United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Cincinnati
Timothy S. Black District Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Michael R. Merz United States Magistrate Judge
habeas corpus case under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 is before the
Court on Petitioner's March 20, 2019, Motion for Relief
from Judgment (docketed as “Motion for
Reconsideration”) (ECF No. 80). Contemporaneously with
filing the Motion, Petitioner filed a Notice of Appeal to the
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit from the
judgment from which he seeks relief (ECF No. 78). Because the
Notice of Appeal divested this Court of jurisdiction to
decide the motion, the Magistrate Judge deferred
consideration of the motion pending the outcome of the appeal
(Order, ECF No. 82).
24, 2019, the Sixth Circuit decided Petitioner's appeal.
Hobbs v. Ohio Adult Parole Authority, No. 19-3229
(6th Cir. Jun. 24, 2019) (unreported; copy at ECF
No. 85). Because that decision disposed of the appeal and the
Sixth Circuit will not issue a mandate in its case (ECF No.
85, PageID 1077), its decision returns jurisdiction to this
Court. The Court thus turns to the Motion for Relief from
Sixth Circuit noted that, in order to appeal denial of his
prior Motion for Relief from Judgment, Hobbs required a
certificate of appealability because this is a habeas corpus
case. Construing his Notice of Appeal as a motion for
certificate of appealability, it denied one, holding that
“no reasonable jurist could conclude that the district
court abused its discretion in denying Hobbs's motion for
relief from judgment.” (Slip Op., ECF No. 85, PageID
makes the instant Motion under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1) to
correct “clear errors of law . . .” (ECF No. 80,
PageID 1066). However, the Sixth Circuit found that
“[t]he magistrate judge analyzed Hobbs's motion
under every conceivably applicable part of Rule 60:
subsections (b)(3), (b)(6), and (d)(3). Hobbs did not make a
substantial showing that his motion meets any of those
subsections.” (Slip Op., ECF No. 85, PageID 1079).
the doctrine of law of the case, findings made at one point
in the litigation become the law of the case for subsequent
stages of that same litigation.” United States v.
Moored, 38 F.3d 1419, 1421 (6th Cir. 1994),
citing United States v. Bell, 988 F.2d 247, 250
(1st Cir. 1993). “As most commonly defined,
the doctrine posits that when a court decides upon a rule of
law, that decision should continue to govern the same issues
in subsequent stages in the same case.”
Arizona v. California, 460 U.S. 605, 618
(1983), citing 1B James Wm. Moore and T. Currier,
Federal Practice ¶0.404 (1980); accord Patterson v.
Haskins, 470 F.3d 645, 660-61 (6th Cir.
2006); United States v. City of Detroit, 401 F.3d
448, 452 (6th Cir. 2005). “If it is
important for courts to treat like matters alike in different
cases, it is indispensable that they ‘treat the same
litigants in the same case the same way throughout the same
dispute.'” United States v. Charles, 843
F.3d 1142, 1145 (6th Cir. 2016) (Sutton, J.),
quoting Bryan A. Garner, et al., The Law of Judicial
Precedent 441 (2016).
The doctrine of law of the case provides that the courts
should not “reconsider a matter once resolved in a
continuing proceeding.”18B Charles Alan Wright, Arthur
R. Miller, and Edward H. Cooper, Federal Practice and
Procedure: Jurisdiction and Related Matters § 4478
(4th ed. 2015).”The purpose of the
law-of-the-case doctrine is to ensure that ‘the
same issue presented a second time in the same
case in the same court should lead to the
same result.'” Sherley v.
Sebelius, 689 F.3d 776, 780 (D.C. Cir. 2012) (quoting
LaShawn A. v. Barry, 87 F.3d 1389, 1393, (D.C. Cir.
Howe v. City of Akron, 801 F.3d 718, 739-740
(6th Cir. 2015) (emphasis in original).
mandate rule is a specific application of the law-of-the-case
doctrine. “The basic tenet of the mandate rule is that
a district court is bound to the scope of the remand issued
by the court of appeals.” United States v.
Campbell, 168 F.3d 263, 265 (6th Cir. 1999).
The mandate rule is a distinct concept which preserves the
hierarchy of the court system. Scott v. Churchill,
377 F.3d 565, 570 (6th Cir. 2004).
Pursuant to the law of the case doctrine, and the
complementary “mandate rule, ” upon remand the
trial court is bound to “proceed in accordance with the
mandate and law of the case as established by the appellate
court.” [Hanover Ins. Co. v. Am. Eng'g
Co., 105 F.3d 306, 312 (6th Cir. 1997)]
(quoting Petition of U.S. Steel Corp., 479 F.2d 489,
493 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 414 U.S. 859, 94
S.Ct. 71, 38 L.Ed.2d 110 (1973)). The trial court is required
to “implement both the letter and the spirit” of
the appellate court's mandate, “taking into account
the appellate court's opinion and the circumstances it
embraces.” Brunet v. City of Columbus, 58 F.3d
251, 254 (6th Cir. 1995).
Westside Mothers v. Olszewski, 454 F.3d 532, 538
(6th Cir. 2006).
of a certificate of appealability bec[omes] the law of the
case, binding in subsequent stages of the litigation.”
Dillingham v. Jenkins, No. 17-3813, 2017 WL 5438882
(6th Cir. Nov. 8, 2017), citing Moore v.
Mitchell, 848 F.3d 774, 776 (6th Cir. 2017).
the law of the case doctrine as just explicated, this Court
is bound by the holding of the Sixth Circuit that “no
reasonable jurist could conclude that the district court
abused its discretion in denying Hobbs's motion for
relief from judgment” [when] “analyzed . . .under