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Stinson v. Wakefield

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

March 6, 2017

CHARLES HOWARD STINSON, Petitioner
v.
DAVID WAKEFIELD, et al., Respondents

          MEMORANDUM

          Kane Judge

         Background

         On July 9, 2007, Petitioner Charles Howard Stinson, a state inmate, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. No. 1.) On February 1, 2012, the court in a 60-page memorandum addressed the nine issues raised by Stinson and in a separate order denied Stinson's petition. (Doc. No. 65.) The court also denied a certificate of appealability. (Id.) On February 27, 2012, Stinson filed an appeal to the Court of Appeals for this circuit. (Doc. No. 66.) In the appeal to Third Circuit Stinson raised, inter alia, the following issues: (1) the admission of preliminary hearing testimony during the state court trial; (2) the use of fingerprint evidence and a photo array; and (3) several ineffective assistance of counsel claims. See Stinson v. Wakefield, et al., C.A. No. 12-1559 (ECF No. 003110892306) (PACER) On August 16, 2012, the Court of Appeals issued an order denying Stinson's application for a certificate of appealability. Id., ECF No. 003110989794. In the order the Court of Appeals stated that Stinson “failed to make a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.” Id. On December 17, 2012, the Court of Appeals denied Stinson's petition for rehearing en banc. Id., ECF No. 003111110321. Thereafter, on March 18, 2013, the United States Supreme Court denied Stinson's petition for writ of certiorari. Stinson v. Bickell, 133 S.Ct. 1625 (2013).

         On February 6, 2013, Stinson filed in this court a document entitled “Federal Rule of Civil Procedure, Rule 60(b)(1)(2)(3)(6) Motion for Relief from a Final Judgment Order.” (Doc. No. 71.)[1] On February 21, 2013, Stinson filed a document entitled “Supplement to Rule 60(b) Motion.” (Doc. No. 74.) Stinson delineates his motion as one for reconsideration. (Doc. No. 71.) Stinson's Rule 60(b) motion for reconsideration raises issues concerning the manner in which this court reviewed and issued the 60-page memorandum of February 1, 2012. The motion for reconsideration is fully briefed and for the reasons set forth below will be denied.

         Discussion

         Stinson's motion is brought pursuant to several subsections of Rule 60(b), specifically subsections (1), (3) and (6).[2] Rule 60(b)(1), (3) and (6) state in relevant part as follows:

(b) Grounds for Relief from a Final Judgment, Order, or Proceeding. On motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party . . . from a final judgment, order or proceeding for the following reasons:
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
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3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party;
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(6) any other reason that justifies relief.

         A motion under Rule 60(b) must be made within a reasonable time and with respect Rule 60(b)(1) and (3) no more than a year after the entry of the order in question. Moreover, “[t]he grant or denial of a Rule 60(b)(6) motion is an equitable matter left, in the first instance to the discretion of a district court.” Cox v. Horn, 757 F.3d 113, 124 (3d Cir. 2014). A guiding maxim in equity is that “he who comes into equity must come with clean hands” and this maxim “is far more than a mere banality” but “a self-imposed ordinance that closes the doors of a court of equity to one tainted with inequitableness or bad faith relative to the matter in which he seeks relief[.]” Precision Instrument Mfg. Co. V. Automotive Maintenance Machinery Co., 324 U.S. 806, 814 (1945).

         The Court of Appeals for this circuit, in addressing whether or not a Rule 60(b) motion ...


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