United States District Court, D. Delaware
before the Court is Petitioner Ralph Reed's
("Petitioner") fourth Motion for Reconsideration.
(D.I. 58) For the reasons discussed, the Court will deny the
2006, Petitioner filed a Petition for a writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 seeking relief from his
Delaware state convictions for first degree murder and
possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
(D.I. 1) The Petition asserted seventeen grounds for relief.
On January 3, 2007, the Honorable Joseph J. Farnan, Jr.
denied the Petition after concluding that it was time-barred
by the one-year statute of limitations prescribed in 28
U.S.C. § 2244. (D.I. 29; D.I. 30)
Petitioner filed a motion to alter judgment, alleging that
the Court erred by not equitably tolling the limitations
period on the basis of his actual innocence; the Court denied
the motion. (D.I. 31; D.I. 34) Petitioner then appealed the
denial of his Petitionas time-barred. In March, 2008 the
Court of Appeals declined to issue a certificate of
appealability and terminated the appeal. (D.I. (D.I. 35; D.I.
39) Petitioner subsequently filed three Rule 60(b)(6) Motions
for Reconsideration, which the Court denied. (D.I. 40; D.I.
41; D.I. 47; D.I. 48; D.I. 56; D.I. 57)
2018, Petitioner filed a document titled "Memorandum of
Law Supporting Motion to Amend Judgment Under Extraordinary
Circumstances and Plain Error Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2254 and Civil Rule 52(b)." (D.I. 58)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion for reargument/reconsideration may be filed pursuant
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) or Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 60(b). Although motions for reargument/
reconsideration under Rule 59(e) and Rule 60(b) serve similar
functions, each has a particular purpose. See United
States v. Ftorelli, 337 F.3d 282, 288 (3d Cir. 2003).
For instance, Rule 59(e) is "a device  used to allege
legal error, " and may only be used to correct manifest
errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered
evidence. See Howard Hess Dental Labs, Inc. v. Dentsplj
Int'l Inc., 602 F.3d 237, 251 (3d Cir. 2010). The
scope of a Rule 59(e) motion is extremely limited, and it may
not be used as an opportunity to relitigate the case. See
Blystone v. Horn, 664 F.3d 397, 414 (3d Cir. 2011);
see also Brambles USA Inc. v. Blocker, 735 F.Supp.
1239, 1240 (D. Del. 1990). The moving party must show one of
the following in order to prevail on a Rule 59(e) motion: (1)
an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the
availability of new evidence that was not available when the
court issued its order; or (3) the need to correct a clear
error of law or fact or to prevent a manifest injustice.
See Max's Seafood Cafe v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d
669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999). A Rule 59(e) motion "must be
filed no later than 28 days after the entry of the
judgment." Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e).
contrast, "Rule 60(b) allows a party to seek relief from
a final judgment, and request reopening of his case, under a
limited set of circumstances including fraud, mistake, and
newly discovered evidence." Gonzalez v. Crosby,
545 U.S. 524, 528 (2005). 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,  but may be granted only in
extraordinary circumstances. See Moolenaar v. Gov't
of Virgin Islands, 822 F.2d 1342, 1346 (3d Cir. 1987).
district court is presented with a Rule 60(b) motion for
reconsideration after it has denied the petitioner's
federal habeas petition, the court must determine if the
motion constitutes a second or successive application under
the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
("AEDPA"). Under AEDPA, a prisoner cannot file a
second or successive habeas petition without first obtaining
approval from the court of appeals and, absent such
authorization, a district court cannot consider the merits of
a subsequent petition. See 28 U.S.C. §
2244(b)(3(A); Robinson v. Johnson, 313 F.3d 128,
139-40 (3d Cir. 2002). A district court presented with an
unauthorized second or successive habeas petition must either
"dismiss the petition or transfer it to the court of
appeals pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1631."
Robinson, 313 F.3d at 139.
Court will treat Petitioner's "Memorandum of Law
Supporting Motion to Amend Judgment" as a freestanding
Motion for Reconsideration. Petitioner does not identify the
authority under which he moves. However, since the instant Motion
was filed more than twenty-eight days of the entry of the
2007 dismissal of his Petition and the 2014 denial of his
most recent motion, the Court will treat the Motion as though
filed pursuant to Rule 60(b). C.f. Holsivorth v.
Berg, 322 Fed.Appx. 143, 146 (3d Cir. 2009); Ra/tkHn
v. Heckler, 761 F.2d 936, 942 (3d Cir. 1985)
("Regardless of how it is styled, a motion filed within
ten days of entry of judgment questioning the correctness of
judgment may be treated as a motion to amend or alter the
judgment under Rule 59(e)."). In turn, the Court
construes the motion as being filed pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6)
- the "catch-all" provision -because Rule 60(b)(6)
permits a party to seek reconsideration for "any other
reason [than the specific circumstances set out in Rule
60(b)(1)-(5)] that justifies relief from the operation of the
judgment. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6); Gonzalez
v. Crosby, 545 U.S. 524, 529 (2005).
initial matter, Petitioner appears to contend that Mack
v. Sup'tMahonoy, 714 Fed.Appx. 151 (3d Cir. 2017),
constitutes a change in the law that amounts to an
extraordinary circumstance warranting reconsideration of the
2007 dismissal of his Petition as time-barred and/or the 2014
denial of his last Rule 60(b)(6) Motion. To the extent this
argument attacks the manner in which the 2007 and 2014
decisions were procured, the Court will treat the argument as
a true Rule 60(b) motion. Nevertheless, the Court is not
persuaded. The Third Circuit's decision in Mack
explored the analysis a district court must undertake with
respect to the narrow exception to the procedural default
doctrine recognized in Martinet u. Ryan, 566 U.S. 1
(2012). However, nothing in Mack changes
the fact that the Mattimtz rule only applies to
excuse the procedural default of ineffective
assistance of counsel claims, and does not apply to the
operation or tolling of the statute of
limitations for tiling a federal habeas petition.
Sue Arthur p. Thomas, 739 F.3d 611, 630 (11* Cir.
2014). In other words, the Mack decision, on its
own, does not constitute an extraordinary circumstance
warranting reconsideration of reasons for dismissing the
Petition as time-barred in 2007 or the Court's reasons
for denying Petitioner's Rule 60(b)(6) Motion in 2014.
to the extent the instant Motion asserts seven claims
challenging the legality of his original convictions in 2000
that either were or could have been asserted in his original
habeas Petition, the Motion consitutes a second or successive
habeas request. The record indicates that Petitioner did not
obtain permission from the Third Circuit before filing ...