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Minefee v. Grafton Correctional Institution Warden

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

January 9, 2017



          Benita Y. Pearson United States District Judge.

         Pending is a motion for relief from judgment filed by pro se Petitioner Patrick Minefee. ECF No. 21. Respondent Grafton Correctional Institution Warden has filed a response. ECF No. 22. The Court has been advised, having reviewed the record, the parties' briefs and the applicable law. For the reasons that follow, Petitioner's motion is denied.

         I. Background & Procedural History

         Pro se Petitioner Patrick Minefee filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (ECF No. 1), alleging two grounds for relief which challenge the constitutional sufficiency of his state conviction (Cuyahoga County, Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-12-562160-C). On July 30, 2015, the case was referred to Magistrate Judge Greg White for preparation of a Report and Recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local Rule 72.2(b)(2). On December 7, 2015, the magistrate judge submitted a report (ECF No. 16) recommending that the petition be dismissed as time barred. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b)(2), objections to the Report and Recommendation were due within 14 days after service. The Court granted Petitioner an extension of time until January 25, 2016 to file any objection. See Order, Jan. 6, 2016.

         A review of the docket indicates that no objections were filed with the Clerk of Court by January 25, 2016. On February 29, 2016, the Court issued its Memorandum of Opinion and Order, and contemporaneously entered final judgment, adopting the magistrate judge's Report and Recommendation and dismissing the petition for a writ of habeas corpus as time barred. See ECF Nos. 18, 19. On March 18, 2016, Petitioner filed an appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Case No. 16-3260.[1] The instant motion for relief from judgment was subsequently filed on March 23, 2016. ECF No. 21. The Warden responded.[2] ECF No. 22. The matter is now ripe for adjudication.

         II. Legal Standards

         A. Standard of Review for Relief from Judgment

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(a) provides, in relevant part, that “[t]he court may correct a clerical mistake or a mistake arising from oversight or omission whenever one is found in a judgment, order, or other part of the record. The court may do so on motion or on its own, with or without notice.” The basic purpose of the rule is to authorize the court to correct errors that are mechanical in nature and that arise from oversight or omission. In re Walter, 282 F.3d 434, 440-41 (6th Cir. 2002). The rule does not, however, authorize the court to revisit its legal analysis or otherwise correct a substantive error in the judgment. Id.

         Rule 60(b) permits a district court to grant a motion for relief from the judgment for any of the following reasons:

(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b); (3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party; (4) the judgment is void; (5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged; it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or applying it prospectively is no longer equitable; or (6) any other reason that justifies relief.

         “As a prerequisite to relief under Rule 60(b), a party must establish that the facts of its case are within one of the enumerated reasons contained in Rule 60(b) that warrant relief from judgment.” Lewis v. Alexander, 987 F.2d 392, 396 (6th Cir. 1993).

         Rule 60(b) does not permit parties to relitigate the merits of claims, or to raise new claims that could have been raised during the litigation of the case or in the initial complaint. Rather, the purpose of a Rule 60(b) motion is to allow a district court to reconsider its judgment when that judgment rests on a defective foundation. The factual predicate of a Rule 60(b) motion, therefore, deals with some irregularity or procedural defect in the procurement of the judgment denying relief. See In re Abdur'Rahman, 392 F.3d 174, 179-80 (6th Cir. 2004) (overruled on other grounds). It does not afford a defeated litigant a second chance to convince the court to rule in his favor by presenting new explanations, new legal theories, or proof. Jinks v. AlliedSignal, Inc., 250 F.3d 381, 385 (6th Cir. 2001).

         B. Standard of Review for a Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation

         When objections have been made to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, the district court's standard of review is ...

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