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United States v. Cain

United States District Court, W.D. New York

April 25, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
DAVID CAIN, JR., Defendant.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          HONORABLE RICHARD J. ARCARA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The petitioner, David Cain, appearing pro se, moves pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 52(b) and 59(e) to alter or amend the Court's previous denial of his Motion to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct his Sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Petitioner has also filed a motion for an evidentiary hearing, and to have the entire matter assigned to another District Court Judge. For the reasons that follow, the Petitioner's motions are denied.

         BACKGROUND

         Petitioner Cain was found guilty of racketeering and various related offenses after a jury trial ending on December 7, 2007. The Court sentenced Petitioner to a term of 660 months imprisonment on July 12, 2009. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the convictions and sentence. U.S. v. Cain, 671 F.3d 271 (2d Cir. 2012).

         Petitioner Cain then petitioned to vacate, set aside or to correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 primarily upon grounds his trial counsel labored under conflicts of interests rendering them ineffective, and that his appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to make certain arguments on direct appeal to the Court of Appeals. The petition was denied by the Court on October 15, 2015.

         Petitioner Cain now seeks relief from denial of his § 2255 petition on grounds that the Court erred in its analyses of his claims to have suffered ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel, and the grounds that the Court failed to make factual findings and state conclusions of law sufficient to support the Court's conclusions in the Decision and Order denying relief.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Applicable Standards.

         1. Rule 52(b)

         Rule 52(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that, upon motion from a party, “the court may amend its findings-or make additional findings-and may amend the judgment accordingly.” Id. at § 52(b). The rule “provides a method to dispute underlying facts that resulted in faulty factual findings or conclusions of law based on those facts, ” Endo Pharm. Inc. v. Amneal Pharm., LLC, No. 12 CIV. 8060, 2016 WL 1732751, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 29, 2016), the purpose of which “is to give the district court an opportunity to correct manifest errors of law or fact at trial, or in some limited situations, to present newly discovered evidence.” U.S. v. Local 1804-1, Int'l Longshoremen's Ass'n, 831 F.Supp. 167, 169 (S.D.N.Y. 1993). However, a Rule 52(b) motion is an inappropriate way to advance new legal theories, relitigate old issues, or rehear judgments on the merits. Id. “Thus, to succeed under Rule 52(b), the defendants must show that the Court's findings of fact or conclusions of law are not supported by the evidence in the record.” Id.

         2. Rule 59(e)

         Reconsideration of a judgment or an order disposing of a § 2255 petition is set forth in Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which permits a party to file a motion to alter or amend the judgment within 28 days after entry of judgment. See Beras v. U.S., No. 05 CIV. 2678, 2013 WL 2420748, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. June 4, 2013) (Although “entry of judgment under Rule 58 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is not required after an order disposing of a petition under Section 2255, because habeas proceedings represent a further step in the criminal case, not an independent civil case requiring an independent final judgment), ] . . . a motion under Rule 59(e) to amend or correct an order disposing of a Section 2255 may still be brought, although such an order is not a [judgment].”) (citations omitted).

         “The standard for granting such a motion is strict, and reconsideration will generally be denied unless the moving party can point to controlling decisions or data that the court overlooked --- matters, in other words, that might reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion reached by the court.” Shrader v. CSX Transp. Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995). “It is well-settled that Rule 59 is not a vehicle for relitigating old issues, presenting the case under new theories, securing a rehearing on the merits, or otherwise taking a ‘second bite at the apple.'” Sequa Corp. v. GBJ Corp., 156 F.3d 136, 144 (2d Cir. 1998).

         II. Application of ...


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