The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sean J. McLAUGHLIN, District Judge.
District Judge Sean J. McLaughlin Magistrate Judge Susan Paradise Baxter
Before the Court is Petitioner Michael McDaniel's motion for reconsideration. [ECF No. 34]. Because he has filed it within 28 days of this Court's entry of judgment, it is properly construed as a motion to alter or amend the judgment pursuant to Federal Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons that follow, the motion is denied.
Petitioner is a state prisoner currently incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution Albion.
He is serving a total aggregate sentence of 15-30 years' imprisonment,
which was imposed upon him by the Court of Common Pleas of Bedford
County at Criminal Docket No. 364 of 2006 on August 22, 2007,
following his convictions of three counts of rape of a person less
than 13 years of age and one count of involuntary deviate sexual
intercourse. In his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, he claimed
that his sentence is excessive because it exceeds the recommended
range set forth by Pennsylvania's Sentencing Guidelines. [ECF No. 7 at
2-3]. As a result, he claimed, his sentence "lacked finality" and did
not authorize his detention. He further claimed that when the
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (the "DOC") took custody of him
after his sentencing, it was aware that it did not have the authority
to detain him. The DOC therefore contracted with "the Erie County
Court of Common Pleas, its Executive/Council, its administrative
contract jail Albion Warden, formerly and now Michael W. Harlow, and
Records Supervisor Cheryl Gill to 'alter' cause of detainment record
for express purpose to 'hold' [him] at Albion[.]" [ECF No. 7 at 3].
Petitioner also claimed that when he was temporarily transferred to a
prison in Muskegon County, Michigan, for service of his Pennsylvania
sentence from February 17, 2010, through May 25, 2011,*fn1
his underlying sentence was "cancelled/terminated." [ECF No.
7 at 3-5]. As relief, Petitioner sought an order from this Court
directing that he be released from custody and that he receive
"compensatory relief from each defendant" pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. [ECF No. 7 at 1, 6].
On September 5, 2012, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation [ECF No. 30], in which she recommended that the petition be summarily dismissed because Petitioner was not raising a claim that is cognizable in habeas and because money damages are not available in habeas. In his Objections to the R&R [ECF No. 32], which Petitioner filed on September 18, 2012, he insisted that there was no valid judgment of sentence in his case.
On October 4, 2012, after de novo review of the documents in this case, together with the R&R and Petitioner's Objections, this Court issued a Memorandum Order in which we adopted the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation as the opinion of the Court, as supplemented therein, and closed this case. The Court held that the record is clear that Petitioner is in DOC custody pursuant to the judgment of sentence that was imposed by the Court of Common Pleas of Bedford County on August 22, 2007. [See State Resp. Exs. 1-3, ECF No. 26-1 at 6-7, 12, 21-30].
On October 16, 2012, Petitioner filed the pending motion [ECF No. 34], in which he requests that his Court reconsider its judgment.
The standard for obtaining relief under Rule 59(e) is difficult for a party to meet. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has explained:
The scope of a motion for reconsideration, we have held, is extremely limited. Such motions are not to be used as an opportunity to relitigate the case; rather, they may be used only to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence. Howard Hess Dental Labs., Inc. v. Dentsply Int'l Inc., 602 F.3d 237, 251 (3d Cir. 2010). "Accordingly, a judgment may be altered or amended [only] if the party seeking reconsideration shows at least one of the following grounds: (1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not available when the court [denied the petition for ...