United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
D. Mariani United States District Judge
Jose Cardona, an inmate formerly confined at the United
States Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, filed a
petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241 claiming that his due process rights were
violated in the context of a prison disciplinary hearing
where he was found guilty of the prohibited act of Possession
of Narcotic Paraphernalia. (Doc. 1). On April 4, 2013, Magistrate
Judge Martin 0 Carlson issued a Report and Recommendation
recommending that the Court deny Cardona's habeas
petition. (Doc. 14). On May 20, 2013, this Court issued an
Order adopting the Report and Recommendation, in part, and
denying the habeas petition. (Doc. 16). The Court rejected
the Magistrate Judge's recommendation to deny the
petition based on Cardona's failure to exhaust the
administrative remedies, but nevertheless determined that
"some evidence" supported the disciplinary hearing
officer's findings and adopted the Report and
Recommendation in that respect. (Id.).
pending before the Court is Cardona's motion to alter,
amend, or reconsider the judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 59(e). (Doc. 17). For the reasons set forth
below, the motion will be denied.
Motion for Reconsideration Standard of
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), a party may move
"to alter or amend a judgment." Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e).
A motion for reconsideration is a device of limited utility.
It may be used only to seek remediation for manifest errors
of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence which,
if discovered previously, might have affected the court's
decision. Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906
(3d Cir. 1985), cert, denied, 476 U.S. 1171 (1986).
Typically, "[a] proper Rule 59(e) motion ... must rely
on one of three grounds: (1) an intervening change in
controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence; or (3)
the need to correct clear error of law or prevent manifest
injustice." Lazaridis v. Wehmer, 591 F.3d 666,
669 (3d Cir. 2010).
motion for reconsideration is appropriate in instances where
the court has"... misunderstood a party, or has made a
decision outside the adversarial issues presented to the
Court by the parties, or has made an error not of reasoning
but of apprehension." Rohrbach v. AT& TNassau
Metals Corp., 902 F.Supp. 523, 527 (M.D. Pa. 1995),
vacated in part on other grounds on reconsideration
915 F.Supp. 712 (M.D. Pa. 1996), quoting Above the Belt,
Inc. v. Mel Bohannan Roofing, Inc., 99 F.R.D. 99, 101
(E.D. Va. 1983). "A motion for reconsideration is not to
be used as a means to reargue matters already argued and
disposed of." Waye v. First Citizen's Natl
Bank, 846 F.Supp. 310, 314 (M.D. Pa.), affd, 31
F.3d 1174 (3d Cir. 1994); see also Database America, Inc.
v. Bellsouth Adver. & Pubi'g Corp., 825
F.Supp. 1216, 1220 (D.N.J. 1993) (citations omitted) ("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 rendering its original decision fails to
carry the moving party's burden.'"). Moreover,
"[b]ecause federal courts have a strong interest in the
finality of judgments, motions for reconsideration should be
granted sparingly." Continental Casualty Co. v.
Diversified Indus. Inc., 884 F.Supp. 937, 943 (E.D. Pa.
Court finds that Cardona has not made out a valid case for
reconsidering the Order denying his habeas petition. In the
motion for reconsideration, Cardona claims that he did not
receive the DHO report until one year after the hearing, and
that the report was "tainted and tailored for the sole
intention as to defeat [his] habeas petition." (Doc. 18,
p. 3). Cardona bases these allegations on the fact that
Respondent filed "a fraudulent motion for enlargement of
time" which granted the DHO the opportunity to falsify
and tailor his report. (Id.). Cardona also claims
that there was no evidence to support the DHO's findings.
(Id. at PP- 3-4).
Court previously addressed Cardona's argument that he did
not timely receive the DHO report. In addressing this
argument, the Magistrate Judge recommended that the Court
deny the petition based on Cardona's failure to properly
exhaust his administrative remedies. (Doc. 14, pp. 6-9).
However, this Court rejected the Magistrate Judge's
analysis regarding failure to exhaust. (Doc. 16, ¶
2(a)). The Court excused Cardona's failure to exhaust his
administrative remedies and found that any attempt to exhaust
would have been futile because Cardona did not timely receive
the DHO report. (Id.).
Court also previously addressed Cardona's argument that
there was insufficient evidence to support any finding of
misconduct on his part. The Court concluded that "some
evidence" supported the DHO's findings. (Doc. 16,
¶ 2(b)). As the Magistrate Judge noted, the "some
evidence" standard of review "'does not require
examination of the entire record, independent assessment of
the credibility of witnesses, or weighing of the evidence,
' but only entails a determination 'whether there is
any evidence in the record that could support the conclusion
reached by the disciplinary board.'" (Doc. 14, p.
19) (citing Stanko v, Obama, 434 F.App'x 63, 66
(3d Cir. 2011)). The Court noted that the DHO relied on the
eyewitness account of the reporting officer, photographs of
two hypodermic needles found in Cardona's personal
property on the date of the cell search, and Cardona's
testimony that he personally packed his belongings in
preparation for his transfer. (Doc. 16, ¶ 2(b)(i)).
Based on the determination that "some evidence"
supported the DHO's findings, the Court ultimately found
that the habeas petition failed on the merits.
instant motion, Cardona has not demonstrated a need to
reconsider the May 20, 2013 Order. He fails to present any
newly found evidence, to advance an intervening change in
controlling law, or to establish that a clear error of law or
fact exists. Nor does he establish that the Court came to its
conclusions by way of some gross misunderstanding of the
facts or law of this case. Rather, he simply disagrees with
the Court's disposition of this matter. See Dodge v.
Susquehanna University, 796 F.Supp. 829, 830 (M.D. Pa.
1992) ("[A]ny litigant considering bringing a motion to
reconsider based upon [clear error of law] should evaluate
whether what may seem to be a clear error of law is in fact
simply a point of disagreement between the Court and the
litigant."). Consequently, the motion for
reconsideration will be denied.