United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR FINDINGS AND
L. LUDINGTON United States District Judge
February 12, 2014, Defendant Robert Noel filed a pro se
motion to vacate his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
ECF No. 187. Noel listed fifteen grounds of error supporting
the vacatur of his conviction. Id. While the motion
itself was lengthy, at thirty-six pages with attachments, it
did not include a brief in support of his grounds for relief.
On the same day, however, Noel filed a motion for an
extension of time to file a brief in support of his §
2255 motion. ECF No. 189. He requested 120 days to file his
motions were referred to Magistrate Judge Charles E. Binder
for consideration. ECF No. 190. On February 20, 2014,
Magistrate Judge Binder granted in part and denied in part
Noel's motion for an extension. ECF No. 192. Noel was
given until April 7, 2014 to file his brief. Id. On
March 31, however, Noel sought another extension, this time
for thirty days. ECF No. 193. This motion was also referred
and Magistrate Judge Binder granted the motion in part,
giving Noel until April 30, 2014, to file his brief. ECF No.
194. Noel timely filed his 156 page brief, and its
accompanying exhibits, in support of his § 2255 motion
with the Court on April 30, 2014. ECF Nos. 196 & 197.
Noel's brief and its accompanying exhibits were docketed
on May 2, 2014. Id.
that time, the docket was inundated with motions by Noel
related to his § 2255 petition. See ECF Nos.
198, 199, 202, 203, 205, & 208. The motions were also
referred to Magistrate Judge Patricia T.
Morris. See ECF Nos. 200, 204, 206, &
September 5, 2014, Judge Morris issued a report and
recommendation which denied all of Noel's pending
motions. ECF No. 214. On January 14, 2015, this Court
rejected that report and recommendation because the report
and recommendation needed to address a response the
government had been directed to file and because several
arguments made in Noel's supporting brief also needed to
be addressed. The case was referred to the Magistrate Judge
for further consideration.
subsequently filed a two motions which referenced
Hazel-Atlas Glass Co. v. Hartford-Empire Co., 322
U.S. 238 (1944). ECF No. 217, 230. On May 20, 2015, Judge
Morris issued a second report and recommendation. In that
report, Judge Morris concluded that the Government's
response to Noel's motion to vacate had now been
considered, but the report did not refer to Noel's
supplementary brief or the factual assertions that Noel makes
in that brief. On October 13, 2016, the Court issued an
opinion and order which rejected Judge Morris's report
and recommendation for failing to consider the supplementary
brief and factual assertions as directed. The Court then
conducted a de novo review of Noel's claims and motions
and concluded they were meritless. Now, Noel has filed a
motion “for findings and conclusions / and
objections.” ECF No. 239. It will be denied.
styles his motion as seeking a statement of “findings
and conclusions” pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 52(a)(1). That rule applies to actions “tried
on the facts without a jury or an advisory jury” (a
bench trial). Id. It is thus not applicable to
Noel's motions for post-conviction relief. Rather,
Noel's current motion is, in effect, a motion for
reconsideration of the Court's opinion.
to Eastern District of Michigan Local Rule 7.1(h), a party
can file a motion for reconsideration of a previous order,
but must do so within fourteen days. A motion for
reconsideration will be granted if the moving party shows:
“(1) a palpable defect, (2) the defect misled the court
and the parties, and (3) that correcting the defect will
result in a different disposition of the case.”
Michigan Dept. of Treasury v. Michalec, 181
F.Supp.2d 731, 733-34 (E.D. Mich. 2002) (quoting E.D. Mich.
LR 7.1(g)(3)). A “palpable defect” is
“obvious, clear, unmistakable, manifest, or
plain.” Id. at 734 (citing Marketing
Displays, Inc. v. Traffix Devices, Inc., 971 F.Supp.2d
262, 278 (E.D. Mich. 1997). “[T]he Court will not grant
motions for rehearing or reconsideration that merely present
the same issues ruled upon by the Court, either expressly or
by reasonable implication.” E.D. Mich. L.R. 7.1(h)(3).
See also Bowens v. Terris, No. 2:15-CV-10203, 2015
WL 3441531, at *1 (E.D. Mich. May 28, 2015).
31 page motion makes a variety of arguments, but none that
have not already been directly presented and addressed by the
Court's prior order. He first objects to the Court's
articulation of his claims. On pages 4 through 6 of his
motion, he lists his claims. The Court has reviewed that
explanation of his claims and finds no material differences
between that list and the Court's list on pages 6-7 of
the October 13, 2016, order. Noel also argues that the Court
improperly construed his motions regarding the
Hazel-Atlas decision as motions for relief under
§ 2255. Regardless of how those motions are construed,
the Court addressed the relevance of the Hazel-Atlas
decision in its October 13, 2016, order and found that Noel
was not entitled to relief. Noel also objects to the manner
in which his legal mail has been sent to him. But Noel
received the mail and has not been prejudiced by any delay
that may have occurred.
Noel reiterates arguments regarding each of his claims for
relief. The Court has reviewed those arguments and factual
assertions. The Court can find no new fact or legal basis for
relief which was not directly considered in the October 13,
2016, order. Certainly, Noel has not provided any new
information which would change the legal analysis in the
Court's opinion. Rather, Noel is attempting for the most
part to relitigate claims which have been exhaustively
briefed, argued, and addressed throughout the course of
Noel's prosecution and conviction. Noel clearly believes
that his trial and appellate counsel made errors in their
representation of him. But, as explained in the Court's
October 13, 2016, order, the Sixth Amendment does not entitle
Noel to perfect representation. Here, Noel seems to be
faulting his counsel primarily for not prevailing on certain
arguments. That lack of success is not
had a right to a fair trial, an opportunity to appeal, and an
opportunity to attack his conviction via habeas petitions. He
received all three of those entitlements. At each stage,
Noel's attacks on the propriety and constitutionality of
his conviction have been rejected. Nevertheless, Noel
continues to reassert those arguments. Noel may be entitled
to challenge his conviction, but he is not entitled to
continually assert the same arguments in post-conviction
proceedings. Noel was fairly and constitutionally convicted.
His appeal and habeas petitions have been rejected as
meritless. None of the arguments he now raises cast any doubt
on that outcome.
it is ORDERED that Noel's motion for
findings and ...