991 F.Supp.2d 1335 (CIT 2014), 08-00189, Int'l Custom Products, Inc. v. United States

Docket Nº:Court 08-00189
Citation:991 F.Supp.2d 1335
Opinion Judge:Carman, Judge:
Party Name:INTERNATIONAL CUSTOM PRODUCTS, INC., Plaintiff, v. UNITED STATES, Defendant
Attorney:Court No. 08-00189 Gregory H. Teufel and Jeremy L. S. Samek, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC of Pittsburgh, PA for Plaintiff. Edward F. Kenny and Jason M. Kenner, Trial Attorneys, International Trade Field Office, Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, United States Department of Just...
Judge Panel:Before: Gregory W. Carman, Judge.
Case Date:June 26, 2014
Court:Court of International Trade

Page 1335

991 F.Supp.2d 1335 (CIT 2014)

INTERNATIONAL CUSTOM PRODUCTS, INC., Plaintiff,

v.

UNITED STATES, Defendant

Court No. 08-00189

United States Court of International Trade

June 26, 2014

Plaintiff's motion to reconsider, alter, or amend judgment and/or amend complaint is denied.

Gregory H. Teufel and Jeremy L. S. Samek, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC of Pittsburgh, PA for Plaintiff.

Edward F. Kenny and Jason M. Kenner, Trial Attorneys, International Trade Field Office, Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, of New York, NY, for Defendant. With them on the briefs were Stuart F. Delery, Assistant Attorney General, and Amy S. Rubin, Acting Assistant Director. Of counsel is Yelena Slepak, Office of Assistant Chief Counsel, International Trade Litigation, United States Customs and Border Protection.

Before: Gregory W. Carman, Judge.

OPINION

Page 1336

OPINION & ORDER

Carman, Judge:

Before the Court is Plaintiff International Customs Products' (" Plaintiff" or " ICP" ) Motion to Reconsider, Alter, or Amend Judgment and/or To Amend Complaint (" Pl.'s Mot." ) (ECF No. 67). Plaintiff moves pursuant to USCIT Rule 59(a)(1)(B) for reconsideration of this Court's Opinion and Order entered on September 4, 2013 in this matter (931 F.Supp.2d 1338) (ECF No. 66) granting Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint (" Mot. to Dismiss" ) (ECF No. 17). See Int'l Customs Prods., Inc. v. United States, 37 CIT __, 931 F.Supp.2d 1338 (2013). In the alternative, pursuant to USCIT Rule 15(a)(2), Plaintiff moves to amend its Complaint. For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies Plaintiff's motion.

Background

This action and a flurry of related cases have created a long and winding history, with which the reader is presumed to be familiar. A timeline is provided in the underlying decision. See 931 F.Supp.2d at 1340. Only the essential highlights will be reiterated here. ICP seeks relief from an action taken by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (" Customs" or " Defendant" ) reclassifying and liquidating 13 entries of Plaintiff's imported product known as " white sauce." Compl. ¶ 1. In 1999, ICP obtained a ruling letter from Customs, NYRL D86228, classifying white sauce under HTSUS 2103.90.90 as " sauces and preparations therefor . . . other . . . other . . . other . . . other," with a duty rate of 6.4% ad valorem. Id. ¶ 12. In April 2005, Customs issued a " Notice of Action" that 99 entries of white sauce were being reclassified and liquidated under HTSUS 0405.20.3000 as " dairy spread," at the rate of $1.996 per kilogram, plus applicable safeguard duties. Id. ¶ ¶ 13-16, 14. This reclassification had the effect of increasing the duties owed on Plaintiff's entries of white sauce by approximately 2400%. Id. ¶ 14. Plaintiff asserts that in issuing the Notice of Action, Customs did not follow various statutory and regulatory requirements,

Page 1337

and thereby infringed upon several of Plaintiff's rights. See generally Compl. This case is the sixth lawsuit brought by Plaintiff with respect to the classification and liquidation of its 99 entries of white sauce. Id. ¶ 6.

In 931 F.Supp.2d 1338, on motion of the Defendant, the Court dismissed Count I through Count VIII pursuant to USCIT Rule 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and Count IX pursuant to USCIT Rule 12(b)(5) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. 931 F.Supp.2d at 1341. Plaintiff moves for reconsideration.

