United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
OPINION PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION,
ECF NO. 39 - DENIED PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
AMEND, ECF NO. 40 - DENIED PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO BE
FURNISHED WITH DOCKETING STATEMENT, ECF NO. 41 -
F. LEESON, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jamiel Johnson, proceeding pro se, has filed a Motion for
Reconsideration of this Court's March 30, 2018 Opinion
and Order dismissing his Complaint. See ECF Nos. 37,
38. For the following reasons, the Motion is denied.
Standard of Review - Motion for Reconsideration
purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to correct
manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered
evidence.” Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d
906, 909 (3d Cir. 1985). “Accordingly, 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 when the
court granted the motion for summary judgment; or (3) the
need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent
manifest injustice.” Max's Seafood Cafe by
Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir.
1999). “It is improper on a motion for reconsideration
to ask the Court to rethink what [it] had already thought
through-rightly or wrongly.” Glendon Energy Co. v.
Borough of Glendon, 836 F.Supp. 1109, 1122 (E.D. Pa.
1993) (internal quotations omitted). “Because federal
courts have a strong interest in the finality of judgments,
motions for reconsideration should be granted
sparingly.” Continental Casualty Co. v. Diversified
Indus., 884 F.Supp. 937, 943 (E.D. Pa. 1995).
requests that the Court reconsider its decision in several
he contends that the Court failed to address certain factual
allegations supporting his claim that Defendant John N.
Person, the Deputy Prothonotary of the Pennsylvania Supreme
Court, intentionally and maliciously failed to file his legal
papers. In particular, Johnson cites his allegations that he
has a copy of an “inmate request slip response”
showing that, under the prison mailbox rule, he timely mailed
the legal papers at issue in this case, and that Person
misapplied Pennsylvania law when he refused to file
Johnson's legal papers. See Pl.'s Mot.
Recons. 3. Although the Court did not specifically mention
these allegations in its Opinion, the Court acknowledged
Johnson's contention that he timely filed his papers
under the prison mailbox rule. The allegations Johnson cites
in his Motion for Reconsideration do not affect the
Court's determination that Johnson's claims against
Person fail because they are barred by sovereign immunity and
by the Heck doctrine, among other reasons.
Accordingly, Johnson's motion for reconsideration on this
basis is denied.
Johnson objects to the Court's statement, on page 3 of
the Opinion, that Johnson “vaguely asserts various
claims under federal and state law.” In particular, he
contends that the Court should have devoted more detailed
consideration to his claims that Person violated
Johnson's rights to the equal protection of the laws,
procedural due process, and substantive due process. Johnson,
however, has failed to show that he plausibly alleged a claim
under any of these doctrines. Accordingly, his motion for
reconsideration on this basis is denied.
Johnson objects to the Court's determination that
“to establish that Person denied him access to the
courts, Johnson would have to show that the underlying
challenge to his murder conviction had merit. Such a showing
would necessarily imply the invalidity of his intact
conviction.” See Slip op. at 8. He contends
that he has shown in his briefing before this Court that his
challenge to Pennsylvania's murder statutes has merit.
But, as the Court explained in its Opinion, it is barred from
considering this matter by Heck. Accordingly,
Johnson's motion for reconsideration on this basis is
Johnson objects to the Court's determination that his
state law claims against Person are barred by the doctrine of
sovereign immunity. He contends that because Person allegedly
acted with “malus animus” toward him, Person did
not act within the scope of his employment and is not
protected by sovereign immunity. But under Pennsylvania law,
“the mere existence of a personal motivation is
insufficient to relieve the employer from liability where the
conduct also benefitted him and was within the scope of
employment generally.” Brumfield v. Sanders,
232 F.3d 376, 380 (3d Cir. 2000). Accordingly, even if Person
acted with a bad intention towards Johnson, he was protected
by sovereign immunity because his alleged conduct-returning
legal papers to Johnson-was within the scope of his
foregoing reasons, the Court denies Johnson's Motion for
Reconsideration. As a result, Johnson's Motion to Amend
his Complaint is denied as moot. The Court grants
Johnson's Motion to be Furnished with a Docketing
Statement and a Copy of Motion for Leave to Cure Defect in
Pleadings and, as set forth in the accompanying order, will