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Legal Memorandum: Motion for Reconsideration in VI

Issue: Under the laws of the Virgin Islands, what is the standard required for granting a motion for reconsideration?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motion for reconsideration; Evidence
Jurisdiction: Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Local Rule 7.4
Date: 01/01/2009

Under the Local Rules governing proceedings in this Court, “A party may file a motion asking the court to reconsider its order or decision….  A motion to reconsider shall be based on:  1. Intervening change in controlling law; 2. Availability of new evidence, or; 3. The need to correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice.”  LRCi 7.3 (2008); Firstbank P.R. v. Nagleberg, Civ. No. 2008-06 at *1 (D.V.I. Dec. 24, 2008).

The purpose of a motion for reconsideration “is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.”  Nagleberg, at *1 (quoting Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir. 1985)).  Such motions are not substitutes for appeals, and are not to be used as “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.”   Id. (quoting Bostic v. AT & T of the V.I., 312 F. Supp. 2d 731, 733 (D.V.I.2004)).  “In short, Local Rule 7.4 affirms the common understanding that reconsideration is an ‘extraordinary’ remedy not to be sought reflexively or used as a substitute for appeal.”  Bostic, 312 F. Supp. 2d at 733.

Further, clear error or manifest injustice “do[] not exist when a litigant merely disagrees with the court.  Such disagreement is properly argued at the time of the underlying motion or directed to the court of appeals at the appropriate time.”  Bostic 312 […]

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