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Anthony M. Linnen v. Thomas Poole

February 4, 2011

ANTHONY M. LINNEN, PETITIONER,
v.
THOMAS POOLE, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: VICTOR E. Bianchini United States Magistrate Judge

DECISION AND ORDER

I. Introduction

On February 24, 2010, this Court issued a final Decision and Order in the above-captioned proceeding denying the pro se petition for habeas corpus filed by Anthony M. Linnen ("Linnen" or "Petitioner") and denying a certificate of appealability. (Docket No. 19). Judgment denying the petition was entered the following day. (Docket No. 201). On March 8, 2010, Linnen filed a motion for reconsideration of the Court's Decision and Order under Rule 59 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Fed. R. Civ. P.) and to set aside the judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). (Docket No. 21). Linnen cited in support of his motion a number of other Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which do not have applicability in this context.

On March 25th, Linnen filed a motion to appoint counsel. (Docket No. 24). On April 16, 2010, he filed a motion for miscellaneous relief, including an order holding that 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1) is unconstitutional and an order granting him a stay-and-abeyance to return to state court to unexhausted numerous new, unexhausted claims. (Docket No. 25). On July 6, 2010, Linnen sought and received an extension of time in which to file additional documents. (Docket No. 27). He subsequently requested an enlargement of time in which to file these documents until November 30, 2010; this was granted. (Docket Nos. 28, 29). Linnen requested another extension of time until January 2, 2011, to file the above-referenced documents. However, this application was by letter and was not docketed. The Court is now in receipt of Linnen's voluminous supplemental documentation. (Docket No. 30). For simplicity's sake, Linnen's various pending motions hereinafter will be referred to, collectively, as "the Rule 60(b) Motion". The Court deems the related pleadings and documentation to have been timely filed.

In his Rule 60(b) Motion, Linnen argues that the Court overlooked and misconstrued parts of the record and came to erroneous legal conclusions about all of his claims. In particular, Linnen asserts that (1) the sua sponte invocation of the affirmative defense of procedural default with regard to the prosecutorial misconduct claim was clear error (Point 1); (2) the Court abused its discretion in failing to hold a "mandatory hearing on several meritorious issues which did not receive a full and fair hearin [sic] in the state courts (Point 2); (3) the Decision and Order was "filled with so many errors of fact, law and procedure, that if not corrected" will result in the arbitrary denial of habeas relief, appellate review, and equal protection of the law (Point 3); (4) because Petitioner was "never informed that he was waiving review by an Article III judge, Title 28 U.S.C. 636(c), as applied, is unconstitutional (Point 4); (5) "newly discovered evidence" exits "affecting the integrity and validity of" the Decision and Order (Point 5); (6) Petitioner has "demonstrated that the prosecutor committed fraud on the courts" (Point 6); and (7) "a stay and abeyance order should be issued so that" Petitioner may return to the state courts to "exhaust several meritorious issues demonstrating actual innocence, cause and fraud" (Point 7). In addition, under Point 8, Petitioner lists eight (8) proposed issues as to which he seeks amendment of the petition and a stay-and-abeyance. See Docket No. 30. For the reasons that follow, the Court adheres to its original ruling on his habeas petition and dismisses the Rule 60(b) Motion.

Furthermore, the Court denies his request for counsel and for invocation of the stay-and-abeyance procedure.

Finally, the Court notes that Linnen has correctly pointed out several minor errors in the Decision and Order. The Court will rectify these errors by issuing a corrected Decision and Order.

II. Applicable Legal Principles

A. Rule 59 Motion For Reconsideration

In order to prevail on a motion for reconsideration, the moving party faces stringent requirements. E.g., In re C-TC 9th Ave. P'ship, 182 B.R. 1, 3 (N.D.N.Y.1995) (cited in Graziano v. Lape, No. 904CV0084LEKGJD, 2005 WL 1176567, *1 (N.D.N.Y.2005)) (denying reconsideration of order denying petitioner's motion to amend his § 2254 habeas corpus petition to add an additional claim). A court's rulings on a motion for reconsideration are "committed to the sound discretion of the district judge and will not be overturned on appeal absent an abuse of discretion." Id. (quoting McCarthy v. Manson, 714 F.2d 234, 237 (2d Cir.1983)). Generally, the courts recognize only three possible grounds upon which motions for reconsideration may be granted: (1) an intervening change in controlling law, (2) the availability of new evidence not previously available, or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice. Id. (citing Wilson v. Consolidated Rail Corp., 815 F.Supp. 585, 586 (N.D.N.Y.1993)) (citing McLaughlin v. New York, 784 F.Supp. 961, 965 (N.D.N.Y.1992)); accord Graziano v. Lape, 2005 WL 1176567, at *1.

B. Rule 60(b) Motion For Relief From Judgment

Under Rule 60(b), a court may grant relief from a final judgment for the following reasons:

(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;

(2) newly discovered evidence which by due diligence could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial . . .;

(3) fraud . . ., misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party;

(4) the judgment is void;

(5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged, or a prior judgment upon which it is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is no longer equitable that the ...


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