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REFRIGERATION SALES CO. v. MITCHELL-JACKSON

December 16, 1983

REFRIGERATION SALES CO., INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
MITCHELL-JACKSON, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

On November 18*fn1 this Court's memorandum opinion and order (the "Opinion") granted summary judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. ("Rule") 56 in favor of defendants and against Refrigeration Sales Co., Inc. ("Refrigeration"), consequently dismissing Refrigeration's Complaint with prejudice. 575 F. Supp. 971. Refrigeration has now filed two motions to set aside that judgment:

    1. Its Motion for Reconsideration was filed
  November 28 and entered and continued December 5.
    2. Its Motion for New Hearing, filed December
  8, 1983, is nearly identical to the Motion for
  Reconsideration, except that it includes two
  affidavits in support of Refrigeration's estoppel
  defense to the Rule 56 motion.

Motion for Reconsideration

Three of Refrigeration's four grounds for "reconsideration" merely rehash its old arguments. Above the Belt, Inc. v. Mel Bohannan Roofing, Inc., 99 F.R.D. 99, 101 (E.D.Va. 1983) explains the function of motions for reconsideration and concludes:

  The motion to reconsider would be appropriate
  where, for example, the Court has patently
  misunderstood a party, or has made a decision
  outside the adversarial issues presented to the
  Court by the parties or has made an error not of
  reasoning but of apprehension. A further basis
  for a motion to reconsider would be a controlling
  or significant change in the law or facts since
  the submission of the issue to the Court. Such
  problems rarely arise and the motion to
  reconsider should be equally rare.

Refrigeration's first three asserted grounds do not fall into any of those categories. Instead they contend this Court was in error on the issues it had considered fully and spoken to in detail in the Opinion. Those arguments should of course be directed to the Court of Appeals.

Refrigeration's fourth ground for reconsideration asserts this Court's misunderstanding of Refrigeration's estoppel argument. Apparently Refrigeration's current position is that defendants are estopped to assert the limitations period in their warehouse receipts because defendants procured a delay in the filing of this action. By contrast, this Court had understood Refrigeration's position to be that defendants were estopped to assert the limitations provision because of actions occurring before the limitations time period began to run. That contention was rejected on the ground that acts giving rise to an estoppel must occur during the time period in which a plaintiff claims he relied on those acts to his detriment.

Reexamination of Refrigeration's summary judgment memorandum reconfirms this Court was wholly justified in its understanding of Refrigeration's argument, as originally posed on the summary judgment motion. Refrigeration's Mem. 10-11 specifically identified the following alleged facts in support of its contention the six elements of estoppel under Illinois law were satisfied:

    1. The defendants repeatedly misrepresented
  their inventory of Refrigeration's goods and the
  amounts of storage charges to which M-J was
  entitled;
    2. The defendants knew since 1977 that their
  inventory records were incorrect and that their
  monthly invoices misstated the actual inventory
  of Refrigeration's goods beyond any minor
  fluctuations normally caused by the lag-time
  introduced by paperwork;
    3. Refrigeration was not aware that M-J was
  misstating its actual inventory of
  ...

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