United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
LLOYD DAN MURRAY, JR.; and JENNIFER McGHAN, Individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
ILG TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, d/b/a ILG INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES; and BARIS MISMAN, Individually and as Sole Proprietor of ILG INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES, Defendants.
STAN BAKER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
proposed class-action lawsuit comes before the Court on
Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration. (Doc. 30.)
Plaintiffs request that the Court reconsider its June 8, 2018
Order denying Plaintiff's Motion to Remand this case to
the Superior Court of Bryan County. (Doc. 29.) Because
Plaintiffs have not shown that the Court's prior Order is
clearly erroneous, the Court DENIES
Plaintiffs' Motion, (doc. 30).
background of this lawsuit was set forth in the Court's
June 8, 2018 Order and need not be restated in full here. Put
succinctly, Plaintiffs originally filed this lawsuit in the
Superior Court of Bryan County and claimed damages below this
Court's jurisdictional amount. Specifically, the
Complaint states that “the matter in controversy does
not exceed $5, 000, 000.00 in the aggregate, no individual
claim exceeds $75, 000.00, and there are less than 100 class
members.” (Doc. 1-3, p. 1.) As set forth in the
Court's prior Order, “Plaintiffs have actually had
three chances to state their claimed damages in court
filings, and at all three turns they confirm that they seek
less than $75, 000 per person.” (Doc. 29, pp. 2-3
(summarizing Plaintiffs' original complaint, amended
complaint, and refiled complaint).) On May 2, 2018, however,
Plaintiffs' counsel emailed Defendant's counsel and
indicated that each Plaintiff's claim actually exceeded
$300, 000. (See Doc. 1, p. 3 and Exh. A.)
thereafter, Defendants filed a Notice of Removal in this
Court. (See generally Id.) Defendants contended that
the Court could exercise jurisdiction because Plaintiffs
sought damages in excess of $75, 000 and Plaintiffs'
citizenship was completely diverse from Defendants.
(Id. (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)).) Plaintiffs
then filed a Motion to Remand. (Doc. 11.) Plaintiffs did not
dispute the parties' diversity of citizenship or that
they claimed more than the jurisdictional amount. Rather,
they contended that Defendants failed to file their Notice of
Removal within the thirty-day window required by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1446. Specifically, Plaintiffs claimed that Defendants
should have known that each Plaintiff was seeking more than
$75, 000 in damages prior to receiving the May 2, 2018 email.
Following a hearing on the Motion to Remand, the Court
rejected this line of reasoning. In doing so, the Court
pointed out that, prior to the email, Plaintiffs had
repeatedly represented that their individual claims were less
than $75, 000. (Doc. 29, pp. 4-5.)
decision to grant a motion for reconsideration is committed
to 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). Motions for reconsideration are to be
filed only when “absolutely necessary” where
there is: (1) newly discovered evidence; (2) an intervening
development or change in controlling law; or (3) a need to
correct a clear error of law or fact. Bryan v.
Murphy, 246 F.Supp.2d 1256, 1258-59 (N.D.Ga. 2003).
“An error is not ‘clear and obvious' if the
legal issues are ‘at least arguable.'”
United States v. Battle, 272 F.Supp.2d 1354, 1358
(N.D.Ga. 2003) (quoting Am. Home Assurance Co. v. Glenn
Estess & Assocs., Inc., 763 F.2d 1237, 1239 (11th
Cir. 1985)). Motions for reconsideration are not appropriate
to present the Court with arguments already heard and
dismissed, to repackage familiar arguments, or to show the
Court how it “could have done it better” the
first time. Pres. Endangered Areas of Cobb's
History, Inc. v. United States Army Corps of
Eng'rs., 916 F.Supp. 1557, 1560 (N.D.Ga. 1995),
aff'd, 87 F.3d 1242 (11th Cir. 1996).
do not explicitly state which of the three prerequisites for
a motion for reconsideration they are relying upon. However,
they clearly do not cite to any newly discovered evidence or
a change in the law. Thus, they must demonstrate that the
Court made a clear error of law or fact when denying their
Motion to Remand. The most that Plaintiffs offer on this
front is a contention that, in determining whether Defendants
knew earlier (within the thirty-day window required by 28
U.S.C. § 1446) that the amount in controversy exceeded
$75, 000 per Plaintiff, the Court's prior Order
“did not account for attorney's fees and mental
pain and suffering as significant portions of the amount in
controversy, which they are.” (Doc. 30, p. 2.) However,
the Court explicitly accounted for these items of damages:
Moreover, when asked to itemize expenses, Plaintiffs offered
a figure of approximately $64, 000-which is, of course, less
than $75, 000. Dkt. No. 11, p. 7-8. Plaintiffs do point out
that there were non-monetized claims of attorneys' fees,
injury to property rights, injury to reputation, and damages
for mental pain and suffering-but then again, these were
never itemized to bring the total above $75, 000. Dkt. No.
11, p. 8.
(Doc. 29, p. 4.) Plaintiffs now argue that “[s]ince Mr.
Murray itemized damages of approximately $64, 000 and also
claimed attorney's fees and mental pain and suffering,
Defendants undoubtedly knew that the amount in controversy
exceeded $75, 000 . . . .” Yet, Plaintiffs ignore the
fact that they repeatedly represented that their individual
claims did not exceed $75, 000. Indeed, Plaintiffs twice made
that representation, (doc. 1-3, p. 1; doc. 11-4, p. 2), even
after itemizing their damages in a discovery response, (doc.
11-2). Having explicitly stated that they were seeking
damages below this Court's jurisdictional amount,
Plaintiffs cannot now argue that Defendants should have known
that Plaintiffs' statement was untrue. Put simply,
Defendants were permitted to take Plaintiffs at their word.
have not shown that the Court made a clear error of law or
fact when holding that Defendants timely filed their Notice
of Removal. Specifically, the Court's holding that
Plaintiffs' counsel's May 2, 2018 email triggered 28
U.S.C. § 1446(b)'s clock was not clearly erroneous.
Plaintiffs' arguments to the contrary have already been
rejected by the Court and are contradicted by Plaintiffs'
own prior pleadings.
of these reasons, the Court DENIES
Plaintiffs Motion for Reconsideration, (doc. 30). The June 8,
2018 Order, (doc. 29), remains the Order of the Court.