FIELDS v. CITY OF SALEM HOUSING AUTHORITY et al
OPINION. Signed by Judge Noel L. Hillman on 3/30/2017. (dmr)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
ALBERT J. FIELDS, JR.,
Civil No. 14-778 (NLM/KMW)
FRANCINE DICKERSON and
Albert J. Fields, Jr.
P.O. Box 1052
Salem, New Jersey 08079
Plaintiff Pro Se
Bruce W. Padula
Ashley Elizabeth Malandre
Cleary Giacobbe Alfieri Jacobs, LLC
5 Ravine Drive
P.O. Box 533
Matawan, NJ 07932
Attorneys for Defendant Elizabeth Loyle
Brian Patrick Budic
Florio Perrucci Steninhardt & Fader, LLC
1010 Kings Highway South
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Lester E. Taylor, III
Florio Perrucci Steninhardt & Fader, LLC
218 Rt. 17 North
Rochelle Park, NJ 07662
Attorneys for Defendant Francine Dickerson
HILLMAN, District Judge:
Plaintiff Albert Fields, pro se, brings this § 1983 action
asserting that Defendants Dickerson and Loyle deprived him of
his federal constitutional and statutory rights when they
allegedly failed to provide him with a grievance hearing prior
to evicting him from his public housing.
Presently before the Court is Plaintiff’s motion for
reconsideration of the Court’s opinion and order granting
summary judgment to the Defendants on the basis of collateral
For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff’s motion
for reconsideration will be DENIED.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDRUAL HISTORY
The opinion and order which are the subject of the instant
motion for reconsideration are available at Fields, Jr. v.
Dickerson, et al., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87206 (D.N.J. July 6,
2016), and are incorporated herein by reference.
The Court granted summary judgment to Defendants on the
basis of collateral estoppel because the undisputed record
evidence conclusively established that the issue of whether
Defendants were required to provide Plaintiff with a grievance
hearing was raised, litigated, and decided against Plaintiff
within the context of Plaintiff’s eviction proceeding.
Specifically, the Court gave preclusive effect to the state
court’s conclusion that Defendants were not required to provide
Plaintiff a grievance hearing, because, the state court found,
Plaintiff “‘had not requested’” a grievance hearing. Fields,
2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87206 at *5 (quoting the state court’s
II. LEGAL STANDARD
In this District, Local Civil Rule 7.1(i) governs motions
for reconsideration. Local Civil Rule 7.1(i) will apply where no
final judgment has been entered pursuant to Rule 54(b). See
Warner v. Twp. of S. Harrison, 885 F. Supp. 2d 725, 747–48
However, the standard for evaluating the request
is the same as the standard under Rule 59(e). Id.
“The scope of a motion for reconsideration . . . is
extremely limited.” Blystone v. Horn, 664 F.3d 397, 415 (3d Cir.
“The purpose of a motion for reconsideration is ‘to
correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly
discovered evidence.’” Lazaridis v. Wehmer, 591 F.3d 666, 669
(3d Cir. 2010)(citing Max’s Seafood Cafe ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc.
v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)).
A motion for
reconsideration “must rely on one of three grounds: (1) an
intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability of
new evidence; or (3) the need to correct clear error of law or
prevent manifest injustice.” Id. (citing N. River Ins. Co. v.
CIGNA Reinsurance Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995)).
“A party seeking reconsideration must show more than a
disagreement with the Court’s decision, and recapitulation of
the cases and arguments considered by the court before rendering
its original decision fails to carry the moving party’s burden.”
Facteon, Inc. v. Comp Care Partners, LLC, Civ. No. 13-6765, 2015
WL 519414, at *1 (D.N.J. Feb. 9, 2015)(quoting G–69 v. Degnan,
748 F. Supp. 274, 275 (D.N.J. 1990)).
“A motion for
reconsideration should not provide the parties with an
opportunity for a second bite at the apple.” Tishcio v. Bontex,
Inc., 16 F. Supp. 2d 511, 533 (D.N.J. 1998) (citation omitted).
Plaintiff asserts that “[t]he Court erred in determining
the Plaintiff attempted to re-litigate the state court action.”
(Moving Brief, p. 6)
According to Plaintiff, he “availed
himself of the state court remedies regarding the landlord
tenant action with the Housing Authority and does not require
this court to do  more than to take judicial notice of the
state court action.” (Id. at p. 3)
This argument misapprehends the Court’s summary judgment
The Court did not conclude that Plaintiff sought to
relitigate the state court eviction proceeding insofar as it is
undisputed that Plaintiff was the defendant in the state court
action, whereas here, Plaintiff seeks to affirmatively vindicate
his federal statutory and constitutional rights.
correct that the legal claims, and the two cases, are not the
However, the issue of whether Plaintiff was entitled to a
grievance hearing was and is integral to both cases.
It was a
defense to eviction in the state court case, and it is the
asserted factual basis for Plaintiff’s claims in this suit.
Fundamentally, the finding that Plaintiff did not invoke his
asserted right to a grievance hearing is fatal to both
Plaintiff’s defense to eviction and right to affirmative relief.
Such was the basis for the Court’s decision, and the Court finds
no error in it.
For the reasons set forth above, Plaintiff’s motion for
reconsideration will be DENIED.
An Order consistent with this Opinion will be entered.
Dated: March 30, 2017
At Camden, New Jersey
_s/ Noel L. Hillman___
NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
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