United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Norfolk Division
IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT OF VULCAN CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS, LLC, AS OWNER OF THE TUG JEANIE CLAY,
OPINION AND ORDER
G. DOMUMAR, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Claimant and
Defendant-in-Limitation Robert W. Dervishian, Jr.'s
Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's Denial of his
Motion to Dismiss Complaint in Admiralty Due to Lack of
Subject Matter Jurisdiction ("Motion for
Reconsideration"), ECF No. 35. In such motion, Robert W.
Dervishian ("Dervishian" or
"Defendant-in-Limitation") requests dismissal of
the Complaint in Admiralty ("Limitation of Liability
Claim"), ECF No. 1, filed by Vulcan Construction
Materials, LLC ("Vulcan" or
"Plaintiff-in-Limitation") as well as dissolution
of the Court's Order of Publication and Stay, ECF No. 10.
ECF No. 35 at 20-21.
before the Court are Dervishian's Request for Oral
Argument, ECF No. 44, and Dervishian's Motion for Leave
to File a Supplemental Memorandum Supporting His Motion for
Reconsideration and Incorporated Memorandum ("Motion for
Leave to File a Supplemental Memorandum"), ECF No. 45.
issues before the Court have been extensively litigated, and
for the reasons set forth below, the Court
DENIES both of Dervishian's motions, ECF
Nos. 35 & 45, in addition to Dervishian's Request for
Oral Argument, ECF No. 44.
December 17, 2018, Vulcan filed its Complaint in Admiralty,
"seeking exoneration from or limitation of liability to
the value of the JEANIE CLAY, or $375, 000." ECF No. 24
January 22, 2019, Dervishian filed his Answer and Claim,
setting forth affirmative defenses and its claim against
Vulcan. ECF No. 22.
same day, Dervishian filed his Motion to Dismiss and
supporting memorandum. ECF Nos. 17, 18. Vulcan filed its
Memorandum in Opposition to Motion to Dismiss Limitation
Petition on February 5, 2019. ECF No. 24. Dervishian filed
his Reply Brief on February 11, 2019. ECF No. 26.
April 15, 2019, the Court held a hearing on Dervishian's
Motion to Dismiss, during which the Court provided Dervishian
ample opportunity to present argument in support of its
Motion to Dismiss. The Court subsequently entered its Opinion
and Order denying Dervishian's Motion to Dismiss. ECF No.
27, 2019, Dervishian filed the instant Motion for
Reconsideration, ECF No. 35, to which Vulcan filed its
Memorandum in Opposition, ECF No. 42, on June 10, 2019. On
June 14, 2019, Dervishian filed his Reply, ECF No. 43.
Dervishian proceeded to file his Request for Oral Argument on
June 18, 2019. ECF No. 44.
11, 2019, Dervishian filed its Motion for Leave to File a
Supplemental Memorandum, ECF No. 45.
matters are ripe for adjudication. Because the facts and
arguments are adequately presented in the briefs and on the
record, and because the Court has already provided
substantial opportunity for argument in this matter, the
Court's decisional process would not be aided by yet
another opportunity for oral argument in this matter.
STANDARD FOR RECONSIDERATION
argues that his Motion for Reconsideration is proper under
either Rule 59(e) or 54(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil
59(e) "governs requests to alter or amend a
'judgment,' which is defined by Rule 54(a) as 'a
decree and any order from which an appeal lies.'"
Hemdon v. Alutiiq Educ. & Training, LLC, No.
2:16cv72, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 193725, at *4 (E.D. Va. Aug.
15, 2016) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e); Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(a)).
The Fourth Circuit has emphasized that "Rule 59(e) is ..
. applicable only to a final judgment." Favetteville
Investors v. Commercial Builders. Inc., 936 F.2d 1462,
1469 (4th Cir. 1991).
Fourth Circuit has recognized three limited grounds under
which a district court may grant a motion for reconsideration
under Rule 59(e): "(1) to accommodate an intervening
change in controlling law; (2) to account for new evidence
not available at trial; or (3) to correct a clear error of
law or prevent manifest injustice." Hutchinson v.
Staton, 994 F.2d 1076, 1081 (4th Cir. 1993). However,
"mere disagreement with the court's ruling does not
warrant a Rule 59(e) motion." Lafleur v. Dollar Tree
Stores, Inc., No. 2:12-cv-00363, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
198160, at *4 (E.D. Va. Mar. 24, 2014) (citing
Hutchinson, 994 F.2d at 1082). Finally, a district
court's decision on a motion for reconsideration is
reviewed "for abuse of discretion[, ]" and the
Fourth Circuit has noted that granting such a motion under
Rule 59(e) "is an extraordinary remedy which should be
used sparingly." Pacific Ins. Co. v. Am. Nat'l
Fire Ins. Co., 148 F.3d 396, 402-03 (4th Cir. 1998)
(internal quotations omitted). B. Rule 54(b).
court's order denying a "[m]otion to [d]ismiss does
not constitute a 'judgment' or a final order,
'" the motion for reconsideration "does not
fall within the language of... Rule 59(e)."
Hemdon, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 193725, at *4. Rule
54(b), however, "expressly provides a district court
with discretion to revise interlocutory orders, such as an
order denying a motion to dismiss, prior to final
judgment." Id. at *4-5. Under Rule 54(b),
"any order... that adjudicates fewer than all the
claims... may be revised at any time before the entry of a
judgment adjudicating all the claims and all the parties'
rights and liabilities." Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b).
for reconsideration under Rule 54(b) are not subject to the
strict standards applicable to motions for reconsideration of
a final judgment' under Rules 59(e) and 60(b)."
Orbcomm Inc. v. Calamp Corp.,215 F.Supp.3d 499, 503
(E.D. Va. 2016) (quoting Am. Canoe Ass'n v. Murohy
Farms. Inc.,326 F.3d 505, 514-15 (4th Cir. 2003)).
Under Rule 54(b), reconsideration is not limited to
"extraordinary circumstances," as is generally
required under Rule 59(e). Netscape Communs. Corp. v.
Valueclick, Inc.,704 F.Supp.2d 544, 547 (E.D. ...