Johnson v. Raggi
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: the Court declines to reconsider the June 2016 Decision. SO Ordered by Judge Margo K. Brodie on 1/25/2017. (Copy Mailed) (Ramesar, Thameera) Modified on 1/25/2017 (Ramesar, Thameera).
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
JUDGE REENA RAGGI,
--------------------------------------------------------------MARGO K. BRODIE, United States District Judge:
Plaintiff D.K. Johnson, proceeding pro se, filed the above-captioned action against Judge
Reena Raggi for her role in adjudicating a criminal proceeding against Plaintiff. (Compl.,
Docket Entry No. 1.) Plaintiff seeks money damages. (Id.) By Memorandum and Order dated
June 30, 2016, the Court sua sponte dismissed the Complaint on grounds of absolute immunity
(the “June 30 Decision”). Johnson v. Raggi, No. 16-CV-2765, 2016 WL 3647865, at *1–2
(E.D.N.Y. July 1, 2016). On July 15, 2016, Plaintiff submitted a letter to Chief Judge Dora
Irizarry, challenging the June 30 Decision. (Docket Entry No. 8.) Because Plaintiff is
proceeding pro se, the Court has construed the letter as a motion for reconsideration, (Pl. Mot.
for Reconsideration (“Pl. Mot.”)). See Wiley v. Kirkpatrick, 801 F.3d 51, 62 (2d Cir. 2015)
(holding that courts must liberally construe papers submitted by pro se litigants). For the reasons
discussed below, the Court denies Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration.
The Court assumes familiarity with the facts as set forth in the June 30 Decision and
provides only a summary of the pertinent facts. See Johnson, 2016 WL 3647865, at *1–2.
Plaintiff alleges that in November of 1989, while he was employed by the United States Navy at
the Brooklyn Naval Station, he was “arrested, indicted and tried for attempted murder” in the
Eastern District of New York. (Aff. of D.K. Johnson (“Johnson Aff.”) ¶ 3, annexed to Compl.)
Plaintiff was brought before Judge Raggi in the criminal proceeding, and Plaintiff’s counsel
“challenged the jurisdiction” of the court. (Id. ¶ 4.) Plaintiff alleges that the prosecutor failed to
establish the court’s jurisdiction over his prosecution, and that Judge Raggi stated that she had
jurisdiction over the matter. (Id. ¶ 4–5.) Plaintiff alleges that Judge Raggi “knew that she lacked
jurisdiction” over his prosecution and sentencing and “knew that she was committing a crime the
moment [his] attorney challenged the jurisdiction.” (Id. ¶ 5.) Plaintiff alleges that Judge Raggi’s
actions were “in violation of the due process clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment[s].”
(Id.) In July of 1991, Plaintiff was “tried, convicted and sentenced to ten years in federal prison”
by Judge Raggi. (Id. ¶ 10.)
Standard of review
The standard for granting a motion for reconsideration is strict, and “[r]econsideration
will generally be denied unless the moving party can point to controlling decisions or data that
the court overlooked — matters, in other words, that might reasonably be expected to alter the
conclusion reached by the court.” Cedar Petrochem., Inc. v. Dongbu Hannong Chem. Co., Ltd.,
628 F. App’x 793, 796 (2d Cir. 2015) (quoting Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 257
(2d Cir. 1995)); Bank of Am. Nat’l Ass’n v. AIG Fin. Prods. Corp., 509 F. App’x 24, 27 (2d Cir.
Plaintiff also alleges that the grand jury indictment against him was obtained “without
establishing jurisdiction[;]” that the Naval Investigative Service Agents searched and seized
“thousands of [his] personal documents, audio tapes, correspondence, bank books, letters,
telephone bills and other property from [his] room, office, and van” without probable cause and
in violation of the Fourth Amendment; and that some of this evidence was provided to the
Federal Bureau of Investigation without a warrant and was ultimately used against him at trial.
(Aff. of D.K. Johnson (“Johnson Aff.”) ¶¶ 7–8, 10, annexed to Compl.)
2013) (“The standard for granting such a motion is strict . . . .” (quoting Shrader, 70 F.3d at
257)); see also Local Civ. R. 6.3 (The moving party must “set forth concisely the matters or
controlling decisions which counsel believes the Court has overlooked.”); Smith v. N.Y.C. Dep’t
of Educ., 524 F. App’x 730, 734 (2d Cir. 2013) (“To warrant reconsideration, a party must ‘point
to controlling decisions or data that the court overlooked — matters, in other words, that might
reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion reached by the court.’” (quoting Shrader, 70 F.3d
It is thus “well-settled” that a motion for reconsideration is “not a vehicle for relitigating
old issues, presenting the case under new theories, securing a rehearing on the merits, or
otherwise taking a ‘second bite at the apple.’” Analytical Surveys, Inc. v. Tonga Partners, L.P.,
684 F.3d 36, 52 (2d Cir. 2012) (quoting Sequa Corp. v. GBJ Corp., 156 F.3d 136, 144 (2d Cir.
1998)). A motion for reconsideration is “neither an occasion for repeating old arguments
previously rejected nor an opportunity for making new arguments that could have previously
been made.” Simon v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., 18 F. Supp. 3d 423, 425 (S.D.N.Y. 2014) (citations
and internal quotation marks omitted). In order to prevail on a motion for reconsideration, “the
moving party must demonstrate that the Court overlooked controlling decisions or factual
matters that were put before the Court on the underlying motion.” Lichtenberg v. Besicorp Grp.
Inc., 28 F. App’x 73, 75 (2d Cir. 2002) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted); see also
Stoner v. Young Concert Artists, Inc., No. 11-CV-7279, 2013 WL 2425137, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. May
20, 2013) (“A motion for reconsideration is an extraordinary remedy, and this Court will not
reconsider issues already examined simply because [a party] is dissatisfied with the outcome of
his case. To do otherwise would be a waste of judicial resources.” (alteration in original));
Henderson v. City of New York, No. 05-CV-2588, 2011 WL 5513228, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 10,
2011) (“In order to have been ‘overlooked,’ the decisions or data in question must have been put
before [the court] on the underlying motion . . . and which, had they been considered, might have
reasonably altered the result before the court.” (alterations in original) (citations omitted)).
Reconsideration is unwarranted
Plaintiff argues that reconsideration is appropriate because the Court failed to comply
with the requirements of Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in the June 30 Decision.
(Pl. Mot. 2.) In the June 30 Decision, the Court dismissed the Complaint on the basis of absolute
immunity. Johnson, 2016 WL 3647865, at *2. The Court explained that Plaintiff’s claims
against Judge Raggi relate to actions that she took pursuant to her official duties as a district
Plaintiff fails to point to any facts or controlling law that the Court overlooked. See
Cedar Petrochem., Inc., 628 F. App’x at 796. In arguing for reconsideration, Plaintiff does not
argue that the Court overlooked controlling law; he merely argues that the Court incorrectly
interpreted the law. (Pl. Mot. 2.) In any event, Plaintiff’s argument is meritless because the
Court applied the appropriate standard in dismissing the complaint for failure to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted. Johnson, 2016 WL 3647865, at *2 (“A complaint must plead
enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. . . . [And] [a] complaint will be
dismissed as frivolous when it is clear that the defendants are immune from suit.” (citations and
internal quotation marks omitted)).
For the foregoing reasons, the Court declines to reconsider the June 2016 Decision.
MARGO K. BRODIE
United States District Judge
Dated: January 25, 2017
Brooklyn, New York
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