CABEZA et al v. FEDERAL HOME LOAN MORTGAGE CORPORATION et al
OPINION. Signed by Judge Jose L. Linares on 7/14/2015. (nr, )
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
LUCREZIA CABEZA, et al.,
Civil Action No. 15-1589 (JAD)
FEDERAL HOME LOAN MORTGAGE
CORPORATION, etc., et al.,
LINARES, District Judge.
This matter comes before the Court by way of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Reconsideration of
the Court's May 12, 2015 Opinion and Order (“Motion for Reconsideration”). The Court has
considered the submissions of both parties in support of and in opposition to the present motion
and decides the matter without oral argument pursuant to Rule 78 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. For the reasons that follow, Plaintiffs’ Motion for Reconsideration is denied.
In 2007, Plaintiffs executed a note and purchase money mortgage with Bank of America,
N.A. (“BANA”) for a property in New Jersey. In their Complaint, Plaintiffs alleged that the loan
was bundled and sold as a “Mortgage Backed Security” to investors. Thus, Plaintiffs alleged that
none of the Defendants owned the note because of improper recording and cannot be the
beneficiary of the mortgage. As a result, Plaintiffs argued that they should not have to repay the
mortgage and brought thirteen causes of action seeking declaratory relief and damages. This
Court dismissed all counts of Plaintiffs’ Complaint, inter alia, for lack of cognizability. For a
full recitation of the background of this action see the Court’s Opinion dated May 12, 2015.
II. LEGAL STANDARD
Motions for reconsideration are not expressly recognized in the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. United States v. Compaction Sys. Corp., 88 F. Supp.2d 339, 345 (D.N.J. 1999).
Generally, a motion for reconsideration is treated as a motion to alter or amend judgment under
Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e), or as a motion for relief from judgment or order under Fed. R. Civ. P.
60(b). Id. In the District of New Jersey, Local Civil Rule 7.1(i) governs motions for
reconsideration. Dunn v. Reed Group, No. 08–1632, 2010 U.S. Dist. Lexis 2438, at *3–4, 2010
WL 174861 (D.N.J. Jan 13, 2010).
Local Civil Rule 7.1(i) permits a party to seek reconsideration by the court of matters
“which [it] believes the Court has overlooked” when it ruled on the motion. L. Civ. R. 7.1(i); see
NL Industries, Inc. v. Commercial Union Ins., 935 F. Supp. 513, 515 (D.N.J. 1996). The
standard of review involved in a motion for reargument is quite high, and therefore relief under
this rule is to be granted very sparingly. See United States v. Jones, 158 F.R.D. 309, 314
(D.N.J.1994). A judgment may be altered or amended if the movant shows at least one of the
following grounds: “(1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new
evidence that was not available when the court [issued its order]; or (3) the need to correct a clear
error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice.” Max's Seafood Café v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d
669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999) (citing N. River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA Reinsurance Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218
(3d Cir.1995)). The Court will grant a motion for reconsideration only where its prior decision
has overlooked a factual or legal issue that may alter the disposition of the matter. Compaction
Sys. Corp., 88 F. Supp.2d at 345; see also L. Civ. R. 7.1(i). “The word ‘overlooked’ is the
operative term in the Rule.” Bowers v. Nat'l. Collegiate Athletics Ass'n., 130 F. Supp.2d 610,
612 (D.N.J. 2001) (citation omitted); see also Compaction Sys. Corp., 88 F. Supp.2d at 345.
Ordinarily, a motion for reconsideration may address only those matters of fact or issues
of law which were presented to, but not considered by, the court in the course of making the
decision at issue. See SPIRG v. Monsanto Co., 727 F. Supp. 876, 878 (D.N.J. 1989), aff'd, 891
F.2d 283 (3d Cir. 1989). Thus, reconsideration is not to be used as a means of expanding the
record to include matters not originally before the court. Bowers, 130 F. Supp.2d. at 613. A
party seeking to introduce new evidence on reconsideration bears the burden of first
demonstrating that the evidence was unavailable or unknown at the time of the original hearing.
See Levinson v. Regal Ware, Inc., No. 89–1298, 1989 WL 205724 at *3 (D.N.J. Dec.1, 1989).
Absent unusual circumstances, a court should reject new evidence which was not presented when
the court made the contested decision. Resorts Int'l. v. Greate Bay Hotel and Casino, Inc., 830
F. Supp. 826, 831 (D.N.J. 1992).
Moreover, L. Civ. R. 7.1(i) does not allow parties to recapitulate cases and arguments
which the court has already considered before rendering its original decision. See G–69 v.
Degnan, 748 F. Supp. 274, 275 (D.N.J. 1990). Thus, a difference of opinion with the court's
decision should be dealt with through the normal appellate process. Bowers, 130 F. Supp.2d at
612 (citations omitted); NL Industries, Inc. v. Commercial Union Ins. Co., 935 F. Supp. at 516
(“Reconsideration motions ... may not be used to relitigate old matters, or to raise arguments or
present evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of judgment.”).
In Plaintiffs’ Motion for Reconsideration, Plaintiffs allege that the Court
made a ruling to dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint based on “there is no
immediate controversy warranting declaratory judgment as there is
no active foreclosure action,” Quoting from Opinion which is
erroneous due to the Defendants’ stated intention to Foreclose.
Just because the Defendants have failed to timely file for
foreclosure does not indicate that they will not in the future. The
Declaratory Judgment is crucial, and paramount amongst all filed
claims to survive the 12(b) (6).
This is Plaintiffs’ sole ground for reconsideration and seeking to amend their Complaint.
However, this is a mere difference of opinion with the Court’s decision which should be handled
through the normal appellate process. As stated in the Court’s prior Opinion, permitting
amendment of Plaintiffs’ Complaint would be futile. It was not a clear error of law for the Court
to have determined such. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ Motion for Reconsideration is denied.
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration is denied. An
appropriate Order accompanies this Opinion.
DATED: July 14, 2015
s/ Jose L. Linares
JOSE L. LINARES
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
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