Malandrino v. Astrue
MEMORANDUM ORDER - denying 25 MOTION to Alter Judgment Pursuant to Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure filed by Michael J. Astrue. Signed by Judge Leonard P. Stark on 12/27/13. (mdb)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE
ASHLEY R. MALANDRINO,
flklal ASHLEY R. GILLISS,
C.A. No. 1O-670-LPS
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE,
Commissioner of Social Security,
At Wilmington this 27th day of December, 2013:
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
Defendant's Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment Pursuant to Rule 59(e) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (D.!. 26) is DENIED.
Pursuant to Local Rule 7.1.5, a motion for reconsideration, including a motion
brought pursuant to Rule 59(e) to alter or amend judgment, should be granted only "sparingly."
See generally MobileMedia Ideas, LLC v. Apple, Inc., 2013 WL 4764037, at *2 (D. DeL Sept. 5,
2013) ("A motion for reargument under Local Rule 7.1.5 is the functional equivalent of a motion
to alter or amend judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). The standard for
obtaining relief under Rule 59(e) is difficult to meet.") (internal quotation marks and citation
omitted). The decision to grant such a motion lies squarely within the discretion of the district
court. See Dentspiy Int'!, Inc. v. Kerr Mfg. Co., 42 F. Supp. 2d 385, 419 (D. DeL 1999);
Brambles USA, Inc. v. Blocker, 735 F. Supp. 1239, 1241 (D. DeL 1990). These types of motions
are granted only if the court has patently misunderstood a party, made a decision outside the
adversarial issues presented by the parties, or made an error not of reasoning but of
apprehension. See Schering Corp. v. Amgen, Inc., 25 F. Supp. 2d 293, 295 (D. Del. 1998);
Brambles, 735 F. Supp. at 1241. "A motion for reconsideration is not properly grounded on a
request that a court rethink a decision already made." Smith v. Meyers, 2009 WL 5195928, at * 1
(D. Del. Dec. 30, 2009); see also Glendon Energy Co. v. Borough ofGlendon, 836 F. Supp.
1109, 1122 (E.D. Pa. 1993). It is not an opportunity to "accomplish repetition of arguments that
were or should have been presented to the court previously." Karr v. Castle, 768 F. Supp. 1087,
1093 (D. Del. 1991). A party may seek reconsideration only ifit can show at least one of the
following: (i) there has been an intervening change in controlling law; Oi) the availability of new
evidence not available when the court made its decision; or (iii) there is a need to correct a clear
error of law or fact to prevent manifest injustice. See Max's Seafood Cafo ex rei. LouAnn, Inc. v.
Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999). In no instance should reconsideration be granted if
it would not result in amendment of an order. See Schering Corp., 25 F. Supp. 2d at 295.
Defendant has failed to show that the requirements for altering or amending
judgment are met here. In its September 18,2012 opinion and order, the Court held that
Defendant's motion for summary judgment would be denied to the extent that remand was
required to permit the Administrative Law ludge ("ALl") to make a determination of disability
based on a hypothetical question to a vocational expert that included all of Plaintiffs limitations,
including an accurate statement of her educational experience. (See OJ. 23 at 20-21; OJ. 24) In
its present motion, Defendant argues that the Court committed a clear error of law when it
"found that it was not harmless error for the ALl to state in the hypothetical question that
Plaintiff had a 'twelfth grade education. ,,, (0.1. 26 at 1) The Court has already rejected this
contention. (See OJ. 23 at 21) ("Reviewing the entire record here, the Court does not agree that
the error was harmless."). As noted above, Defendant's instant motion does not present an
occasion on which it is appropriate to repeat an argument previously made and rejected by the
Court. (See also D.L 29-1 at 1-2) (explaining that ALJ's error was not harmless) It remains the
Court's view that this case should be remanded so that the ALJ can obtain the assistance of a
vocational expert opinion that is unambiguously based on all of Plaintiffs limitations, including
an unambiguous statement as to her educational experie
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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