Montebueno Marketing Inc. et al v. Del Monte Corporation-USA et al

Filing 44

ORDER by Judge Maria-Elena James denying 39 Motion for Leave to File (cdnS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/10/2012)

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1 2 3 4 5 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 7 MONTEBUENO MARKETING, INC., et al., No. CV 11-4977 MEJ 8 Plaintiffs, 9 vs. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 DEL MONTE FOODS CORPORATION-USA et al., 12 Defendants. ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS' REQUEST FOR LEAVE TO FILE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (DKT. NO. 39) / 13 14 15 On March 30, 2012, Plaintiffs filed a request for leave to file a motion for reconsideration 16 (Dkt. No. 39) with respect to the Court's March 22 order (Dkt. No. 38) granting Defendants' motion 17 to dismiss (Dkt. No. 11). Defendants have filed an opposition to this request. Dkt. No. 42. The 18 Court has reviewed the parties' papers and, for the reasons explained below, Plaintiffs' request is 19 DENIED. 20 Plaintiffs chose to file their complaint pursuant to California's Uniform Foreign-Country 21 Money Judgments Recognition Act (UFMJRA), codified under California Code of Civil Procedure 22 §§ 1713 et seq. Defendants moved to dismiss Plaintiffs' complaint for multiple reasons, including 23 three specific grounds outlined in the UFMJRA that permit the Court to not recognize a foreign 24 judgment: Section 1716(c)(3), Section 1716(c)(4), and Section 1716(c)(5). Dkt. No. 13 at 7-10. In 25 their opposition, Plaintiffs did not explain why these grounds should not apply to their complaint. 26 Instead, they argued that these grounds only permitted dismissal on a discretionary basis and should 27 not be utilized on a motion to dismiss. Dkt. No. 25 at 5-7. At oral argument, the Court specifically 1 asked Plaintiffs why it should not exercise its discretion and dismiss the complaint under Section 2 1716(c)(5). Dkt. No. 43-1 at 2-3. Plaintiffs did not provide a direct answer. Id. The parties also 3 confirmed at oral argument that the nature of Plaintiffs' action meant that there were no factual 4 disputes and discovery was not needed. Dkt. No. 43-1 at 11-12. Neither party objected to the Court 5 converting Defendants' motion to dismiss to a motion for summary judgment, which would alleviate 6 concerns about the Court granting a motion to dismiss based on the discretionary grounds of the 7 UFMJRA. Id. 8 9 Plaintiffs essentially failed to oppose Defendants' arguments with respect to the UFMJRA — the very statute under which Plaintiffs filed their complaint — in both their opposition and at oral United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 argument. In their request to file a motion for reconsideration, Plaintiffs explain that they 11 misunderstood the Court's questions about converting the proceedings to a summary judgment 12 motion and would now like another opportunity to oppose Defendants' arguments. Dkt. No. 39. 13 While the Court is mindful that mistakes sometimes occur, it cannot provide Plaintiffs with one 14 more bite at the apple. For one, the Court is not persuaded that Plaintiffs have met the requirements 15 of Civil Local Rule 7-9(b), which provides that a party must specifically show that one of these three 16 grounds applies before leave to file a motion for reconsideration is granted: 17 18 19 20 21 (1) That at the time of the motion for leave, a material difference in fact or law exists from that which was presented to the Court before entry of the interlocutory order for which reconsideration is sought. The party also must show that in the exercise of reasonable diligence the party applying for reconsideration did not know such fact or law at the time of the interlocutory order; or (2) The emergence of new material facts or a change of law occurring after the time of such order; or (3) A manifest failure by the Court to consider material facts or dispositive legal arguments which were presented to the Court before such interlocutory order. 22 Plaintiffs do not identify under which ground they are requesting relief. Rather, they simply argue 23 that their request is "proper because of the change in material facts brought about by the conversion 24 by the Court from a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to a motion for summary judgment, and, this conversion is 25 manifestly unjust." Dkt. No. 39 at 4. This does not meet Civil Local Rule 7-9(b)'s requirement to 26 27 2 1 2 specifically show that one of the above grounds applies.1 Moreover, it appears that Plaintiffs' main issue is that the Court converted Defendants' 3 motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment without providing Plaintiffs a "reasonable 4 opportunity" to be heard. Dkt. No. 39 at 4. But the only reason the Court converted the motion was 5 because neither of the parties objected, and, unlike many other civil lawsuits, this UFMJRA matter 6 would not require any discovery. Nonetheless, even if Plaintiffs had objected to the Court treating 7 the matter as a summary judgment proceeding, this would have been unlikely to change the final 8 result. In their opposition to Defendants' motion to dismiss, Plaintiffs did not provide any direct 9 authority that prohibits the Court under the UFMJRA from utilizing the statute's discretionary United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 grounds to refuse to recognize a foreign judgment at the motion to dismiss stage. The Court was 11 unable to locate any such authority either. Thus, even if the Court had chosen not to convert 12 Defendants' motion, it would have dismissed Plaintiffs' complaint for the same reasons as it 13 explained in the original dismissal order. Simply put, the Court has discretion under the UFMJRA 14 to not recognize foreign judgments under certain conditions. It has chosen to do so under the 15 circumstances presented here. 16 Based on the above, Plaintiffs' request to file a motion for reconsideration is DENIED. 17 IT IS SO ORDERED. 18 19 Dated: April 10, 2012 20 MARIA-ELENA JAMES United States Magistrate Judge 21 22 23 24 25 26 1 Plaintiffs cite two cases for the position that motions for reconsideration should be granted when courts commit clear error or a decision is manifestly unjust. Dkt. No. 39 at 4 (citing School Dist. No. 1J, Multnomah Cnty. v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993); United States v. James, 915 F.Supp. 1092, 1098 (S.D. Cal. 1995)). These cases, however, concern courts analyzing motions for reconsideration and not the situation presented here: a request for leave to file a motion for reconsideration under Civil Local Rule 7-9(b). 27 3

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