ADESANYA v. NOVARTIS PHARMACEUTICALS CORPORATION
LETTER-OPINION. Signed by Judge Susan D. Wigenton on 8/18/17. (DD, )
NOT FOR PUBLICATION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
August 18, 2017
389 Highgate Drive
Ambler, PA 19002
John B. McCusker & Patricia Prezioso
Mccusker, Anselmi, Rosen & Carvelli, P.C.
210 Park Avenue, Suite 301
Florham Park, NJ 07932
Counsel for Defendant
LETTER OPINION FILED WITH THE CLERK OF THE COURT
Adesanya v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Civil Action No. 13-5564 (SDW) (SCM)
Before this Court is a joint motion filed by Plaintiff Afoluso Adesanya (“Plaintiff”) and
her husband, a nonparty, Adenekan Adesanya (“Mr. Adesanya”) (collectively, “the Adesanyas”). 1
(Dkt. No. 285.) 2 This Court, having considered the parties’ submissions, and having reached its
decision without oral argument pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78, and for the reasons
discussed below, DENIES the motion.
The Adesanyas submit the instant motion seeking to stay further proceedings in this case,
to “incorporate” a purported motion to dismiss they filed on October 12, 2016, and to reverse the
The Adesanyas indicate in their papers that this filing supersedes a motion to stay that they
previously filed. (See Dkt. No. 285 at 1, 5.) Accordingly, Dkt. No. 283 is dismissed as moot.
For ease of reference, this Court will cite to the docket entry number of documents filed
electronically in this matter.
Judgment entered by this Court on June 21, 2017. Defendant submitted Opposition to the Motion
on July 12, 2017, 3 and the Adesanyas submitted their Reply on July 20, 2017. 4
Motion to Stay
The Adesanyas seek a stay of this Court’s Order granting Defendant’s application for
attorney’s fees and costs with reductions. Pursuant to Federal Rule 62(d), an appellant may obtain
a stay by providing a supersedeas bond. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 62(d). “A supersedeas bond is any
form of security, whether in the form of cash, property, or surety bond, which a court may require
of one who petitions to set aside a judgment or execution and from which the other party may be
made whole if the action is unsuccessful.” See United States ex rel. Doe v. Heart Sol. PC, Civ.
No.14-3644, 2017 WL 2709561, at *1 (D.N.J. June 23, 2017) (internal quotation marks omitted).
While courts in this District have found that they have discretion to waive this bond
requirement in whole or in part, they will only do so “where there exists an alternative means of
securing the judgment and there are exceptional circumstances.” Id. (internal quotation marks
omitted) (citing cases). The Adesanyas have not outlined any exceptional circumstances here that
would warrant the waiver of a bond in order to secure a stay. The motion to stay is therefore
Motion to Dismiss
The Adesanya’s also seek relief on a “motion to dismiss” that they filed on October 12,
2016. (Dkt. No. 263.) This purported motion was filed after this Court had already dismissed
Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint and adjudicated Defendant’s counterclaims in its August 15, 2016
Opinion and Order on Summary Judgment. (Dkt. Nos. 251 & 252.) Thus there remained no claims
in this matter to dismiss and a motion to dismiss was procedurally improper.
Additionally, this Court ordered the Adesanyas to submit opposition to Defendant’s
Application for Attorney’s Fees and Costs no later than October 14, 2016. (Dkt. No. 260.) Indeed,
The Adesanyas contend that the letter brief Defendants submitted in opposition to their
motion should be stricken for failure to comply with Local Rule 7.1, which sets forth the format
for formal motions. However, courts in this District routinely accept letter briefs, particularly in
matters that do not require full briefing. See, e.g., Atkins v. United States, Civ. No. 88-5106, 1990
WL 126196, at *9 n.4 (D.N.J. Aug. 27, 1990) (“Often [accepting letter briefs] is in the best interest
of parties in litigation to hasten the proceedings.”) Such is the case here, and thus this Court will
accept Defendant’s letter brief in lieu of a more formal brief.
In the Reply Brief, the Adesanyas ask this Court to “address the issue of ex parte
communications and its improprieties.” (Dkt. No. 287 at 13.) They point to several entries in
Defendant’s timesheet logs in which Defense counsel indicates it made phone calls to the Court.
Generally, courts do not consider arguments first raised in reply briefs because the opposing party
does not have an opportunity to respond. See, e.g., Standowski v. Colvin, Civ. No. 13-5663, 2015
WL 404659, at *16 n.15 (D.N.J. Jan. 29, 2015). Notwithstanding, as many of the entries indicate,
these calls were administrative in nature and sought clarification as to whether Defendant was
expected to respond to the frequent, voluminous, and often confusing filings the Adesanyas
submitted in this matter. Such administrative inquiries are permissible and did not prejudice
Plaintiff or her husband.
the Adesanyas’ October 12, 2016 submission was labeled “Motion to Dismiss All of Defendant
Certification of Damages and Attorney Certification of Fees.” Accordingly, this Court treated the
filing as opposition to Defendant’s Application, which was noted by the Magistrate Judge in his
Letter Order requiring supplemental submissions. (See Dkt. No. 265 at 2 n.5.)
Finally, the Adesanyas argue that this Court’s June 21, 2017 Judgment should be reversed
due to “violations” of Local Rule 58.1(b). (Dkt. No. 285 at 7.) This argument has no merit. Local
Rule 58.1(b) sets forth the local procedures for entering a judgment “[i]n all cases contemplated
by Fed. R. Civ. P. 58(b)(2).” See L. Civ. R. 58.1(b). This Court’s Judgment, however, was not
entered pursuant to 58(b)(2). Rather, it was entered pursuant to Federal Rule 58(b)(1)(B), which
directs the prompt entry of a judgment when “the court awards only costs or a sum certain,” such
as was the case here. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 58(b)(1)(B). Pursuant to Local Rule 58.1(a), all
judgments under Federal Rule 58(b)(1) are to be “submitted to the Court for signature and entered
forthwith.” See L. Civ. R. 58.1(a). Therefore, there were no violations regarding the entry of this
Court’s June 21, 2017 Judgment that would warrant reversal.
For the reasons set forth above, the joint motion (Dkt. No. 285) is DENIED, and the motion
to stay (Dkt. No. 283) is DISMISSED AS MOOT. An appropriate Order follows.
___/s/ /Susan D. Wigenton_____
SUSAN D. WIGENTON, U.S.D.J
Steven C. Mannion, U.S.M.J.
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