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United States v. Henry

United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

April 4, 2014

UNITED STATES
v.
LEON HENRY

MEMORANDUM

DuBOIS, J.

I. INTRODUCTION

On June 1, 2007, after a jury trial, defendant Leon Henry was convicted of making false statements to a federal firearms licensee, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and conspiracy to make false statements to a federal firearms licensee. On November 25, 2008, this Court sentenced defendant to ninety-six months' imprisonment, three years of supervised release, an $800 fine, and a $300 special assessment.

On January 30, 2012, defendant filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody, which the Court denied on the merits. On October 10, 2014, defendant filed a motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60 and the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651, which the Court denied by Order dated February 25, 2014, as an impermissible second or successive habeas petition. Presently before the Court is defendant's pro se Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's February 25, 2014 Order. For the reasons that follow, defendant's Motion for Reconsideration is denied.

II. BACKGROUND

The background of this case is set forth in detail in this Court's Memorandum dated November 21, 2012, see United States v. Henry, No. 06-33-02, 2012 WL 5881848 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 21, 2012), and will be recited in this Memorandum only to the extent necessary to explain the Court's decision on the instant motion.

On January 30, 2012, defendant filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody ("§ 2255 Motion"), which the Court denied on the merits by Order dated November 21, 2012. Defendant filed a notice of appeal on January 20, 2013, which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit construed as a request for a certificate of appealability and denied on June 6, 2013.

On October 10, 2013, defendant filed a pro se Motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) and (d) and under the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651 ("Rule 60 Motion"), arguing, inter alia, that the Court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction to convict or sentence him under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) because that statute is unconstitutional as applied to him.[1]

The Court denied defendant's Rule 60 Motion as a second or successive habeas motion by Order dated February 25, 2014. The Court concluded, inter alia, that defendant's claim that the Court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction to convict or sentence him "constitutes a second or successive habeas motion because it 'seeks to collaterally attack [his] underlying conviction."' Order at 4, Feb. 24, 2014, ECF No. 837 (citing Pridgen v. Shannon, 380 F.3d 721, 727 (3d Cir. 2004)). As such, defendant was required to file an application in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit seeking authorization for this Court to consider his Motion. Id. (citing Pridgen, 380 F.3d at 725). Because defendant failed to obtain such authorization, the Court dismissed defendant's Rule 60 claims without prejudice to defendant's right to seek authorization from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Id.

The Court also dismissed defendant's claims under the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651, concluding that, because defendant could have brought his claims under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, they did not fall into a "gap" in post-conviction remedies and therefore the All Writs Act was inapplicable. Id. at 5 (citing United States v. Hannah, 174 Fed.App'x 671, 673 (3d Cir. 2006)).

On March 31, 2014, defendant filed the instant Motion for Reconsideration, asking that this Court reconsider its ruling that his Rule 60 Motion was a second or successive habeas petition.

III. LEGAL STANDARD

The purpose of a motion for reconsideration of an order is to correct manifest errors of law or fact, or to present newly discovered evidence. Max's Seafood Cafe v. Max Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999). A prior decision may be altered or amended only if the party seeking reconsideration establishes at least one of the following grounds: (1) an intervening change in 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 manifest injustice. Id. "Because federal courts have a strong interest in finality of judgments, motions for reconsideration should be granted sparingly." Cont. Cas. Co. v. Diversified Indus., Inc., 884 F.Supp. 937, 943 (E.D. Pa. 1995).

Moreover, a motion for reconsideration "addresses only factual and legal matters that the Court may have overlooked. It is improper on a motion for reconsideration to ask the Court to rethink what it had already thought through-rightly or wrongly." Glendon Energy Co. v.Borough of Glendon, 836 F.Supp. 1109, 1122 (E.D. Pa. 1993). "The motion for reconsideration should not be used as a vehicle for ...


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