Case 0:12-cv-60817-RSR Document 30 Entered on FLSD Docket 08/08/2012 Page 1 of 4
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
CASE NO. 12-60817-CIV-ROSENBAUM/SELTZER
GEORGE R. SIMPSON,
JAMES RANDI, et al.,
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF COURT’S
ORDER (DE 21) DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR DEFAULT (DE 19)
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration of Court’s Order
(DE 21) Denying Plaintiff’s Motion for Default (DE 19) [D.E. 25]. The Court has reviewed
Plaintiff’s Motion and all other relevant materials in the case file. For the reasons that follow, the
Court DENIES Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration.
On July 2, 2012, Plaintiff filed a motion [D.E. 19] in this Court alleging that “Defendants
provided fraudulent proof of service” on two motions [D.E. 13 and D.E. 14] and requesting that this
Court enter a default judgment against Defendants. Plaintiff supported his motion with a copy of an
email exchange between himself and Defendants’ counsel regarding Plaintiff’s non-receipt of service
of Defendants’ motions. D.E. 19 at 4. On July 6, 2012, Defendants filed a Response [D.E. 20] to
Plaintiff’s motion denying Plaintiff’s allegations entirely and affirming that Defendants had effected
service to Plaintiff’s post office box. D.E 20 at 1-2. Defendants also stated that upon learning via
email that Plaintiff had not received certain documents, Defendants again mailed those documents
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to Plaintiff’s post office box. D.E. 20 at 2. On July 9, 2012, the Honorable Kathleen Williams denied
Plaintiff’s motion for default judgment. [D.E. 21].
Also on July 9, 2012, after the motion had been denied, Plaintiff filed a Reply [D.E. 22] to
Defendants’ Response. Plaintiff’s Reply reiterated the arguments made in Plaintiff’s original motion
and drew particular attention to the fact that Plaintiff felt Defendants’ Response did not address
Plaintiff’s arguments with specificity, especially with regard to the email exchange. D.E. 22 at 2.
Plaintiff also admitted receiving mailed copies of the relevant documents on July 6, 2012, and
attached a photocopy of the envelope used by Defendants’ counsel to send them, bearing a postmark
of July 3, 2012. D.E. 22 at 3, 7.
On July 11, 2012, Plaintiff filed his Motion for Reconsideration [D.E. 25] of the Order
denying his Motion for Default Judgment. In the reconsideration motion, Plaintiff notes that his
previous motion was denied before the Court received his Reply brief on July 9, 2012. D.E. 25 at
1. On August 3, 2012, Plaintiff filed a nearly identical motion [D.E. 29] “renewing” his Motion for
“[R]econsideration of a previous order is an extraordinary remedy to be employed
sparingly.” Burger King Corp. v. Ashland Equities, Inc., 181 F. Supp. 2d 1366, 1370 (S.D. Fla.
2002) (citing Mannings v. Sch. Bd. of Hillsborough County, 149 F.R.D. 235, 235 (M.D. Fla.
1993)). “The ‘purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to correct manifest errors of law or fact
or to present newly discovered evidence.’” Id. at 1369 (S.D. Fla. 2002) (quoting Z.K. Marine Inc.
v. M/V Archigetis, 808 F. Supp. 1561, 1563 (S.D. Fla. 1992)). “A ‘motion for reconsideration
should not be used as a vehicle to . . . reiterate arguments previously made.’” Id.
The party moving for reconsideration “must set forth facts or law of a strongly convincing
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nature to induce the court to reverse its prior decision.” Id. (citing Sussman v. Salem Saxon &
Nielsen, P.A., 153 F.R.D. 689, 694 (M.D. Fla 1994)). Only three major grounds generally justify
reconsideration: “(1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new
evidence; and (3) the need to correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice.” Id. (citing Offices
Togolais Des Phosphates v. Mulberry Phosphates, Inc., 62 F. Supp. 2d 1316, 1331 (M.D. Fla.
1999); Sussman, 153 F.R.D. at 694).
Here, Plaintiff fails to meet the exceedingly high standard necessary to prevail on a
reconsideration motion. Not only must Plaintiff set forth either a change in controlling law,
availability of new evidence, or a need to correct clear error, Burger King, 181 F. Supp. 2d at
1369, but must do so with “strongly convincing” facts or law. Id. Plaintiff apparently rests his
motion on the fact that his Reply brief was not considered prior to the Court’s denial of his
original motion. See D.E. 25 at 1. However, as noted above, the only new matters raised in
Plaintiff’s Reply brief are the concern with the lack of specificity in Defendants’ Response and
the attached photocopy of the envelope. D.E. 22 at 2, 7. Neither of these facts is so convincingly
strong as to require reconsideration of the original motion. In fact, the photocopy of the envelope
undermines Plaintiff’s original argument insomuch as it evidences that Plaintiff has indeed been
served with the documents he originally claimed Defendants had failed to serve.
Even if Plaintiff were to meet the standard for reconsideration, he would not prevail on
the merits. Default judgments “are seen with disfavor because of the strong policy of determining
cases on their merits.” Fla. Physician’s Ins. Co. v. Ehlers, 8 F.3d 780, 783 (11th Cir.1993) (citing
Gulf Coast Fans, Inc. v. Midwest Elecs. Importers, Inc., 740 F.2d 1499, 1510 (11th Cir. 1984)).
Even taking as true Plaintiff’s original allegation that Defendants failed to serve him properly via
mail, see D.E. 19 at 2, Plaintiff’s own Reply brief demonstrates that Defendants’ counsel cured
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the service problem by mailing the documents on July 3, 2012, a mere three days after being
informed by Plaintiff that he had not received service, see D.E. 22 at 3, 7. In light of the law’s
preference to resolve cases on their merits, a default judgment would not be appropriate after the
alleged service problems have been remedied.
For the above reasons, Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration of Court’s Order (DE 21)
Denying Plaintiff’s Motion for Default (DE 19) [D.E 25] is DENIED. Similarly, Plaintiff’s
Renewed Motion for Reconsideration [D.E. 29] is DENIED.
DONE and ORDERED at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this 7th day of August 2012.
ROBIN S. ROSENBAUM
United States Magistrate Judge
cc: Honorable Barry S. Seltzer
Chief United States Magistrate Judge
Counsel of record
George R. Simpson, pro se
P.O. Box 775
Hampton Bays, NY 11946
Via U.S. Mail