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Murillo v. A Better Way Wholesale Autos, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

December 9, 2019

REBECCA M. MURILLO, Plaintiff,
v.
A BETTER WAY WHOLESALE AUTOS, INC and WESTLAKE SERVICES, LLC, Defendants.

          Hon. Vanessa L. Bryant United States District Judge

         Pending before the Court are three motions. First, Plaintiff Rebecca Murillo's moves for reconsideration of the Court's Order entering judgment for the Plaintiff. [Dkt. 72]. Also, pending is Defendants' motion to stay enforcement of the judgment pending appeal [Dkt. 77] and a joint motion for a settlement conference [Dkt. 79]. The Court DENIES Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration and GRANTS Defendants' motion to stay enforcement of the judgment, subject to the parties' stipulation [Dkt. 78]. The Court DENIES without prejudice the joint motion for referral to a U.S. Magistrate Judge for a settlement Conference.

         Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration [Dkt. 72]

         Pursuant to D. Conn. Local Rule 7(c), “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.” The standard for filing a motion for reconsideration in this circuit is well established and set forth in the Local Rules of this district.

         The standard for a motion for reconsideration is strict, and reconsideration will generally be denied and should only be filed in unusual circumstances. Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995). A motion for reconsideration will only be granted, and should only be sought in good faith after a diligent inquiry, on one of the following three grounds: (1) an intervening change in the law; (2) the availability of new evidence; or (3) 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).

         Under no circumstances should a motion to reconsider be granted where the movant re-files a motion on which the court has already ruled, seeking solely to relitigate an issue already decided. Shrader v. Can. Transportation, 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995). Courts must fairly and accurately resolve disputes in a timely manner and cannot do so if it rules on individual motions multiple times.

         This principle applies equally where a party advances an argument previously made on the same grounds or advances a new argument which it could have but failed to advance in the first instance. “Where the parties have battled for the court's decision they should not be required, nor without good reason, be permitted to battle for it again.” Virgin Atlantic Airways, Ltd., 956 F.2d at 1255. Under “the law of the case” doctrine, when a court has ruled on an issue, that decision should be adhered to by that court in subsequent stages in the same case unless cogent and compelling reasons militate otherwise.” Johnson v. Holder, 564 F.2d 95, 99 (2d. Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted). A motion for reconsideration must be accompanied by “a memorandum setting forth concisely the controlling decisions or data the movant believes the Court overlooked.” D. Conn. L. Civil R. 7(c).

         Plaintiff does not contest any aspect of the Court's ruling on Plaintiff's motion for entry of judgment. [Dkt. 72 at 1]. Plaintiff's motion for judgment [Dkt. 40 at 2] stated:

Interest of 8% per annum is to be paid on any amounts not paid within 30 days of the date of the award…
The plaintiff hereby moves that this matter be reopened. Plaintiff further applies for an order confirming the award as a judgment of this Court pursuant to 9 U.S.C. § 9.

         Plaintiff did not calculate and ask the Court to include interest in a sum certain in the judgment. [Dkt. 40]; See also [Dkt. 64]. Consequently, the Court granted Plaintiff's motions for judgment twice, in neither case computing or stating the specific amount of interest. [Dkt. 58]; [Dkt. 71]. Only after judgment entered the second time did Plaintiff move to reopen the case and modify the judgment to include interest in a sum certain.

         Reconsideration to calculate the interest owed would not correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice. The arbitration award is clear and unambiguous and anyone could calculate the interest owed. Plaintiff points to neither controlling decisions or data that the Court overlooked in the initial order. On the contrary, the Court entered the judgment Plaintiff requested. [Dkt. 71]. The motion for reconsideration is DENIED.

         The entry of judgment as set forth in the Court's October 10, 2019 Order, confirming the arbitration award remains in effect without modification. [Dkt. 71].

         Defendant's Motion to Stay Enforcement of Judgment ...


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