Discussion

I. Motion to Reconsider, Alter or Amend Judgment

Plaintiff moves the Court to reconsider, alter or amend its prior decision pursuant to USCIT Rule 59(a)(1)(B), which is the ordinary mechanism for requests for reconsideration in the Court of International Trade. See United States v. UPS Customhouse Brokerage, Inc., 34 CIT __, __, 714 F.Supp.2d 1296, 1300 (2010). Under its rules, the Court may rehear a decision " for any reason for which a new trial has heretofore been granted in a suit in equity in federal court." USCIT R. 59(a)(1)(B). The grant of a motion for reconsideration is within the sound discretion of the Court. 714 F.Supp.2d at 1300 (citing Yuba Nat. Res., Inc. v. United States, 904 F.2d 1577, 1583 (Fed. Cir. 1990). Rehearing is granted only in " limited instances," including: " 1) an error or irregularity, 2) a serious evidentiary flaw, 3) the discovery of new evidence which even a diligent party could not have discovered in time, or 4) an accident, unpredictable surprise or unavoidable mistake which impaired a party's ability to adequately present its case." Totes-Isotoner Corp. v. United States, 32 CIT 1172, 1173, 580 F.Supp.2d 1371, 1374 (2007) (internal quotations and citations omitted)). The purpose of a Rule 59 motion is not to reargue the case, but to correct any " significant flaw" in the prior decision. Peerless Clothing Int'l, Inc. v. United States, 33 CIT 1117, 1120, 637 F.Supp.2d 1253, 1256 (2009).

Plaintiff requests reconsideration of the Court's holding in 931 F.Supp.2d 1338 that the " harshness and unfairness at issue does not rise...

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3 practice notes
  • Classification determinations in the United States Court of International Trade brought under 28 U.S.C. section 1581(a).
    • United States
    • Georgetown Journal of International Law Vol. 46 Nbr. 1, September 2014
    • September 22, 2014
    ...Cir. 1986). (127.) Int'l Custom Prods., Inc. v. United States, 931 F. Supp. 2d 1338 (Ct. Int'l Trade 2013), mot. for recons, denied, 991 F. Supp. 2d 1335 (Ct. Int'l Trade 2014). (128.) Id. at 1339. (129.) Id. at 1340. (130.) 28 U.S.C. [section] 1581 (i) (2012) ("In addition to the juri......
  • Apex Frozen Foods Private Ltd. v. United States, 072715 USCIT, 13-00283
    • United States
    • Federal Cases Court of Appeals of International Trade
    • July 27, 2015
    ...including to correct manifest errors of law or fact in the underlying opinion. Int'l Custom Prods., Inc. v. United States, 38 CIT,, 991 F.Supp.2d 1335, 1337 (2014) (internal quotation marks omitted). In this vein, Apex argues that the court misapplied the principle of exhaustion and neglect......
  • 791 F.3d 1329 (Fed. Cir. 2015), 2014-1644, Int'l Custom Products, Inc. v. United States
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • June 30, 2015
    ...ICP's motion to reconsider, alter, or amend the judgment and/or to amend the complaint, Int'l Custom Prods., Inc. v. United States, 991 F.Supp.2d 1335 (Ct. Int'l Trade 2014) (" Decision II " ). Because the Trade Court did not err, we affirm. Background I " It is a 'well-estab......
2 cases
  • Apex Frozen Foods Private Ltd. v. United States, 072715 USCIT, 13-00283
    • United States
    • Federal Cases Court of Appeals of International Trade
    • July 27, 2015
    ...including to correct manifest errors of law or fact in the underlying opinion. Int'l Custom Prods., Inc. v. United States, 38 CIT,, 991 F.Supp.2d 1335, 1337 (2014) (internal quotation marks omitted). In this vein, Apex argues that the court misapplied the principle of exhaustion and neglect......
  • 791 F.3d 1329 (Fed. Cir. 2015), 2014-1644, Int'l Custom Products, Inc. v. United States
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • June 30, 2015
    ...ICP's motion to reconsider, alter, or amend the judgment and/or to amend the complaint, Int'l Custom Prods., Inc. v. United States, 991 F.Supp.2d 1335 (Ct. Int'l Trade 2014) (" Decision II " ). Because the Trade Court did not err, we affirm. Background I " It is a 'well-estab......
1 books & journal articles