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Date: 07-08-2024

Case Style:

Cavil Carter v. Sentech Services, Inc.

Case Number: 3:24-CV-949

Judge: Vernon D. Oliver

Court: United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (New Haven County)

Plaintiff's Attorney:

Click Here For The Best New Haven Civil Rights Lawyer Directory

Defendant's Attorney: James Golicz, Maura Mastrony


New Haven, Connecticut civil rights law lawyer represented the Plaintiff who sued on a employment discrimination theory.

Outcome: ORDER denying 18 Motion for Reconsideration. By Order dated June 12, 2024 17 , this Court remanded the instant action to the Connecticut Superior Court for the Judicial District of Hartford. The action asserts claims for violations of the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act on the basis of sexual harassment (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-60(b)(8)), sex discrimination (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-60(b)(1)), and retaliation (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-60(b)(4)), and was removed to this Court by Defendant on May 29, 2024. In its Order remanding the action, the Court found that Plaintiff failed to comply with the Court's Order to Show Cause 14 , which directed her to file and serve an estimate of her alleged damages in this action by June 10, 2024 and which stated that the Court may remand the action sua sponte or for failure to comply with the Order to Show Cause deadlines. See ECF No. 14 . In its motion, Defendant argues that the Court should reconsider its June 12th Order and that the Court should allow Defendant to submit evidence establishing that the amount in controversy has been met. (ECF No. 18 .) For the following reasons, the Court denies Defendant's motion.

Motions for reconsideration may be filed pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 59(e) or 60(b). "A motion for reconsideration is committed to the sound discretion of the court." Kregos v. Latest Line, Inc., 951 F. Supp. 24, 26 (D. Conn. 1996). "The standard for granting [a motion for reconsideration] is strict, and reconsideration will generally be denied unless the moving party can point to controlling decisions or data that the court overlookedmatters, 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, 257 (2d Cir. 1995); see also D. Conn. L. R. 7(c)(1) (providing that motions for reconsideration "will generally be denied unless the movant can point to controlling decisions or data that the court overlooked in the initial decision or order"). A party's identification of "an intervening change of controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice" may also constitute sufficient reasons to grant a motion for reconsideration. Kolel Beth Yechiel Mechil of Tartikov, Inc. v. YLL Irrevocable Trust, 729 F.3d 99, 104 (2d Cir. 2013) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). "In the context of a motion for reconsideration, 'manifest injustice' is defined as an error committed by the trial court that is direct, obvious, and observable." Corpac v. Rubin & Rothman, LLC, 10 F. Supp. 3d 349, 354 (E.D.N.Y. 2013) (internal quotation marks omitted). A party, however, may not use a motion for reconsideration to re-argue prior issues that have already been decided, present "new theories" or arguments that could have been raised earlier, seek a new hearing "on the merits, or [to] otherwise tak[e] a second bite at the apple." Analytical Surveys, Inc. v. Tonga Partners, L.P., 684 F.3d 36, 52 (2d Cir. 2012) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

In its motion Defendant asserts, as it did in the removal petition, that federal jurisdiction is appropriate because the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000. Defendant argues that this Court should reconsider the Remand Order because it was wrongfully denied an opportunity to submit evidence in support of the amount of controversy requirement, and the evidence would show that "Plaintiff, if successful, would be entitled to $66,560.00 in front pay alone." (ECF No. 18 at 6.) "[T]he time and place for Defendant[] to make [its] argument was at removal in their Notice of Removal, not now in a motion for reconsideration." Cavaleri v. Amgen Inc., No. 20-CV-1762 (PKC) (RML), 2021 WL 951652, at *3 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 12, 2021). Moreover, the Court notes, as it indicated in its Order to Show Cause, that it may sua sponte, at any time in the course of litigation, raise the question of whether the Court has subject matter jurisdiction. Mitskovski v. Buffalo & Fort Erie Pub. Bridge Auth., 435 F.3d 127, 133 (2d Cir. 2006); Perez v. Metro. Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., No. 3:14-CV-01565 (CSH), 2014 WL 7428280, at *1 (D. Conn. Dec. 31, 2014). Here, the Court raised the issue sua sponte and, as set forth in the Remand Order, found that it was without jurisdiction over this action because the pleadings do not establish to a reasonable probability that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 and because Plaintiff failed to provide the Court with a calculation of her alleged damages by the Court-ordered deadline. (The fact that Plaintiff emailed Defendant on June 12, 2024, two days after the deadline, that she would file her damages analysis that day does not change the Court's analysis, especially when the Court warned the parties that failure to comply with the deadlines may result in remand of the case.) Without Plaintiff's damages analysis, the Court cannot find that subject matter jurisdiction exists based on a preponderance of the evidence. 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c); Luce v. Kohl's Department Stores, Inc., 23 F. Supp. 3d 82, 85 (D. Conn. 2014).

As Defendant has not alleged any facts sufficient to warrant relief from the Court's Order under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 59(e) or 60(b), the motion to reconsider the Court's Order remanding the action to state court is denied.

It is so ordered. Signed by Judge Vernon D. Oliver on 7/8/2024. (Lapsia, T) (Entered: 07/08/2024)

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