Occilien v. Related Partners Inc. et al
ORDER: The Court is in receipt of Plaintiff's letter, dated March 12, 2021, and docketed March 19, 2021, seeking to lift the stay in this case (Dkt. #66), and Defendants' March 30, 2021 letter in response (Dkt. #68). The Court liberally construes Plaintiff's letter as a motion for reconsideration of the Court's January 19, 2021 Opinion and Order granting Defendants' motion to compel. (Dkt. #65). (As further set forth in this Order.) In sum, Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration is DENIED. The Clerk of Court is directed to mail a copy of this Order to Plaintiff. (Signed by Judge Katherine Polk Failla on 4/1/2021) (cf) Transmission to Docket Assistant Clerk for processing.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
RELATED PARTNERS, INC.; ARTERO JIMENEZ;
KATHERINE BLOCK; HUDSON YARDS
CONSTRUCTION II HOLDINGS LLC; HUDSON
YARDS CONSTRUCTION II LLC; HUDSON
YARDS CONSTRUCTION LLC; and RUSSELL
TOBIN & ASSOCIATES,
19 Civ. 7634 (KPF)
KATHERINE POLK FAILLA, District Judge:
The Court is in receipt of Plaintiff’s letter, dated March 12, 2021, and
docketed March 19, 2021, seeking to lift the stay in this case (Dkt. #66), and
Defendants’ March 30, 2021 letter in response (Dkt. #68). The Court liberally
construes Plaintiff’s letter as a motion for reconsideration of the Court’s
January 19, 2021 Opinion and Order granting Defendants’ motion to compel.
(Dkt. #65). The Court has carefully reviewed Plaintiff’s submission and is not
persuaded that it overlooked controlling legal authority or factual data that
would change its decision, or that reconsideration is needed to prevent
manifest injustice. Plaintiff’s motion is therefore denied.
“The decision to grant or deny a motion for reconsideration is within the
sound discretion of the district court.” In re Optimal U.S. Litig., 813 F. Supp. 2d
383, 403 n.6 (S.D.N.Y. 2011) (quoting Patterson v. United States, No. 04 Civ.
3140 (WHP), 2006 WL 2067036, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. July 26, 2006)). Under Local
Rule 6.3, the moving 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.” Shrader v. CSX Transp. Inc., 70
F.3d 255, 256-57 (2d Cir. 1995) (internal citations omitted) (noting that the
standard for granting motions for reconsideration is “strict”); accord Van
Buskirk v. United Grp. of Cos., Inc., 935 F.3d 49, 54 (2d Cir. 2019).
Compelling reasons for granting a motion for reconsideration are limited
to “an intervening change of controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or
the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice.” Virgin Atl.
Airways, Ltd. v. Nat’l Mediation Bd., 956 F.2d 1245, 1255 (2d Cir. 1992)
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted); accord Kolel Beth Yechiel
Mechil of Tartikov, Inc. v. YLL Irrevocable Tr., 729 F.3d 99, 108 (2d Cir. 2013).
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)). 1
Under Local Rule 6.3, a motion for reconsideration “shall be served within fourteen (14)
days after the entry of the Court’s determination of the original motion.” Here, Plaintiff
filed her motion for reconsideration of the Court’s January 19, 2021 decision on March
12, 2021, two months after the Court’s determination of the underlying motion. (See
Dkt. #65-66). Courts in this Circuit have consistently held that the untimeliness of a
motion for reconsideration is reason enough to deny the motion. See, e.g., McGraw-Hill
Glob. Educ. Holdings, LLC v. Mathrani, 293 F. Supp. 3d 394, 397 (S.D.N.Y. 2018); see
also Cyrus v. City of N.Y., No. 06 Civ. 4685 (ARR) (RLM), 2010 WL 148078, at *1
(E.D.N.Y. Jan. 14, 2010) (collecting cases). Nevertheless, because of the special
solicitude typically accorded to pro se litigants, see Cruz v. Gomez, 202 F.3d 593, 597
(2d Cir. 2000), the Court considers the merits of Plaintiff’s request.
Plaintiff is unable to meet the stringent requirements for reconsideration.
The Court understands Plaintiff to argue primarily that reconsideration is
warranted because of a purported conflict of interest in an unsuccessful
mediation in this case. (See Dkt. #66 (“[Defendants] failed to notify [the Court]
that the firm Jackson Lewis P.C. who was the mediator of March 2020 was the
partner of [Defendant] Russell Tobin and are currently partnering in project[s]
worth million[s].”)). However, this argument is unavailing for several reasons.
First, Plaintiff fails to provide any evidence of a connection between the
mediator, the Jackson Lewis law firm, and Defendants in this case, and the
Court was not able to discern any conflict through its own research. Second,
mediation was unsuccessful and any purported conflict of interest of the
mediator was (and remains) irrelevant to this Court’s resolution of the motion
to compel arbitration, which decision Plaintiff now asks the Court to
reconsider. As such, this allegation fails to establish that reconsideration is
Plaintiff raises a number of additional factual issues related to purported
misconduct by various attorneys in this case, including sending Plaintiff an
unsolicited email; sending Plaintiff a copy of the transcript of a conference in
this case; failing to introduce themselves at a mediation; and other similar
behavior of this sort. (See Dkt. #66). The Court addresses these allegations
only as potential grounds for reconsideration, and does not opine on whether
any of these actions was insulting or offensive to Plaintiff. These allegations,
even if true, do not warrant reconsideration, because they have no bearing on
the Court’s resolution of the motion to compel arbitration.
Finally, the Court understands Plaintiff to argue that the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC”) determination that Plaintiff’s
claim was substantiated — and Defendants’ characterization of the EEOC’s
findings — merits reconsideration. (See Dkt. #66). However, neither the
EEOC’s findings with respect to the conduct about which Plaintiff complains in
this litigation nor Defendants’ characterizations of those findings are relevant
to the Court’s January 19, 2021 Opinion, which held only that Plaintiff had
agreed to arbitrate her claims against Defendants, and did not address the
merits of Plaintiff’s discrimination claims. Therefore, although the Court is
sympathetic to Plaintiff’s desire to obtain justice for what she believes to be
discrimination and harassment in the workplace, the Court is constrained by
Supreme Court precedent that requires Plaintiff to seek redress in arbitration
rather than in federal court.
In sum, Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration is DENIED. The Clerk of
Court is directed to mail a copy of this Order to Plaintiff.
April 1, 2021
New York, New York
KATHERINE POLK FAILLA
United States District Judge
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