United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MEHALCHICK MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Richard Caputo United States District Judge
before the Court is Petitioner Gregory Alan Rowe‘s
Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's decision to
dismiss his § 2254 habeas petition as untimely. (Doc.
50.) For the reasons stated below, the Motion will be denied.
relevant facts are set forth in the August 23, 2016
Memorandum (Doc. 48), they will not be repeated at length
Gregory Alan Rowe was convicted before the Court of Common
Pleas of Pike County of two counts of first degree murder,
two counts of third degree murder, endangering the welfare of
a child, and possession of an instrument of crime.
Commonwealth v. Rowe, No. CP-52-CR-0000181-2004
(Pike County C.C.P.). On February 8, 2006, Rowe was sentenced to
two (2) consecutive life terms followed by eighteen (18)
months to ten (10) years imprisonment. Rowe's conviction
became final on March 27, 2008, ninety (90) days after the
date on which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied
Rowe's petition for allowance of appeal. Thus, absent any
applicable tolling period, Rowe had until March 27, 2009 to
timely file a federal habeas petition. See 28 U.S.C.
filed his first petition for collateral relief under the
Pennsylvania Post Conviction Relief Act (“PCRA”)
in the Pike County Court of Common Pleas on December 15,
2008, thereby tolling the AEDPA's one-year statute of
limitations. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(2).
Counsel was appointed to represent Rowe with respect to his
PCRA petition. The Court of Common Pleas denied Rowe's
petition on December 23, 2009. Rowe appealed this decision up
to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which denied his petition
for allowance of appeal on July 25, 2011. The AEDPA's
statute of limitations again began to run from this
subsequently filed a motion for DNA testing pursuant to 42
Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 9543.1, and a second PCRA
petition with the Court of Common Pleas on September 6, 2011.
However, despite Rowe's instructions to docket the two
filings separately, the Court of Common Pleas construed
Rowe's filings as only one motion for post-conviction DNA
testing. Rowe's motion for DNA testing was denied on
January 9, 2012 and, ultimately, the Pennsylvania Supreme
Court denied Rowe's petition for allowance of appeal with
respect to that motion on December 3, 2013.
filed his petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254 on September 24, 2013. After the
Magistrate Judge issued an initial Report and Recommendation
on August 10, 2015, this Court found that part of Rowe's
second post-conviction filings with the Court of Common Pleas
should have been construed as a second PCRA petition, rather
than only a motion for DNA testing. (See Doc. 24.)
The Court rejected the Magistrate Judge's recommendation
to deny Rowe's habeas petition as untimely, granted
Rowe's motion for expansion of the record, and
recommitted the matter to the Magistrate Judge for further
proceedings. (Doc. 25.)
1, 2016, the Magistrate Judge issued another Report and
Recommendation, which recommended the Court dismiss with
prejudice Rowe's habeas petition as time-barred.
(See Doc. 42.) The Report and Recommendation noted
that this was the first occasion for both the Magistrate
Judge and this Court to consider the issue of timeliness with
the benefit of full briefing, a complete record of the state
court proceedings, and in light of the Court's decision
to construe Rowe's second post-conviction filing as a
second PCRA petition. (See Id. at 6 n.4.) The Court
adopted the Report and Recommendation and dismissed with
prejudice Rowe's habeas petition. (Doc. 49.) The Court
agreed with the Magistrate Judge's findings that
Rowe's second PCRA petition was not “properly
filed” because it was not filed within one year from
the date on which his conviction became final. (See
Doc. 48, at 8-9.) The Court further noted that “none of
the exceptions to the PCRA's statute of limitations . . .
apply here, nor did Rowe raise any of these exceptions on
collateral review or in support of the instant habeas
petition.” (Id. at 9 n.6.)
September 6, 2016, Rowe filed the instant Motion for
Reconsideration. (Doc. 50.) In support of his Motion, Rowe
argues that there is a need to correct a clear error of law
or fact or to prevent a manifest injustice.
scope of a motion for reconsideration is extremely limited.
Blystone v. Horn, 664 F.3d 397, 415 (3d Cir. 2011).
A judgment may be altered or amended 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
previously; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law
or fact or to prevent manifest injustice. Max's
Seafood Café ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros,
176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999).
motion for reconsideration is not intended to give an unhappy
litigant an additional chance to rehash or reargue issues
which have already been considered and disposed of by the
Court. See Ogden v. Keystone Residence, 226
F.Supp.2d 588, 606 (M.D. Pa. 2002). A losing party may not
use a motion for reconsideration to raise new arguments that
it could have raised previously, but did not. See
McDowell Oil Serv., Inc. v. Interstate Fire & Cas.
Co., 817 F.Supp. 538, 541 (M.D. Pa. 1993). Indeed, a
motion for reconsideration is not a substitute for appeal nor
a vehicle whereby a party may present arguments inexplicably
omitted in prior proceedings. Karr v. Castle, 768
F.Supp. 1087, 1093 (D. Del. 1991), aff'd sub
nom.22 F.3d 303 (3d Cir. 1994), cert. denied sub
nom., 513 U.S. 1084 (1995). “A party seeking
reconsideration must show more than a disagreement with the
Court's decision, and ‘recapitulation of the cases
and arguments considered by the court before ...