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McIntosh v. United States

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

October 31, 2017

RODNEY O. MCINTOSH, Petitioner
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent

          MEMORANDUM

          Kane, Judge

         Presently before the Court is Petitioner's motion for reconsideration (Doc. No. 8), of this Court's August 15, 2017 Order dismissing Petitioner's petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.[1] (Doc. No. 7.) For the reasons that follow, Petitioner's motion for reconsideration will be denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Court previously summarized the background of this case in its August 15, 2017 Memorandum (Doc. No. 6), wherein the Court provided:

On July 17, 2017, the Court received and filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus submitted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 from pro se Petitioner Rodney O. McIntosh, a federal inmate presently confined at the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. (Doc. No. 1.)
Petitioner states that on October 6, 2011, a grand jury charged him with forcible assault. (Id.) In Petitioner's instant petition, he argues that the United States District Court for the District of Kansas failed to separate the elements of “forcible assault” and “physical contact” when instructing the jury, and as such, violated his due process rights. (Id.) Petitioner seeks to be released from incarceration. (Id.)
A review of the petition, as well as PACER, the online national index providing public access to court electronic records, reveals that Petitioner previously filed a motion to vacate, set aside, and correct sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 with the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. See United States v. McIntosh, No. 15-2909, 2016 WL 4159723 (D. Kan. Aug. 5, 2016) (dismissing § 2255 petition and denying certificate of appealability).

(Doc. No. 6) (footnote omitted).

         In his instant motion for reconsideration, Petitioner argues that this Court “misrepresented the record” by stating that, in his habeas petition, Petitioner argued that the “U.S. District Court for the [District] of [Kansas] failed to ‘separate' the elements” of forcible assault and physical contact when instructing the jury. (Doc. No. 8 at 1.) Petitioner maintains that he instead argued that the District Court in Kansas failed to “submit the element of forcibly assault” to the jury.[2] (Id.) Petitioner further asserts that this alleged misrepresentation invokes the savings clause. (Id.)

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         A motion for reconsideration under Rule 59(e) is a device of limited utility, which may “not be used as a means to reargue matters already argued and disposed of or as an attempt to relitigate a point of disagreement between the Court and the litigant.” Ogden v. Keystone Residence, 226 F.Supp.2d 588, 606 (M.D. Pa. 2002) (citations omitted); see also Baker v. Astrue, No. CIV. A. 07-4560, 2008 WL 4922015, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 17, 2008). Rather, a court may alter or amend its judgment only upon a showing from the movant of one of the following: “(1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence . . . or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice.” Max's Seafood Cafe v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999) (citing North River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA Reinsurance Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995)). A motion for reconsideration is appropriate when a court has “patently misunderstood a party, or has made a decision outside the adversarial issues presented to the [c]ourt by the parties, or has made an error not of reasoning but of apprehension.” Rohrbach v. AT&T Nassau Metals Corp., 902 F.Supp. 523, 527 (M.D. Pa. 1995) (quoting Above the Belt, Inc. v. Mel Bohannan Roofing, Inc., 99 F.R.D. 99, 101 (E.D. Va. 1983)), vacated in part on other grounds on reconsideration, 915 F.Supp. 712 (M.D. Pa. 1996). It may not be used as a means to reargue unsuccessful theories, or argue new facts or issues that were not presented to the court in the context of the matter previously decided. Drysdale v. Woerth, 153 F.Supp.2d 678, 682 (E.D. Pa. 2001). “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).

         III. DISCUSSION

         In this case, Petitioner fails to satisfy the above exacting standards. As the Court explained in its prior Memorandum:

Petitioner challenges the imposition of his sentence, not its execution. Therefore, to proceed under § 2241, he must demonstrate that a § 2255 motion “is inadequate or ineffective to test the legality of his detention.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(e). Petitioner has not met this burden. His claim does not fall within the purview of the savings clause, as he has not demonstrated that an intervening change in the law made his underlying conviction non-criminal, but that he had no prior opportunity to challenge his conviction and could not satisfy the stringent standard for filing a second or successive § 2255 motion. In fact, in his previously filed § 2255 petition, the United States District Court for the District of Kansas specifically addressed the claim Petitioner now brings in his instant habeas petition, i.e., whether the [C]ourt should have separated the elements ...

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