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May 09, 2016 Practice Points

SDNY Reiterates the Standards for Altering, Amending, or Granting Relief from a Judgement

The case is Perez v. Terrestar Corporation, et al. (In re Terrestar Corporation, et al.).

By Alexander G. Najemy

In Perez v. Terrestar Corporation, et al. (In re Terrestar Corporation, et al.), Case No. 11-10612, Adv. Pro. No. 13-01334 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Jan. 15, 2016), the court denied the motion of the plaintiff seeking reconsideration of the court’s order dismissing the plaintiff’s action. The court noted that the plaintiff’s motion failed to include any statutory basis for the requested relief. Nevertheless, the court examined the request under rules 59(e) and 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The court explained that under rule 59(e), a motion to alter or amend a judgment will be granted if the moving party can show that the court overlooked controlling law or facts that would have affected its decision. It further explained that under rule 60(b), the court could only provide relief from a final judgment if the plaintiff demonstrated one of the following: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under rule 59(b); (3) fraud, misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party; (4) the judgment is void; v) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged; is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or applying it prospectively is no longer equitable; or (5) any other reason that justifies relief. The plaintiff failed to make the required showing under either rule 59(e) or rule 60(b). The plaintiff raised the same issues that he had raised earlier in the proceedings and which the court already had addressed. Likewise, the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that the court overlooked any controlling law or facts that would have affected the court’s decision. The court also rejected the plaintiff’s attempt to raise several new arguments and cautioned that a motion to reconsider is not the appropriate occasion to repeat previously rejected arguments or to make new arguments that previously could have been made.

Alexander G. Najemy – May 9, 2016