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Doe v. State of Delaware

United States District Court, D. Delaware

May 3, 2018

RICHARD DOE, individually and as guardian for A.B., C.D., and E.F., A.B., a minor child, CD., a minor child, and E.F., a minor child, Plaintiffs,
v.
STA TE OF DELA WARE, DEPARTMENT: OF SERVICES FOR CHILDREN, YOUTH & THEIR FAMILIES, DIVISION: OF FAMILY SERVICES, et al., Defendants.

          Weih Steven Chang, Hockessin, Delaware, Pro Se Plaintiff.

          Rosamaria Tassone-DiNardo, First Assistant City Solicitor, City of Wilmington Law Department, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for Defendants The City of Wilmington; The City of Wilmington Police Department; and Mary Quinn.

          Ryan P. Connell, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, State of Delaware, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for Defendants State of Delaware, Department of Services for Children, Youth & Their Families, Division of Family Services; Sarah Marlowe; and Bahu Gilliam.

          Gary H. Kaplan, Esquire, and Art C. Aranilla, II, Esquire, Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorneys for Defendant Children's Advocacy Center of Delaware.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          STARK, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         On September 27, 2016, the Court entered granted Defendants' motions to dismiss and closed the case. (D.I. 38, 39) Before the Court is Plaintiff Weih Steven Chang's motion for relief pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(1), (2), and (3), opposed by Defendants City of Wilmington, City of Wilmington Police Department, and Mary Quinn ("City Defendants") and Children's Advocacy Center of Delaware ("CDCD") who joined City Defendants opposition. (D.I. 40) For the reasons discussed below, the Court will deny the motion.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Chang commenced this action on October 23, 2015. (D.I. 2) At the time, he was represented by counsel. Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on February 22, 2016. (D.I. 15) The Amended Complaint contains seven counts and alleges defamation, negligence, malicious prosecution, wrongful use of civil proceedings, deprivation of civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, civil conspiracy to commit malicious prosecution, and breach of contract. (Id.) On September 27, 2016, the Court granted Defendants' motions to dismiss and the case was closed. (D.I. 38, 39) On October 27, 2016, Chang, now proceeding pro se, filed the instant motion for relief pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1), (2), and (3). (D.I. 40) He filed a notice of appeal the same day. (D.I. 42) The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit stayed the appeal pending a decision on Chang's motion for relief. See Chang v. Delaware Dep't Children & Youth, No. 16-3981 at Nov. 22, 2016 Order (3d Cir.).

         III. LEGAL STANDARDS

         Rule 60(b) provides that a party may file a motion for relief from a final judgment for the following reasons:

(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence, that with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b); (3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation or other misconduct of an adverse party; (4) the judgment is void; (5) the judgment has been satisfied, released or discharged; it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reserved or vacated; or applying it prospectively is no longer equitable; or (6) any other reason that justifies relief.

         Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). A motion filed pursuant to Rule 60(b) is addressed to the sound discretion of the trial court guided by accepted legal principles applied in light of all relevant circumstances. SeePierce Assoc, Inc. v. Nemours Found.,865 F.2d 530, 548 (3d Cir. 1988). A motion filed under Rule 60(b) must be made within a reasonable time and, for motions under Rule 60(b)(1), (2), and (3), must be filed no ...


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