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Johnson v. Tennis

August 31, 2010

GARY JOHNSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
FRANKLIN TENNIS, ET AL., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Norma L. Shapiro, J.

MEMORANDUM

Gary Johnson, an inmate at the State Correctional Institute at Rockview, Pennsylvania, has filed a pro se Motion to Vacate Prior Judgment. Johnson seeks to vacate this court's March 12, 2007, Memorandum and Order denying his habeas corpus petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

I. BACKGROUND

Johnson was convicted in a non-jury trial of second degree murder (felony murder) and criminal conspiracy for the murder of Alphonso Broadmax on January 21, 1991. The trial court imposed a mandatory life sentence for the murder conviction and two years (concurrent) for the conspiracy conviction. The Superior Court affirmed and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied Johnson's petition for allowance of appeal. Johnson then filed a petition under Pennsylvania Post Conviction Relief Act ("PCRA"), 42 Pa. C.S. §§ 9541 et seq.,that claimed ineffective assistance of counsel. The PCRA court denied Johnson's timely request for relief; the Superior Court affirmed the PCRA court's denial; and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied Johnson's petition for allowance of appeal. After exhausting state remedies, Johnson filed a habeas corpus petition. This court entered judgment denying relief in March 2007; the Court of Appeals affirmed in November 2008; and the Supreme Court denied certiorari in June 2009.

Johnson now requests vacatur of this court's judgment by motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6).

II. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) allows a party to seek relief from a judgment or order on the following grounds:

(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 misconduct by an opposing 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 reversed or vacated; or applying it ...


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