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Smith v. HSBC Bank USA, National Association

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Brunswick Division

February 5, 2018

MARVIN B. SMITH, III & SHARON H. SMITH, Plaintiffs,
v.
HSBC BANK USA, N.A.; WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.; S. ANDREW SHUPING, JR.; SHUPING, MORSE & ROSS LLP; RUBIN LUBLIN, LLC; BRET CHANESS; and PETER LUBLIN, Defendants.

          ORDER

          HON. LISA GODBEY WOOD, JUDGE

         Before the Court are two Motions for Reconsideration from Plaintiffs Marvin B. Smith, III and Sharon H. Smith: the first asking the Court to reconsider its Order on Motion to Stay (Dkt. No. 85), and the second asking the Court to reconsider its Order on the Motion to Dismiss, the Motion for Reconsideration, the Motion for Miscellaneous Relief, the Motion to Stay, the Motion to Amend/Correct, and the Motion to Strike (Dkt. No. 87) . For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiffs' Motions for Reconsideration are DENIED.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         For over a decade, the Smiths have been involved in a bankruptcy case. In re Smith, No. 07-20244 (Bankr. S.D. Ga. Apr. 2, 2007). On August 8, 2017, Plaintiffs moved to enforce a bankruptcy stay they claim prevented HSBC from foreclosing on the Property and evicting Plaintiffs. Dkt. No. 69. That same day, the Court found that HSBC had not violated any such bankruptcy stay because a Consent Order entered in Plaintiffs' bankruptcy permitted HSBC to foreclose and evict Plaintiffs from the Property. Dkt. No. 70.

         Thereafter, on September 1, 2017, the Court dismissed Plaintiffs' federal claims. Dkt. No. 84 p. 14. The Court found that Plaintiffs' claims of fraud upon the Court were meritless, because the Bankruptcy Court had rejected these contentions "half a decade ago." Dkt. No. 84 p. 9. The Court likewise found that the contention was bound by res judiciata because (1) Plaintiffs had previously made this argument before the Bankruptcy Court, and the argument was rejected, and (2) to the extent any additional evidence now exists that Plaintiffs could have brought before the Bankruptcy Court in support of this claim, res judicata barred any claims or new evidence Plaintiffs could have brought before the Bankruptcy Court. Id. The Court likewise dismissed Plaintiffs' claim under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Id. at 10. Lastly, the Court found: (1) that Plaintiffs' constitutional claims were meritless, and (2) Plaintiffs' federal RICO claim was due to be dismissed. In the Order, the Court found that "[a]11 other outstanding motions are DENIED as moot." Id. at 14.

         On the same day the Court entered its dismissal, Plaintiff entered a Motion for Reconsideration asking for the Court's reconsideration of its Order on the Motion to Stay. Dkt. No. 85. On September 5, 2017, Plaintiffs submitted another Motion for Reconsideration: this time of the Court's Order dismissing the case. Dkt. No. 87.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         [R]econsideration of an earlier order is an extraordinary remedy, which should be granted sparingly." Whitesell Corp. v. Electolux Home Prods., Inc., 2010 WL 4025943, at *7 (S.D. Ga. 2010). In order to grant such a motion, "[t]here must be a reason why a court should reconsider its prior decision, and the moving party must set forth facts or law of a strongly convincing nature to induce the court to amend its prior decision." Mehta v. Foskey, 2013 WL 1808764, at *1 (S.D. Ga. 2013). Reconsideration is only appropriate if the moving party demonstrates: (1) an intervening change in controlling law, (2) the availability of new evidence, or (3) the need to correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice. Estate of Pidcock By and Through Pidcock v. Sunnyland Am., Inc., 726 F.Supp. 1322, 1333 (S.D. Ga. 1989). Any decision to grant a motion for reconsideration rests within the sound discretion of the district court. Fla. Ass'n of Rehab. Facilities, Inc. v. State of Fla. Dep't of Health & Rehab Servs., 225 F.3d 1208, 1216 (11th Cir. 2000).

         A motion for reconsideration is not properly used as a vehicle "to present the court with arguments already heard and dismissed or to repackage familiar arguments to test whether the court will change its mind." Bryan v. Murphy, 246 F.Supp.2d 1256, 1259 (N.D.Ga. 2003). Nor do such motions present an opportunity to instruct the Court on how itw*could have done it better' the first time." Pres. Endangered Areas of Cobb's History, Inc. v. U.S. Army Corps of Eng'rs, 916 F.Supp. 1557, 1560 (N.D.Ga. 1995).

         DISCUSSION

         Plaintiffs raise several arguments as to why their Motions for Reconsideration are due to be granted. The Court examines each in turn, determining whether any of the issues raised demonstrate: (1) an intervening change in controlling law, (2) the availability of new evidence, or (3) the need to correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice, which would justify the Court's reconsideration. Estate of Pidcock, 726 F.Supp. at 1333.

         I. Issues Raised in the Motion for Reconsideration of the Order on the Motion to Stay (Dkt. No. 85)

         Plaintiffs ask for reconsideration of the Order on the Motion to Stay on two grounds. Neither ground serves as a basis for the Court's reconsideration of its prior Order.

         A. Whether Plaintiffs' mortgage was in the trust for which ...


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