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Roser v. Jackson & Perkins Wholesale

November 15, 2010

CASE POULSEN ROSER A/S
v.
JACKSON & PERKINS WHOLESALE, INC ET AL



Name of Assigned Judge Amy J. St. Eve Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT

Plaintiff Poulsen Roser A/S ("Poulsen") filed a motion for reconsideration [48] pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) and 60(b). The Court affirms its prior ruling and dismisses the case with prejudice as to Glenda Hachenberger, and without prejudice as to Donald Hachenberger.

O[ For further details see text below.] Notices mailed by Judicial staff.

STATEMENT

Plaintiff Poulsen Roser A/S ("Poulsen") filed the instant motion for reconsideration pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) and 60(b). For the reasons below, the Court affirms its prior ruling and dismisses the case with prejudice as to Glenda Hachenberger, and without prejudice as to Donald Hachenberger.

BACKGROUND*fn1

Poulsen filed its trademark infringement complaint against Glenda Hachenberger ("Glenda"), Donald Hachenberger ("Donald") (collectively, the "Hachenbergers"), and several corporate defendants (the "Corporate Defendants") on March 25, 2010. Poulsen seeks to hold the Hachenbergers jointly and severally liable for the Corporate Defendants' alleged misconduct under a veil-piercing and alter ego theory. The Corporate Defendants are presently seeking Chapter 11 relief in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Carolina, and thus, the claims against them are stayed. The claims against the Hachenbergers, who are not parties to the Chapter 11 action, are not stayed.

Out of the 106 paragraphs in Poulsen's Complaint, an Illinois nexus is mentioned only in the "Jurisdiction and Venue" section. See R. 1, Compl. at ¶¶ 9, 10 ("This Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendants because, inter alia, their acts of infringement have caused injury in this district to Poulsen and its intellectual property rights." "Venue in this district is proper ... as a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim and the threatened and actual harm to Poulsen occurred in this district by reasons of Defendants' conduct as alleged below."). Beyond these bare conclusory statements, nowhere in Poulsen's factual allegations does it allege conduct occurring in, or injury arising out of, transactions or activities in Illinois. Nor do any of the parties reside in, maintain their principal places of business in, or operate under the laws of, the state of Illinois. The Hachenbergers moved to dismiss the suit for lack of personal jurisdiction in May 2010. On August 26, 2010, the Court dismissed the present case against the Hachenbergers, finding that Poulsen had failed to establish personal jurisdiction over them as required under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2).

Poulsen filed the instant motion for reconsideration on September 7, 2010. In its motion, Poulsen argues three main points: (1) there is "newly discovered evidence" that, pursuant to Rule 60(b)(2), begs a different resolution of the Hachenbergers' motions to dismiss; (2) the Court erred in finding that Poulsen failed to make a prima facie case of personal jurisdiction over the Corporate Defendants and Donald; and (3) to the extent the Court affirms its original ruling, Poulsen should be allowed to conduct limited discovery regarding the Court's ability to exercise personal jurisdiction over the Hachenbergers. The Court addresses each of Poulsen's arguments in turn.

LEGAL STANDARD

Rule 59(e) "essentially enables a district court to correct its own errors, sparing the parties and the appellate courts the burden of unnecessary appellate proceedings." Russell v. Delco Remy Div. of Gen. Motors Corp., 51 F.3d 746, 749 (7th Cir. 1995). Whether to grant a Rule 59(e) motion "is entrusted to the sound judgment of the district court." Matter of Prince, 85 F.3d 314, 324 (7th Cir. 1996); see also Andrews v. E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co., 447 F.3d 510, 515 (7th Cir. 2006) (appellate court reviews denial of Rule 59(e) motion for abuse of discretion). "Rule 59(e) allows a court to amend a judgment 'only if the petitioner can demonstrate a manifest error of law or present newly discovered evidence.'" Egonmwan v. Cook Co. Sheriff's Dept., 602 F.3d 845, 852 (7th Cir. 2010) (quoting Obriecht v. Raemisch, 517 F.3d 489, 494 (7th Cir. 2008)). Rule 59(e) "does not allow a party to introduce new evidence or advance arguments that could and should have been presented to the district court prior to judgment." BP Amoco Chemical Co. v. Flint Hills Resources, LLC, 697 F. Supp. 2d 1001, 1041 (N.D. Ill. 2010) (quoting Moro v. Shell Oil Co., 91 F.3d 872, 876 (7th Cir. 1996)).

As the party seeking reconsideration, Poulsen bears a heavy burden. The Seventh Circuit has repeatedly cautioned that "[m]otions for reconsideration serve a limited function: to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence." Publishers Res., Inc. v. Walker-Davis Publ'ns, Inc., 762 F.2d 557, 561 (7th Cir.1985) (quotation omitted); see also In re Oil Spill by "Amoco Cadiz" Off Coast of France on March 16, 1978, 794 F. Supp. 261, 267 (N.D. Ill. 1992) ("motions to reconsider are not at the disposal of parties who want to 'rehash' old arguments."). Accordingly, a court will entertain a motion for reconsideration only where the moving party can establish that the law or facts have changed significantly since the issue was presented, or the court has "patently misunderstood a party," has "made a decision outside the adversarial issues presented," or has "made an error not of reasoning, but of apprehension." Bank of Waunakee v. Rochester Cheese Sales, 906 F.2d 1185, 1191 (7th Cir. 1990).

ANALYSIS

I. Poulsen's "Newly Discovered Evidence" Is Irrelevant To ...


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