing Questrom v. Federated Dep’t Stores, Inc., 192 F.R.D. 128, 130 (S.D.N.Y. 2000); accord Shrader, 70 F.3d at 257 (“[A] motion to reconsider should not be granted where the moving party seeks solely to relitigate an issue already decided.”).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Defendants argue that the Court’s decision “references only the facts of Carter v. Inc. Vill. of Ocean Beach, 759 F.3d 159, 165 (2d Cir. 2014), and not the legal standard set forth therein.” Defs.’ Mot. at 1. “Had the Court applied the Carter standard to the facts of the present case, it would have concluded as many other District Courts have, that defendants are prevailing parties when some counts are dismissed with prejudice and others are dismissed without prejudice, provided there is a material alteration of the legal relationship of the parties.” Id. (quoting Carter, 759 F.3d at 165); see Id. at 2 (“The standard . . . is whether a party gained ‘a material alteration of the legal relationship of the parties.’ Total victory is not the sine qua non of prevailing party status. ...


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