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Materon v. Ebbert

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

May 13, 2014

MAURICIO MATERON, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN DAVID EBBERT, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM

SYLVIA H. RAMBO, District Judge.

Before the court is Petitioner Mauricio Materon's motion for reconsideration, brought pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, of the court's memorandum and order of June 27, 2011 (Doc. 10), denying his petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Doc. 15.) For the reasons that follow, the instant motion (Doc. 15) will be denied.

I. Background

In the petition, Petitioner challenged disciplinary proceedings against him after being found in possession of cell phone. (Doc. 1.) Specifically, Petitioner contended that he should not have been cited for a violation of Section 108 (Possession, Manufacture, or Introduction of a Hazardous Tool) of the Bureau of Prisons' ("BOP") disciplinary code because "Rule 108 had not been amended to include cell phones under the definition of hazardous tools." ( Id. ¶ 12.) Rather, Petitioner should have been charged with a violation of Section 305 (Possession of Anything Not Authorized). ( Id. ¶ 13.) Petitioner also complained that the sanctions imposed by the Disciplinary Hearing Officer ("DHO") were "of an extent and severity that are not authorized for a violation of Code 305." ( Id. ¶ 26.) Petitioner did not raise any argument that his rights were hindered by a language barrier. (Doc. 1.)

On May 3, 2011, the court directed service of the petition. (Doc. 5.) On May 23, 2011, Respondent filed a response, arguing that the petition should be dismissed for lack of exhaustion or, in the alternative, denied on its merits. (Doc. 7.) After Petitioner filed a traverse, (Doc. 8), the court issued a memorandum and order denying the petition on the basis that it lacked merit, (Doc. 10). Specifically, the court: (1) found "some evidence" to support the DHO's decision, ( id. at 7-8), (2) denied the petition "with respect to any challenge to notice of the charges, " ( id. at 8-9), and (3) determined that the sanctions imposed were within the limits prescribed in the regulatory scheme for the charged disciplinary infraction, ( id. at 9-11). Because the court found that the petition was without merit, it did not need to determine whether to excuse Petitioner's failure to exhaust, as argued by Respondent. ( Id. at 6-7.)

Petitioner appealed the court's decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on July 8, 2011. ( See Doc. 11.) By certified order dated December 28, 2011, issued in lieu of a formal mandate, the Third Circuit affirmed the judgment of this court. ( See Doc. 14.)

Pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Petitioner now seeks reconsideration of this court's June 27, 2011 memorandum and order denying his habeas petition. (Doc. 17.) In his motion, Petitioner reiterates his claims that he should not have been charged with a Code 108 violation and that the sanctions were improper and excessive. ( Id. ¶¶ 6, 10.) In addition, Petitioner argues that he does not speak, read, write, or comprehend the English language, and asks the court to reconsider its decision because: (1) Warden Zickefoose's December 28, 2009 memorandum - upon which he contends this court based its decision - was not translated into his native Spanish language, and (2) Warden Zickefoose should have assisted him with filing an administrative remedy because it was written in the English language. ( Id. ¶¶ 7, 8.) Respondent filed a brief in opposition to Petitioner's motion for reconsideration on February 3, 2014. (Doc. 17.) As Petitioner has not filed a reply, the motion for reconsideration is ripe for disposition. After careful review, the motion will be denied.

II. Discussion

A motion for reconsideration is a device of limited utility. Its purpose is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence. Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir. 1985). "Because federal courts have a strong interest in the finality of judgments, motions for reconsideration should be granted sparingly." Continental Cas. Co. v. Diversified Indus., Inc., 884 F.Supp. 937, 943 (E.D. Pa. 1995).

A party bringing a motion to reconsider under Rule 60 bears a heavy burden. Bohus v. Beloff, 950 F.2d 919, 930 (3d Cir. 1991) ("We view Rule 60(b) motions as extraordinary relief which should be granted only where extraordinary justifying circumstances are present") (quotations omitted). Rule 60(b) provides, in pertinent part:

On motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party or its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceedi ng for the following reasons:
(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 ...

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