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Legal Memorandum: Purposes of a Motion for Reconsideration

Issue: Under the laws of the U.S. Virgin Islands, what are the purposes of a motion for reconsideration?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Motion for reconsideration; Clear error of law; Prevent manifest injustice
Jurisdiction: Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 289 F. Supp. 2d 555; 372 F.3d 193; 312 F. Supp. 2d 731
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 06/01/2007

A motion for reconsideration is the appropriate vehicle to seek correction of a clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice.  Selaras v. M/V Cartagena De Indias, 959 F. Supp. 270 (E.D. Pa. 1997) (quoting Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir. 1985)).  Accord Bostic v. AT & T, 312 F. Supp. 2d 731, 733 (D.V.I. 2004); Gutierrez v. Ashcroft, 289 F. Supp. 2d 555, 561 (D.N.J. 2003) (Rule 59(e) motion is to correct manifest error of law or fact, or to present newly discovered evidence), aff’d on other grounds by Gutierrez v. Gonzales, 125 F. App’x 406 (3d Cir. 2005).  A Rule 59 motion for reconsideration also may be granted “when ‘dispositive factual matters or controlling decisions of law were brought to the court’s attention, but not considered.'”  Gutierrez v. Ashcroft, 289 F. Supp. 2d at 561 (quoting Pelham v. United States, 661 F. Supp. 1063, 1065 (D.N.J. 1987)).  Accord Creque v. Cintron, 17 V.I. 69, 73 (Terr. Ct. 1980) (motion for reconsideration or to amend, alter, correct or modify a judgment is appropriate if the court failed to give relief on a claim on which it found that the party is entitled to relief, or if the judgment is wrong as a matter of law). 

“Given the wide discretion conferred on a district court by the Federal Rules, courts have sometimes found it appropriate to grant reconsideration on grounds that do not fall within a narrow interpretation […]

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