X

Legal Memorandum: Reconsideration of an Order

Issue: WHETHER RECONSIDERATION OF A COURT ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO VACATE DEFAULT MUST BE GRANTED FOR FAILURE TO ALLOW ORAL ARGUMENT.

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Reconsideration of a court order; Discretion of the court; Motion to vacate
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Fed. R. Civ. P. R. 4:49-2, R. 1:6-2(d), R. 4:50-1, R. 4:50-2, R. 4:50-1(f)
Date: 11/01/2005

“Reconsideration is a matter within the sound discretion of the Court, to be exercised in the interest of justice.”  D’Atria v. D’Atria, 242 N.J. Super. 392, 401 (Ch. Div. 1990).  Under R. 4:49-2, reconsideration may be granted upon a timely motion setting forth the matters overlooked by the Court in rendering its decision on Defendant’s motion to vacate.  Defendant, as the moving party, is clearly entitled to a hearing “as of right” to argue in support of his motion.  R. 1:6-2(d).  

The Appellate Division has recognized that the failure to grant oral argument upon a timely request is reversible error.  In Raspantini v. Arocho, 364 N.J. Super. 528 (App. Div. 2003), the court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment without honoring the plaintiff’s request for oral argument.  Raspantini v. Arocho, 364 N.J. Super. 528, 530-31 (App. Div. 2003).  The court likewise denied the plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration without oral argument.  Ibid.  In reversing the trial court, the Appellate Division held that absent a statement of reasons for denying oral argument, the refusal to hear the parties is error.  Id. at 531-32. 

Default judgment under R. 4:50-1 provides: “On motion, with briefs, and upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party or the party’s legal representative from a final judgment or order for . . . (a) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; . . . or (f) any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment or order.”  A motion under subsection (a) may […]

Subscribe to Litigation Pathfinder

To get the full-text of this Legal Memorandum ... and more!

(Month-to-month and annual subscriptions available)