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Dnata Aviation Services U.S. Inc. v. Kinsella

Superior Court of Delaware

June 27, 2019

DNATA AVIATION SERVICES U.S. INC., Plaintiff,
v.
JEFFREY M. KINSELLA, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR REARGUMENT OF THE COURT'S ORDER DENYING HIS MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION, OR ALTERNATIVELY, TO STAY THIS MATTER UNTIL THE DISPUTE IS RIPE

          Eric M. Davis, Judge

         Upon consideration of Defendant's Motion for Reargument of the Court's Order Denying His Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction, or Alternatively, to Stay This Matter Until the Dispute is Ripe (the "Motion") filed by Defendant Jeffrey M. Kinsella on June 18, 2019; Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Reargument of the Court's Order Denying His Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint (the "Opposition) filed by Plaintiff dnata Aviation Services U.S. Inc. ("dnata");[1] the entire record of this civil proceeding; and the Court having determined that no hearing is necessary on the Motion and Opposition:

         1. Superior Court Civil Rule 59(e) ("Rule 59(e)") provides that a party may file a motion for reargument "within 5 days after the filing of the Court's Order or decision."[2] The standard for a Rule 59(e) motion is well defined under Delaware law.[3] A motion for reargument will be denied unless the Court has overlooked precedent or legal principles that would have controlling effect, or misapprehended the law or the facts such as would affect the outcome of the decision.[4]

         2. Importantly, motions for reargument should not be used merely to rehash the arguments already decided by the court, [5] or to present new arguments not previously raised.[6] In other words, a motion for reargument is "not a device for raising new arguments or stringing out the length of time for making an argument."[7] Such tactics frustrate the efficient use of judicial resources, place the opposing party in an unfair position, and stymie "the orderly process of reaching closure on the issues."[8]

         3. In the Motion, Mr. Kinsella argues that reargument is necessary because: (i) the Court misapprehended the law and facts in finding that Mr. Kinsella waived his right to mediation; (ii) the Court did not properly apply the standard under Civil Rule 12(b)(1); and (iii) the Court's ruling "unjustly" deprives Mr. Kinsella of his contractual rights and "unreasonably" limits his ability to pursue his claims against dnata.

         4. The Court has reviewed the Motion and holds that Mr. Kinsella has not met the necessary standard for reargument under Civil Rule 59(e). Mr. Kinsella is merely rehashing arguments raised and addressed by the Court.

          5. For example, the Court did not misapply the legal standard under Civil Rule 12(b)(1). Civil Rule 12(b)(1) mandates this Court dismiss an action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction if it appears from the record that the Court does not have jurisdiction over the claim.[9]Notably, "[t]he burden of establishing the Court's subject matter jurisdiction rests with the party seeking the Court's intervention."[10] "The jurisdiction of the subject matter of any controversy in any court must be determined in the first instance by the allegations of the complaint."[11]

         6. The Court must always be satisfied that it has subject matter jurisdictions. The hearing transcript demonstrates that the Court considered more than the Complaint in arriving at its decision. The Court found it had subject matter jurisdiction after reviewing the entire record (complaint, motion, opposition, reply, supporting briefs and exhibits). Accordingly, the Court held that Mr. Kinsella failed, on the complete record, to demonstrate cause for the relief sought.[12]

         7. As for the Court's purported misuse or misunderstanding of Yellow Pages Group, LLC v. Ziplocal, LP[13] and Millsboro Fire Co. v. Construction Management Services, [14] the Court has re-reviewed those cases, the transcript from the June 5, 2019 hearing, the Motion and the Opposition. After re-review, the Court does not find that it misapprehended the law or the facts in a way that would have affect the outcome. The Court reviewed dnata's Complaint and reviewed the factual interaction of the parties and reached its conclusion with the guidance of the rulings in Yellow Pages Group, LLC and Millsboro Fire Co. as those cases relate to pleading requirements and factual review as those relate to Section 10.10(b).

         8. The Court holds that Mr. Kinsella's claim that the Court "sua sponte" found that Mr. Kinsella waived his right to mediation also lacks merit. Per Black's Law Dictionary, "sua sponte" means "of his or its own will or motion; voluntarily; without prompting or suggestion."[15]There was nothing sua sponte about the Court addressing the issue of whether the right to mediation was properly invoked/waived by the parties. The Court was prompted to review this issue by dnata. dnata raised the issue in its opposition to Mr. Kinsella's motion.[16]

         9. The Court finds and determines that the Motion (i) does not raise any viable precedent or legal principle overlooked by the Court is its ruling on June 5, 2019; and (ii) does not show how the Court misapprehended the law or the facts such as would have affected the outcome reached in its ruling on June 5, 2019.

         10. The Court wants to remind the parties regarding proper motion practice before the Court. For example, Civil Rule 59(e) expressly contemplates that the "motion shall briefly and distinctly state the grounds therefor." dnata argues that Civil Rule 59(e) does not provide for a brief. In this instance, the Court agrees. Absent an Order from the Court, a party should not unilaterally decide to file a motion with a brief in connection with Civil Rule 59(e) or, as another example, a routine motion or a discovery motion. The Court understands that motions filed in the Complex Commercial Litigation Division are generally accompanied by briefs; however, those motions are generally motions under Civil Rules 12(b) and/or 56. The Court assumed that

          Mr. Kinsella may have been confused by this practice and will excuse the conduct on this occasion.

         IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the ...


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