Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Jones v. Behe

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

June 27, 2017

RAYMOND JONES, Petitioner
v.
WILLIAM A. BEHE, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Respondent

          MEMORANDUM

          William W. Caldwell United States District Judge

         I. Introduction

         Presently before the court is Petitioner Raymond Jones' motion (Doc. 11) for reconsideration of this court's prior memorandum opinion (Doc. 6) and order (Doc. 7) denying, among other things, his petition for writ of mandamus. For the following reasons, the court will deny Petitioner's motion for reconsideration.

         II. Background

         On November 28, 2016, [1] Petitioner, an inmate at FCI Loretto, filed a petition for a writ of mandamus under 28 U.S.C. § 1361 directed at the Assistant United States Attorney (“AUSA”) who prosecuted Petitioner's criminal case. (Doc. 1). He also filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”), (Doc. 2), as well as a motion for an order to show cause, (Doc. 3). Instead of treating the petition for writ of mandamus as a new civil filing, the Clerk of Court docketed the petition on Petitioner's existing criminal docket.[2] See United States v. Jones, No. 1:10-cr-00181-2 (M.D. Pa. 2010), ECF No. 185. The court reviewed the petition and related filings, and on February 15, 2017, denied the mandamus petition in a memorandum opinion and order, which were also docketed on Petitioner's criminal docket. Id. at ECF Nos. 189, 190. The court also dismissed the motion for IFP as moot, and denied the related motion for an order to show cause. Id.

         On March 2, 2017, Petitioner moved under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(a) to correct the case title to reflect the appropriate parties in the civil mandamus proceeding, rather than the criminal case. Id. at ECF No. 191. On March 20, 2017, the court granted Petitioner's Rule 60(a) motion, and directed the Clerk of Court to docket Petitioner's mandamus petition as a new civil case, and to include all related mandamus documents currently on Petitioner's criminal docket-including the opinion and order denying the petition-as part of that new civil case. Id. at ECF No. 192. The court further directed the Clerk of Court to close the newly opened civil case because the mandamus petition was denied, and informed Petitioner that if he “desire[d] to appeal the denial of his petition for writ of mandamus, the time in which [he] must appeal shall begin to run from the date of this order.” Id. That same day, in accord with the court's order, the Clerk of Court opened a new civil case, docketed all related mandamus documents appearing on Petitioner's criminal docket as part of the civil case, and closed the case. See Jones v. Behe, No. 1:17-cv-00493 (M.D. Pa. 2017), ECF Nos. 1-7.

         On March 28, 2017, Petitioner again moved under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(a) to correct a clerical error. (Doc. 8). In his second Rule 60(a) motion, Petitioner apparently sought to have the court correct the captions on the court's denial-of-mandamus memorandum opinion and order to reflect that he was the “Petitioner” and the AUSA was the “Respondent.” (Doc. 8 at 2). It appears as though Petitioner believed that having a correctly captioned physical copy of the denial of his mandamus petition was a prerequisite for appealing the denial to the Third Circuit. (Id.)

         On April 3, 2017, the court, having already opened a new civil case, docketed the denial-of-mandamus opinion and order as part of that civil case, and informed Petitioner that he could appeal this court's denial of his mandamus petition if he so desired, denied Petitioner's second Rule 60(a) motion. (See Doc. 9). In that order, the court specifically informed Petitioner that if he “desire[d] to appeal the denial of his petition for writ of mandamus, (see Docs. 6, 7), in [this civil] case, he must comply with the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. See Fed. R. App. P. 3, 4.” (Doc. 9)

         On April 7, 2017, Petitioner filed an “Affidavit, ” declaring that he was still waiting to receive amended copies of the denial-of-mandamus opinion and order with corrected captions. (Doc. 10). Such documents, however, were never issued, nor would they be issued, as the court had denied Petitioner's second Rule 60(a) motion seeking this specific relief.

         On May 2, 2017, Petitioner filed the instant motion for reconsideration under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). (Doc. 11). Petitioner argues that the court erred by dismissing as moot his motion for IFP, and by ruling on his mandamus petition without first requiring a response from the respondent. Because Petitioner's motion for reconsideration under Rule 59(e) is untimely, and because the court finds no merit to the substance of the motion, it will be denied.

         III. Discussion

         When seeking reconsideration of a final order, i.e., to alter or amend judgment, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), the movant must show an intervening change in controlling law, the availability of new evidence that was not available when the court issued the underlying order, or “the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice.” See Max's Seafood Café ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999) (citation omitted). In order to be timely, however, “[a] motion to alter or amend judgment must be filed no later than 28 days after the entry of judgment.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). This 28-day deadline cannot be extended by the court. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(b)(2).

         As stated above, on March 20, 2017, the court granted Petitioner's first Rule 60(a) motion to correct clerical error and opened a new civil case for his mandamus petition, incorporating all of the mandamus-related documents from his criminal docket into the new civil docket. That same day, in the same order, the court explained that “if [Petitioner] desires to appeal the denial of his petition for writ of mandamus, the time in which [he] must appeal shall begin to run from the date of this order.” (Doc. 5). In other words, March 20, 2017, became the date of entry of judgment in his civil mandamus case, rather than February 15, 2017-the date the denial of his mandamus petition was first entered on his criminal docket.

         Petitioner thus had twenty-eight days in which to move for reconsideration from this court's March 20, 2017 entry of judgment. Consequently, he must have filed his Rule 59(e) motion by April 17, 2017. As Petitioner filed his Rule 59(e) motion on May 2, 2017, he missed the deadline by more than ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.