United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER REOPENING THE CASE, DENYING THE POST-JUDGMENT
MOTIONS, DENYING A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY, &
TRANSFERRING THE MOTIONS TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF
APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
Corbett O'Meara United States District Judge.
prisoner Melvin Martin (“Petitioner”) has filed
several post-judgment motions pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 60(b)(3) and 60(d) concerning the Court's
dismissal of his federal habeas petition in 2011 for failure
to comply with the one-year statute of limitations applicable
to federal habeas actions. See 28 U.S.C. §
2244(d). Specifically, Petitioner filed a “Motion to
Consider an Independent Action” on July 6, 2016, a
“Motion to Vacate Sentence” on November 19, 2016,
a letter requesting relief on November 21, 2016, and a
“Motion for Writ of Mandamus or Order to Show Cause or
for Superintending Control” on June 21, 2017. In his
motions, he appears to seek relief from the Court's
judgment and to reinstate his habeas claims and/or to present
new, additional claims for habeas review. The Court now
REOPENS this case for the limited purpose of
resolving Petitioner's motions. See Heximer v.
Woods, No. 2:08-CV-14170, 2016 WL 183629, *1 (E.D. Mich.
Jan. 15, 2016) (reopening case for consideration of
first seeks post-judgment relief pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 60(b)(3). Under Rule 60(b), a federal
district court will grant relief from a final judgment or
order only upon a showing of one of the following reasons:
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence
could not have been discovered in time to move for a new
trial under Rule 59(b); (3) fraud (whether previously called
intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other
misconduct of an adverse party; (4) the judgment is void; (5)
the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged; it
is based on an earlier judgement that has been reversed or
otherwise vacated; or applying it prospectively is not longer
equitable; or (6) any other reason that justifies relief.
motion under Rule 60(b) must be made within a reasonable time
- and for reasons (1), (2), and (3) - no more than one year
after the entry of the judgment or order or the date of the
proceeding. Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(c)(1); Conner v. Attorney
General, 96 F. App'x 990, 992 (6th Cir. 2004). The
bounds of reasonable time “ordinarily depends on the
facts of the given case including the length and
circumstances of the delay, the prejudice to the opposing
party by reason of the delay, and the circumstances
compelling equitable relief.” Olle v. Henry &
Wright Corp., 910 F.2d 357, 365 (6th Cir. 1990). A court
has broad discretion in deciding such matters, but that
discretion is circumscribed by public policy favoring
finality of judgments and termination of litigation.
Waifersong, Ltd. v. Classic Music Vending, 976 F.2d
290, 292 (6th Cir. 1992).
did not file his motion for relief from judgment within one
year or within a reasonable time given that the Court
dismissed his habeas petition in 2011 and he filed his
current motions in 2016 and 2017. Petitioner fails to provide
an explanation for the multiple-year delay in filing his
motions. He knew or could have known of his current arguments
at the time of his state criminal proceedings and/or when he
originally sought federal habeas review. The motion is
untimely and must be denied.
even if the Court considers the merits of the motion under
Rule 60(b)(3), Petitioner is not entitled to relief from
judgment. He fails to establish that this Court's
judgment should be vacated due to fraud, misrepresentation,
or other misconduct by an adverse party. The Court did not
err in dismissing his habeas petition as untimely.
Accordingly, the Court DENIES
Petitioner's Rule 60(b)(3) motion.
also seeks post-judgment relief pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 60(d). That rule provides:
Other Powers to Grant Relief. This rule does not limit a
court's power to:
(1) entertain an independent action to relieve a party from a
judgment, order, or proceeding;
(2) grant relief under 28 U.S.C. § 1655 to a defendant
who was not personally notified of the action; or
(3) set aside a judgment for fraud on the court.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(d). An independent action under Rule 60(d)
is an equitable action, which has no time limitation.
Mitchell v. Rees, 651 F.3d 593, 594-95 (6th Cir.
2011). Its elements are:
(1) a judgment which ought not, in equity and good
conscience, to be enforced; (2) a good defense to the alleged
cause of action on which the judgment is founded; (3) fraud,
accident, or mistake which prevented the defendant in the
judgment from obtaining the benefit of his defense; (4) the
absence of fault or negligence on the part of the defendant;
and (5) the absence of any adequate remedy at law.
Id. at 595 (citing Barrett v. Secretary of
Health & Human Svs., 840 F.2d 1259, 1263 (6th Cir.
1987)). An independent action under Rule 60(d) is available
to prevent “a grave miscarriage of justice.”
Id. (quoting United States v. Beggerly, 524
U.S. 38, 47 (1998), and citing cases). This is a
“‘stringent' and ‘demanding'
standard, ” and, because Petitioner seeks relief from
judgment in a habeas case, he must make a strong showing of
actual innocence to establish that relief is required.