KOSCH v. REID et al
LETTER OPINION. Signed by Judge Susan D. Wigenton on 7/17/17. (sr, )
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
MARTIN LUTHER KING COURTHOUSE
50 WALNUT ST.
NEWARK, NJ 07101
SUSAN D. WIGENTON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
July 17, 2017
Northern State Prison
P.O. Box 2300
Newark, NJ 07114
Plaintiff Pro Se
Richard P. Cushing, Esq.
Kelly A. Lichtenstein, Esq.
Gebhardt & Kiefer, P.C.
1318 Route 31
P.O. Box 4001
Clinton, NJ 08809
Attorney for Defendant
LETTER OPINION FILED WITH THE CLERK OF THE COURT
Kosch v. Reid
Civil Action No. 12-781 (SDW) (LDW)
Before this Court is Plaintiff Robert Kosch’s (“Plaintiff” or “Kosch”) Motion to Reopen
and Defendant Charles Reid’s (“Defendant” or “Reid”) Cross-Motion to Amend the Final Pretrial
Order. This Court having considered the parties’ submissions, having reached its decision without
oral argument pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78, for the reasons discussed below,
GRANTS Plaintiff’s motion and refers Defendant’s Cross-Motion to Magistrate Judge Leda D.
Plaintiff filed suit against Defendant on February 8, 2012 for alleged civil rights
violations pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Dkt. No. 1.) One year later, on February 7, 2013, the
Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office moved to intervene pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 24(b)(1)(B) for the limited purpose of requesting a stay until “such time that the
Sussex County Grand Jury is convened and determines whether to issue an indictment against
[Plaintiff], and if such an indictment is issued, the stay should be continued until the criminal
matter is resolved.” (Dkt. Nos. 25-2, 56-3 at 1.) Judge Faith Hochberg, the presiding judge at
that time, granted Sussex County’s motion and ordered this matter stayed. (Dkt. No. 49.) Judge
Hochberg also administratively terminated this matter and granted Plaintiff the right to reopen
“after the state criminal charges have been resolved.” (Dkt. No. 49 at 3.) Judge Hochberg’s
Order also noted that if this matter was reopened, “Defendant may renew his request to file
dispositive pretrial motions.” (Id. n.5.)
Plaintiff was subsequently indicted, tried and convicted in state court on offenses
including theft of immovable property and trafficking in personal identifying information. See
State v. Kosch, 133 A.3d 669 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2016). Plaintiff appealed his convictions
and the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court affirmed all but three of the counts
against Plaintiff, determining that he was entitled to “a new trial on the three immovable property
counts.” Id. at 684. The New Jersey Supreme Court denied a petition for certification. State v.
Kosch, 151 A.3d 972 (N.J. 2016). State prosecutors have indicated that they are not “pursuing
complaints, indictments or re-trial relating to the ‘theft of immovable property’ charges that were
remanded by the New Jersey Appellate Division.” (Dkt. No. 58-1 at 1-2.)
Because state prosecutors are not retrying Plaintiff on the three remanded charges, the
state criminal matter has been resolved for purposes of Judge Hochberg’s Order staying this
matter. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s Motion to Reopen is GRANTED. This Court notes, however,
that all previously withdrawn claims remain closed. Specifically, Plaintiff may not pursue claims
related to the 9 Kings Court property because he previously agreed to waive such claims (Dkt.
No. 29), or to alleged defamation by Defendant because Plaintiff previously withdrew that claim
(Dkt. No. 24 at 6).
Because Defendant’s cross-motion deals with discovery matters, it will be referred to
Magistrate Judge Leda D. Wettre for resolution. 1
For the reasons set forth above, Plaintiff’s Motion to Reopen this matter is GRANTED.
An appropriate order follows.
___/s/ Susan D. Wigenton_____
SUSAN D. WIGENTON, U.S.D.J.
Leda D. Wettre, U.S.M.J.
Plaintiff indicated in his Reply Brief that he intends to move to amend his Complaint. (Dkt. No. 57 at 3.) Should
Plaintiff make such a motion, it will be handled by Magistrate Judge Wettre.
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