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Hobbs v. Faulkner

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division, Cincinnati

July 19, 2019

RYAN D. HOBBS, Plaintiff,
v.
DEREK FAULKNER, et al., Defendants.

          Michael R. Barrett District Judge.

          SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          Michael R. Merz United States Magistrate Judge.

         This case is before the Court on Plaintiff's Objections (ECF No. 88) to the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendations on Motion for Relief from Judgment (ECF No. 86). Defendants have responded to the Objections (ECF Nos. 89, 90) and Judge Barrett has recommitted the case for reconsideration in light of the Objections (ECF No. 91).

         This case is pending on appeal to the Sixth Circuit (Notice of Appeal, ECF No. 77; 6th Cir. No. 19-3303). The Magistrate Judge initially recommended deferring any ruling on Plaintiff's Motion for Relief from Judgment until the appeal is decided (Report, ECF No. 86).

         Plaintiff's Objections begin by asserting that “[t]he Court gave no cogent reason why the Court could not rule to grant or deny my Motion for Relief.” (ECF No. 88, PageID 1326). To the contrary, the Report begins by citing governing Supreme Court case law to the effect that a notice of appeal deprives this Court of jurisdiction to grant the Motion.

         Hobbs argues the Court should not defer a ruling because the gravamen of his Motion for Relief is that the judgment is void because it was procured by fraud on the Court committed by the undersigned and/or by the undersigned's collusion with Defendants. He says he cannot raise this issue in the current appeal because he has already filed his brief and is not permitted to amend it to add this claim, which he says “only came to light after an extensive and exhaustive review of all the materials filed in this case, ” made after he filed his Brief.

         Defendants Burson, Lindenschmidt, and Downey argue that the Motion for Relief should be denied. As a second choice, they agree with deferral pending appeal (ECF No. 89). Defendants Faulkmer, Planas, Bunner, Sebastainelli and Tepe adopt the same arguments (ECF No. 90). Having read the motion papers, the Magistrate Judge is persuaded that the better course is to deny the Motion for Relief from Judgment now. Plaintiff, if he wishes, can then appeal and offer the Sixth Circuit the opportunity to consolidate the cases on appeal.

         Hobbs posits that he can show by clear and convincing evidence that the undersigned “made knowingly false statements and findings to this Court and in complete reckless disregard to the truth” upon which Judge Barrett relied in entering judgment (Motion, ECF No. 85, PageID 1312).

         The Report and Recommendations that Judge Barrett adopted in dismissing the case is found at ECF No. 44. As supposedly fraudulent statements in that Report, Hobbs points to PageID 1084 where the undersigned wrote: “Hobbs, on the other hand has already unsuccessfully litigated his constitutional claims in habeas and lost them. . . Hobbs already unsuccessfully invoked that habeas forum: through his own. fault. he filed too late." Hobbs asserts that fraud on the court consists of [C]onduct:

(1) On the part of an officer of the court;
(2) That is directed to the "judicial machinery" itself;
(3) That is intentionally false, willfully blind to the truth, or is in reckless disregard for the truth;
(4) That is a positive avermcnt or is concealment when one is under a duty to disclose; (5) That deceives the court.

(Motion, ECF No. 85, PageID 1313, citing Workman v. Bell, 245 F.3d 849, 852 (6th Cir. 2001) (quoting Demjanjuk v. Petrovsky, 10 F.3d 338, 348 (6th Cir. 1993)). The Magistrate Judge agrees that the quoted language states the correct standard for proving fraud on a court. He further agrees that he serves as an officer of the Court, and that his Report and Recommendation was directed to the judicial machinery itself in that the purpose of any report and recommendations is for a Magistrate Judge to recommend to a District Judge the decision of a dispositive matter. The Magistrate Judge further agrees that his quoted statement was a positive averment when he was under a duty ...


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