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Legal Memorandum: Denial of a Motion for Reconsideration

Issue: When should a court deny a defendant’s motion for reconsideration?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motion for reconsideration; Deny
Jurisdiction: Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 451 U.S. 156; 598 S.E.2d 353; 779 F.2d 906; 16 F.3d 532; 176 F.3d 669; 96 F.3d 66; 521 F.2d 31
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 08/01/2006

The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has made clear that the federal district court should only grant a motion for reconsideration when (1) there was an intervening change in controlling law; (2) there is newly discovered evidence that was not available to the movant at the time of the judgment; or (3) the court should correct a factual or legal error that has resulted in manifest injustice.  Max’s Seafood Cafe by Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999); Kaelin v. Tenet Employee Benefit Plan, No. Civ.A. 04-2871 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 31, 2006).  “The purpose of a motion for reconsideration,’ we have held, ‘is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.'”  Max’s Seafood, 176 F.3d at 677 (quoting Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir. 1985)).  Likewise, this Court has reiterated that the “motion for reconsideration ‘is not a vehicle for registering disagreement with the court’s initial decision, for rearguing matters already addressed by the court, or for raising arguments that could have been raised before but were not.'”  Malpere v. Ruyter Bay Land Partners, LLC, No. Civ.2003-132 (D.V.I. June 9, 2005 (quoting Bostic v. AT & T of the V.I., 312 F. Supp. 2d 731, 733 (D.V.I. 2004)).  The motion for reconsideration may not be used to argue new facts or issues that were not presented to the court during the proceedings to determine the matter previously […]

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