United States District Court, D. Delaware
Honorable Maryellen Noreika United States District Judge
March 2007, a Delaware Superior Court jury convicted
Petitioner Anthony White (“Petitioner”) of
attempted first degree murder and a weapons offense, and
acquitted him of conspiracy. (D.I 27 at 2). Petitioner
appealed, and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed his
convictions and sentence in September 2008. See White v.
State, 957 A.2d 2 (Table), 2008 WL 4107980, at *1 (Del.
Sept. 2008). After the disposition of two post-conviction
proceedings in the Delaware state courts, Petitioner filed a
habeas petition in this Court. (D.I. 27 at 2-4). In July
2014, the Honorable Gregory M. Sleet denied the petition as
time-barred and alternatively concluded that the claims were
meritless or procedurally barred. (D.I. 27; D.I. 28). In July
2015, Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration of that
decision, (D.I. 29), which Judge Sleet denied (D.I. 30; D.I.
31). In February 2018, Petitioner filed a second Motion for
Reconsideration pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
59(e) and 60(b) (D.I. 33) simultaneously with a Motion to
Stay and Abey the Motion for Reconsideration (D.I. 34). On
July 20, 2018, Judge Sleet denied the second Motion for
Reconsideration as meritless and the Motion to Stay as moot.
(D.I. 36; D.I. 37).
pending before the Court are Petitioner's third and
fourth Rule 59(e)/60(b) Motions for Reconsideration. (D.I.
38; D.I. 40). They are identical in content and assert that
his habeas petition should be reopened due to newly
discovered evidence. (D.I. 38 at 1; D.I. 40 at 1).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion for reconsideration may be filed pursuant Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 59(e) or Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
60(b). Although motions for reconsideration under Rule 59(e)
and Rule 60(b) serve similar functions, each has a particular
purpose. See United States v. Fiorelli, 337 F.3d
282, 288 (3d Cir. 2003). For instance, Rule 59(e) is “a
device to relitigate the original issue decided by the
district court, and [it is] used to allege legal
error.” Fiorelli, 337 F.3d at 288. 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 Café v.
Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999). A motion
filed pursuant to Rule 59(e) must be filed no later than
twenty-eight days after the entry of the judgment. See
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,
may be granted only in extraordinary circumstances. See
Moolenaar v. Gov't of Virgin Islands, 822 F.2d 1342,
1346 (3d Cir. 1987). Notably, a motion for reconsideration is
not appropriate to reargue issues that the court has already
considered and decided. See Brambles USA Inc. v.
Blocker, 735 F.Supp. 1239, 1240 (D. Del. 1990).
when, as here, a district court is presented with a motion
for reconsideration after it has denied the petitioner's
federal habeas petition, the court must first determine if
the motion constitutes a second or successive application
under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
(“AEDPA”). As articulated by the Third Circuit,
in those instances in which the factual predicate of a
petitioner's Rule 60(b) motion attacks the manner in
which the earlier habeas judgment was procured and not the
underlying conviction, the Rule 60(b) motion may be
adjudicated on the merits. However, when the Rule 60(b)
motion seeks to collaterally attack the petitioner's
underlying conviction, the motion should be treated as a
successive habeas petition.
Pridgen v. Shannon, 380 F.3d 721, 727 (3d Cir.
2004). Under AEDPA, a prisoner cannot file a second or
successive habeas application without first obtaining
approval from the appropriate court of appeals and, absent
such authorization, a district court cannot consider the
merits of a subsequent application. See 28 U.S.C. §
2244(b)(3)(A); Robinson v. Johnson, 313 F.3d 128,
139-40 (3d Cir. 2002).
filed his Motions for Reconsideration pursuant to Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 59(e) and 60(b). To the extent the
motions are filed pursuant to Rule 59(e), they are
time-barred, because they were filed almost five full years
after the entry of the judgment in July 2014 and
approximately five months after the denial of his second Rule
60(b) motion in July 2018. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) (a
“motion to amend a judgment must be filed no later than
28 days after the entry of the judgment.”).
extent the motions are filed pursuant to Rule 60(b), the
Court must first determine if they constitute
“true” motions for reconsideration, or if they
constitute a second or successive habeas application under
the AEDPA. See Gonzalez, 545 U.S. at 529-30. In the instant
Rule 60(b) motions, Petitioner appears to contend that he is
entitled to Rule 60(b)(6) relief on the basis of the
following “newly” discovered evidence:
1. An unsigned/unsworn statement summarizing a purported
interview of Qy-Mere Maddrey (“Maddrey Summary”)
conducted by an investigator on April 13, 2017. The
investigative insert states that Maddrey is the uncle of
[Petitioner's] child, Maddrey admits to shooting Tucker,