United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
E. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on defendants' motion for
reconsideration and/or clarification of the April 10, 2017
order pertaining to the parties' cross motions for
summary judgment on Phase I issues. Plaintiffs have responded
in opposition and the issues are fully briefed.
Memorandum and Order filed on April 10, 2017, the Court
granted in part and denied in part the parties' cross
motions for summary judgment on Phase I issues arising from
plaintiffs' allegations that defendants breached
interconnection agreements (“ICAs”) and violated
the Telecommunications Act of 1966. In the instant motion,
defendants' request reconsideration of whether 47 U.S.C.
§ 415 can be tolled by private agreement as a matter of
law and seek clarification of the Court's conclusion that
the Level 3 and Broadwing Texas ICAs required those
plaintiffs to bring their claims within 12 months of the
Supreme Court's decision in Talk America, Inc. v.
Michigan Bell Tel. Co., 564 U.S. 50, 63, 131 S.Ct. 2254,
2263, 180 L.Ed.2d 96 (2011).
district court has “the inherent power to reconsider
and modify an interlocutory order any time prior to the entry
of judgment.” K.C. 1986 Ltd. P'ship v.
Reade Mfg., 472 F.3d 1009, 1017 (8th Cir. 2007)
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted). And although
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not expressly provide
for motions to reconsider, Rule 54(b) encompasses the power
to revise an interlocutory order any time prior to the entry
of final judgment. See Thunder Basin Coal Co.,
L.L.C. v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co., 2013 WL 6410012, at *1
(E.D. Mo. Dec. 9, 2013); Trickey v. Kaman Indus. Techs.
Corp., 2011 WL 2118578, at * 1-2 (E.D. Mo. May 26,
2011); Jiang v. Porter, 2016 WL 193388, at *1 (E.D.
Mo. Jan. 15, 2016) (applying Rule 54(b) to a motion to
reconsider the denial of a motion to dismiss). Specifically,
Rule 54(b) states that:
[A]ny order . . . that adjudicates fewer than all the claims
or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties
does not end the action as to any of the claims or parties
and may be revised at any time before the entry of a judgment
adjudicating all the claims and all the parties' rights
Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b).
exact standard applicable to the granting of a motion under
Rule 54(b) is not clear, though it is typically held to be
less exacting than would be a motion under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 59(e), which is in turn less exacting than
the standards enunciated in Federal Rule of Civil [P]rocedure
60(b).'” Painters Dist. Council No. 58 v. RDB
Universal Servs., LLC, No. 4:14-CV-01812 (ERW), 2016 WL
4368098, at *2 (E.D. Mo. Aug. 16, 2016) (quoting
Wells' Dairy, Inc. v. Travelers Indem. Co.
of Ill., 336 F.Supp.2d 906, 909 (N.D. Iowa 2004)).
Furthermore, the provision affords district courts
“substantial discretion” to reconsider prior
interlocutory orders. Robinson Mech. Contractors Inc. v.
PTC Grp. Holding Corp., No. 1:15-CV-77 (SNLJ), 2017 WL
386541, at *2 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 27, 2017).
Rule 54(b), a court may reconsider an interlocutory order to
“‘correct any clearly or manifestly erroneous
findings of fact or conclusions of law.'”
Bancorp Servs., L.L.C. v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of
Canada, No. 4:00-CV-1073 (CEJ), 2011 WL 1599550, at *1
(E.D. Mo. Apr. 27, 2011) (quoting Jones v. Casey's
Gen. Stores, 551 F.Supp.2d 848, 854 (S.D. Iowa 2008));
see Hagerman v. Yukon Energy Corp., 839 F.2d 407,
414 (8th Cir. 1988). In particular, a motion to reconsider
may be granted if the earlier decision “(1)
misunderstood a party, (2) made a decision outside of the
adversarial issues, or (3) would be rendered incorrect
because of a ‘controlling or significant change in
law' since the issues were submitted to the
Court.'” Trickey, 2011 WL 2118578, at *2
(quoting Westinghouse Elec. Co. v. United States,
No. 4:03-CV-861, 2009 WL 881605, at *4 (E.D. Mo. Mar. 30,
2009)); see also Pet Quarters, Inc. v. Ladenburg Thalmann
and Co., Inc., No. 4:04-CV-00697-BRW, 2011 WL 1135902,
at *1 (E.D. Ark. Mar. 28, 2011) (reasoning that an
“intervening change in the controlling law is a
recognized ground for granting a motion for
motion to reconsider under Rule 54(b), however, is “not
a vehicle to identify facts or legal arguments that could
have been, but were not, raised at the time the relevant
motion was pending.” Julianello v. K-V- Pharm.
Co., 791 F.3d 915, 923 (8th Cir. 2015); see also
Evans v. Contract Callers, Inc., No. 4:10-CV-2358 (FRB),
2012 WL 234653, at *2 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 25, 2012)
(“Although the Court has the power to revisit prior
decisions of its own . . . in any circumstance, [it] should
be loathe to do so in the absence of extraordinary
circumstances such as where the initial decision was clearly
erroneous and would work a manifest injustice.”
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted; formatting in
original)). Finally, “when evaluating whether to grant
a motion to reconsider, the Court also has an interest in
judicial economy and ensuring respect for the finality of its
decisions, values which would be undermined if it were to
routinely reconsider its interlocutory orders.”
Trickey, 2011 WL 2118578, at *2 (citing Disc.
Tobacco Warehouse, Inc. v. Briggs Tobacco and Specialty
Co., No. 3:09-CV-5078 (DGK), 2010 WL 3522476, at *1
(W.D. Mo. Sept. 2, 2010)).
request reconsideration and/or clarification on two points:
(1) whether as a matter of law 47 U.S.C. § 415 can be
tolled by private agreement, and (2) the Court's
conclusion that the Level 3 and Broadwing Texas ICAs required
those plaintiffs to bring their claims within 12 months of
the Supreme Court's decision in Talk America.
Application of 47 ...