REARDON v. STATE OF NEW JERSEY et al
OPINION. Signed by Judge Noel L. Hillman on 1/7/2015. (drw)n.m.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
JOHN E. REARDON,
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, et al.,
Civ. No. 13-5363 (NLH)
JOHN E. REARDON
1 JOANS LANE
BERLIN, NJ 08009
Pro Se Plaintiff
BRIAN P. WILSON
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
DIVISION OF LAW
25 MARKET STREET
P.O. BOX 112
TRENTON, NJ 08625
Attorney for Defendants State of New Jersey, the Hon. Victor
Ashrafi, J.A.D., the Hon. Margaret M. Hayden, J.A.D., the Hon.
Edith K. Payne, J.S.C., the Hon. Anthony M. Pugliese, J.S.C. and
the Hon. Ronald J. Freeman, J.S.C. (retired)
HILLMAN, District Judge
Presently pending before the Court is the motion of plaintiff
for reconsideration of the Court’s June 27, 2014 Opinion
dismissing his complaint and denying his motion for leave to file
an amended complaint.
Also pending is plaintiff’s renewed request
to file an amended complaint.
Briefly, by way of background, plaintiff filed suit against
defendants the State of New Jersey, the Hon. Victor Ashrafi,
J.A.D., the Hon. Margaret M. Hayden, J.A.D., the Hon. Edith K.
Payne, J.S.C., the Hon. Anthony M. Pugliese, J.S.C. and the Hon.
Ronald J. Freeman, J.S.C. (retired) (collectively “State
defendants”), asking that this Court deem unconstitutional his
state criminal conviction and to enjoin the enforcement of his
In the Court’s June 27, 2014 Opinion, the
Court dismissed plaintiff’s complaint with prejudice, finding that
plaintiff’s claims were barred by the doctrines of sovereign
immunity and absolute judicial immunity, and the Rooker-Feldman
and Heck doctrines.
The Court also denied plaintiff’s request to
file an amended complaint, finding that it would be futile to
grant plaintiff’s request.
A judgment may be altered or amended only if the party
seeking reconsideration shows: (1) an intervening change in the
controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not
available when the court granted the motion for summary judgment;
or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to
prevent manifest injustice.
Max’s Seafood Cafe ex rel. Lou-Ann,
Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999).
A motion for
reconsideration may not be used to re-litigate old matters or
argue new matters that could have been raised before the original
decision was reached, P. Schoenfeld Asset Mgmt., L.L.C. v. Cendant
Corp., 161 F. Supp. 2d 349, 352 (D.N.J. 2001), and mere
disagreement with the Court will not suffice to show that the
Court overlooked relevant facts or controlling law, United States
v. Compaction Sys. Corp., 88 F. Supp. 2d 339, 345 (D.N.J. 1999),
and should be dealt with through the normal appellate process,
S.C. ex rel. C.C. v. Deptford Twp Bd. of Educ., 248 F. Supp. 2d
368, 381 (D.N.J. 2003).
Amendments to pleadings are governed by Federal Civil
Procedure Rule 15, which provides that the Court “should freely
give leave when justice so requires.”
Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2).
Even though the Third Circuit has shown a strong liberality in
allowing amendments under Rule 15 in order to ensure that claims
will be decided on the merits rather than on technicalities, Dole
v. Arco Chemical Co., 921 F.2d 484, 487 (3d Cir. 1990); Bechtel v.
Robinson, 886 F.2d 644, 652 (3d Cir. 1989), an amendment must be
permitted only in the absence of undue delay, bad faith, dilatory
motive, unfair prejudice, or futility of amendment, Grayson v.
Mayview State Hosp., 293 F.3d 103, 108 (3d Cir. 2002) (citing
Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962)).
Amendment of the
complaint is futile if the amendment will not cure the deficiency
in the original complaint or if the amended complaint cannot
withstand a renewed motion to dismiss.
Jablonski v. Pan American
World Airways, Inc., 863 F.2d 289, 292 (3d Cir. 1988); see also
Fletcher-Harlee Corp. v. Pote Concrete Contractors, Inc., 482 F.3d
247, 251 (3d Cir. 2007) (explaining that Third Circuit precedent
“supports the notion that in civil rights cases district courts
must offer amendment--irrespective of whether it is
requested--when dismissing a case for failure to state a claim
unless doing so would be inequitable or futile”).
Plaintiff’s current motions do not meet the standards for
granting plaintiff’s request for reconsideration and for filing an
Plaintiff has not presented to the Court any
change in law or the discovery of any new evidence since the entry
of the Court’s Order, and plaintiff has not demonstrated the need
to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest
Moreover, plaintiff’s proposed amended complaint,
which appears to retain all the same claims against the same
defendants, fails for the same reasons explained by the Court in
the June 27, 2014 Opinion.
Consequently, plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration and
plaintiff’s motion for leave to file an amended complaint must be
An appropriate Order will be entered.
January 7, 2015
At Camden, New Jersey
s/ Noel L. Hillman
NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
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