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Dinosaur Merchant Bank Limited v. Bancservices International LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division

January 8, 2020

DINOSAUR MERCHANT BANK LIMITED, Plaintiff,
v.
BANCSERVICES INTERNATIONAL LLC, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          ABBIE CRITES-LEONI UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant/Counterclaim Plaintiff Bancservices International, LLC's (“BSI”) “Motion to Reconsider the Court's December 6, 2019 Memorandum and Order as it Relates to Counterclaims and Request for Oral Argument.” (Doc. 34.)

         I. Background

         In its Complaint, Plaintiff Dinosaur Merchant Bank Limited (“Dinosaur”) asserted claims of breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, and conversion based on BSI's withholding of $3, 469, 718.26 of funds from a failed transaction (“Transaction”). The Transaction was initiated under an International Payment Services Agreement (“IPSA”) executed between the parties. BSI filed a Counterclaim, in which it asserted claims of fraud, breach of contract, and indemnity related to the Transaction.

         In its December 6, 2019, Memorandum and Order, the Court granted Dinosaur's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. The Court held that BSI was in breach of the IPSA for retaining the $3, 469, 718.26. The Court further found that BSI failed to state a claim for fraud, breach of contract, or indemnity.

         BSI now requests that the Court reconsider the Memorandum and Order with respect to BSI's Counterclaim for fraud and indemnity.[1] Dinosaur has filed a Response in opposition to BSI's Motion (Doc. 37), and BSI has filed a Reply (Doc. 40).

         II. Legal Standard

         Motions for reconsideration are not explicitly mentioned in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Brown v. First Health Group Corp., No. 4:07-CV-1852, 2009 WL 1940373, at *1 (E.D. Mo. July 7, 2009). According to the Eighth Circuit, a “motion for reconsideration” is typically construed either as a Rule 59(e) motion to alter or amend a judgment or a Rule 60(b) motion for relief from a judgment. Auto Services Co. v. KPMG, L.L.P., 537 F .3d 853, 855 (8th Cir. 2008). Both Rule 59(e) and Rule 60(b) require that any judgment or order being reconsidered be a final judgment or order. Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e), 60(b); Disc. Tobacco Warehouse, Inc. v. Briggs Tobacco and Specialty Co., No. 3:09-CV-5078, 2010 WL 3522476, at *1 (W.D. Mo. Sept. 2, 2010). The rules prescribe a similar standard in that a district court has wide discretion in deciding whether to grant a Rule 59(e) or 60(b) motion, so long as manifest errors of law or fact, or exceptional circumstances (such as newly discovered evidence that was not available at the time the order was given) exist. See Arnold v. ADT Sec. Servs., 627 F.3d 716, 721 (8th Cir. 2010) (discussing Rule 60(b)); see also Disc. Tobacco, 2010 WL 3522476, at *1 (discussing Rules 59(e), 60(b)).

         Additionally, an interlocutory order “may be revised at any time before the entry of judgment adjudicating all the claims and all the parties' rights and liabilities.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b). Reconsideration 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. Westinghouse Electric Co. v. United States, No. 4:03-CV-861, 2009 WL 881605, at *4 (E.D. Mo. Mar. 30, 2009). Moreover, 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. Disc. Tobacco, 2010 WL 3522476, at *2.

         III. Discussion

         A. Motion to Reconsider

         As previously noted, BSI only challenges the Court's dismissal of BSI's counterclaims for fraud and indemnity.

         BSI argues that the Court “mistakenly considered the presence of De Jesus and De Jesus as the alleged fraudulent misrepresentation when, in fact, it was the nondisclosure of an entirely different escrow agent that formed the basis of BSI's claim for fraud.” (Doc. 35 at p. 2.) Specifically, BSI contends that “it was Dinosaur's fraudulent nondisclosure of a wholly separate escrow agent, the Pennings Foundation, that formed the basis for BSI's fraud claim.” Id. BSI filed the instant Motion to “clarify to the Court that the disclosure of De Jesus and De Jesus does not defeat BSI's counterclaim because the counterclaim for fraud alleges that Dinosaur fraudulently failed to disclose the identity of the true court-appointed escrow agent, an entity that was not De Jesus and Je Jesus.” Id. at p. 3. BSI argues that Dinosaur's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings should have been denied with respect to BSI's fraud claim and its related indemnity claim. In the alternative, BSI requests leave to amend its Counterclaim to state its claim for fraud and indemnity with more particularity “related to the nondisclosure of the true court-appointed escrow agent for the transaction.” Id. at 6.

         Dinosaur responds that the Motion for Reconsideration should be denied because BSI points to nothing that the Court misapprehended or that would constitute newly discovered evidence. Dinosaur contends that the Counterclaim does not allege that Dinosaur knew at the time of the payment orders the identity of a court-appointed escrow agent or that Dinosaur asserted that De Jesus & De Jesus was a “court-appointed escrow agent.” With regard to BSI's alternative request to amend its Counterclaim, Dinosaur ...


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