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Nimco Real Estate Associates v. Nadeau

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

April 24, 2017

Nimco Real Estate Associates, et al.
v.
Gregory G. Nadeau, et al. Opinion No. 2017 DNH 080

          ORDER

          JOSEPH DICLERICO, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         The court granted the defendants' motions to dismiss on March 23, 2017, and judgment was entered the next day. The plaintiffs move for reconsideration of the order granting the motions to dismiss, arguing that the court erred in concluding that no private right of action exists under Subchapter II of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (“URA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 4621-4638.[1] The defendants object.

         Standard of Review

         The plaintiffs move for reconsideration under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 59 and 60. Because the plaintiffs do not cite a particular part of Rule 60, they appear to seek reconsideration under Rule 59(e).

         “[R]evising a final judgment is an extraordinary remedy and should be employed sparingly.” Ira Green, Inc. v. Military Sales & Serv. Co., 775 F.3d 12, 27 (1st Cir. 2014). Relief under Rule 59(e) is available “only when the original judgment evidenced a manifest error of law, if there is newly discovered evidence, or in certain other narrow situations.” Biltcliffe v. CitiMortgage, Inc., 772 F.3d 925, 930 (1st Cir. 2014). A party cannot succeed on a motion for reconsideration by “advanc[ing] arguments it should have developed prior to judgment” or by “regurgitat[ing] old arguments previously considered and rejected.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).

         Discussion

         The plaintiffs contend that, contrary to the court's order granting the defendants' motions to dismiss, a private right of action exists under Subhapter II of the URA, specifically § 4622. They argue that the court erroneously relied on reasoning from cases that considered whether a private right of action exists under Subchapter I and III of the URA, rather than Subchapter II; that the court did not consider whether a private right of action existed under § 4622; and that the provisions of § 4622 provide such a right. In support, they distinguish some of the cases the court cited in the analysis of whether a private right of action exists.

         A. Gonzaga Standard

         In the prior order granting the defendants' motions to dismiss, the court first examined the standard for determining whether a private right of action exists:

It is undisputed that the URA does not expressly provide a private right of action. The plaintiffs argue, nevertheless, that they are entitled to assistance and benefits under § 4622 and § 4630 as “displaced persons.” They urge the court to find that § 4622 and § 4630, when read together, imply a private right of action.
In Gonzaga v. Doe, 536 U.S. 273, 282-84 (2002), the Supreme Court clarified and tightened the test used to determine whether federal legislation conferred individual rights that could be enforced through an implied cause of action and under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court explained that in determining both whether a statutory violation could be enforced through § 1983 and whether a private right of action could be implied from a statute the court “must first determine whether Congress intended to create a federal right.” Id. at 283. To meet that requirement, the statute must grant rights that are “‘phrased in terms of the persons benefitted'” and, for purposes of an implied right of action, the statute must “manifest[] an intent ‘to create not just a private right but also a private remedy.'” Id. at 284 (quoting Cannon v. Univ. of Chicago, 441 U.S. 677, 692, n.13 (1979), and Alexander v. Sandoval, 532 U.S. 275, 286 (2001)). The Court acknowledged that some language in prior opinions, including Blessing v. Freestone, 520 U.S. 329, 340-41 (1997) and Wilder v. Va. Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 509 (1990), might have suggested a less stringent standard.
Therefore, to determine whether a federal statute confers an implied right of action, “the key inquiry is whether the statute is ‘phrased in terms of the persons benefitted' ‘with an unmistakable focus on the benefited class.'” City of Portsmouth, R.I. v. Lewis, 813 F.3d 54, 62 (1st Cir. 2016) (quoting Gonzaga, 536 U.S. at 284). In addition, courts must consider “whether the statute is worded in terms of government policy and practice or individual entitlements, and whether Congress provided alternate mechanisms for enforcing the statute.” City of Portsmouth, 813 F.3d at 62.

         Order, doc. no. 36, at *16-*18. For purposes of the motion for reconsideration, the plaintiffs do not dispute that ...


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