United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
AND ORDER DENYING THE MOTION (1) FOR RELIEF FROM OPINION AND
ORDER DUE TO CLERICAL MISTAKE, OVERSIGHT OR OMISSION PURSUANT
TO FED. R. CIV. P. 60(a), (2) TO AMEND OR MAKE ADDITIONAL
FINDINGS PURSUANT TO FED. R. CIV. P. 52(b), (3) TO ALTER OR
AMEND OPINION AND ORDER PURSUANT TO FED. R. CIV. P. 59(e),
(4) FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT PURSUANT TO FED. R. CIV. P.
60(b), AND (5) DENYING A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY OR
LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS
D. BORMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Court denied petitioner's application for a writ of
habeas corpus and denied him a certificate of appealability
or leave to appeal in forma pauperis. Jackson v.
Palmer, No. 2:16-CV-13704, 2017 WL 4225446 (E.D. Mich.
Sept. 22, 2017).
filed a motion, in which he seeks relief from the Court's
opinion and order denying habeas relief. For the reasons that
follow, the motion is DENIED WITH PREJUDICE. The Court
declines to issue a certificate of appealability or leave to
appeal in forma pauperis.
asks this Court for amended or additional findings pursuant
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 52(b). Petitioner also asks this Court to
alter or amend judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e).
Petitioner asks this Court to correct a clerical error or
mistake pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(a). Lastly, petitioner
seeks relief from judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(6).
In his combined motion, petitioner contends that this Court
made factual and legal errors in denying him relief on his
Confrontation Clause claim.
52(b) motion to alter or amend fact findings or conclusions
of law is essentially a motion seeking reconsideration of the
court's factual findings and legal conclusions. See
e.g. Shivers v. Grubbs, 747 F.Supp. 434, 436 (S.D. Ohio
1990). A motion to alter or amend judgment brought by a
habeas petitioner pursuant to Rule 59 (e) may likewise be
analyzed as a motion for reconsideration pursuant to Local
Rule 7.1 of the Eastern District of Michigan. See Hence
v. Smith, 49 F.Supp.2d 547, 550 (E.D. Mich. 1999).
Finally, although petitioner also seeks relief from judgment
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(a) and (b), this portion of the
motion should likewise be construed as a motion for
reconsideration. See e.g. United States v. Moss, 189
F.R.D. 354, 355 (E.D. Mich. 1999).
Dist.Ct. Rules, E.D. Mich. 7.1 (h) allows a party to file a
motion for reconsideration. In order for a court to grant a
motion for reconsideration, the movant must show (1) a
palpable defect; (2) that misled the court and the parties;
and (3) that correcting the defect will result in a different
disposition of the case. Sigma Financial Corp. v.
American Intern. Specialty Lines Ins. Co., 200 F.Supp.2d
710, 715 (E.D. Mich. 2002). A ‘palpable defect' is
a defect which is considered “obvious, clear,
unmistakable, manifest, or plain.” Id. As a
general rule, a court will not grant a motion for rehearing
or reconsideration that merely presents the same issues ruled
upon by the court, either expressly or by reasonable
claimed that his Sixth Amendment right to confrontation was
violated when the trial court admitted into evidence a DNA
analysis report authored by a non-testifying forensic
scientist, Jennifer Jones. Petitioner also argued that his
confrontation rights were violated when Ms. Jones's
supervisor, Heather Vitta, was permitted to testify about the
results of Ms. Jones's report. Petitioner contends that
this Court erred in concluding that the Michigan Court of
Appeals reasonably rejected petitioner's claim pursuant
to the Supreme Court's plurality holding in Williams
v. Illinois, 567 U.S. 50, 57-58 (2012), because Ms.
Vitta's references to Ms. Jones's report did not
violate petitioner's right to confrontation because the
DNA profiles that were acquired by Jones were the assumptions
on which Vitta's own independent opinion were based.
Jackson v. Palmer, 2017 WL 4225446, p. 6.
claims that this Court's factual findings that Ms. Vitta
made her own independent analysis of the DNA evidence is not
supported by the record.
assertion is incorrect. Heather Vitta testified at
petitioner's trial that she was Ms. Jones's
supervisor. Ms. Vitta reviewed Ms. Jones's report but
also performed her own independent analysis of the DNA
evidence. Ms. Vitta testified that she reviewed the actual
DNA types obtained from each evidentiary sample and then
compared each of these samples against the reference DNA
profiles obtained from petitioner, the victim, and the women.
Ms. Vitta determined that a DNA profile obtained from a
bloodstain recovered from an interior front door trim matched
petitioner's DNA and a bloodstain from a left boot also
matched petitioner's DNA. Ms. Vitta testified that DNA
obtained from one end of the tree branch matched
petitioner's DNA and the DNA from the other end matched
the victim's DNA. (Tr. 10/23/13, pp. 138-46). Ms. Vitta
emphasized that she performed her own independent analysis of
the DNA based on Ms. Jones's report. (Id., pp.
150-51). The Michigan Court of Appeals reasonably concluded
that Ms. Vitta's references to Ms. Jones's report did
not violate petitioner's right to confrontation because
the DNA profiles that were acquired by Jones were used by Ms.
Vitta in reaching her own independent opinion. Petitioner
failed to show that this Court's factual or legal
analysis of his claim was in error.
this Court in the alternative rejected petitioner's claim
because any error in admitting the DNA results from Ms.
Jones's report or Ms. Vitta's references to the
report was harmless because three witnesses testified that
petitioner participated in the victim's murder and
petitioner himself admitted to being present at the crime
scene. Jackson v. Palmer, 2017 WL 4225446, p. 6.
light of the foregoing, petitioner is not entitled to
reconsideration of the Court's opinion and order.
certificate of appealability is required to appeal the denial
of a motion for reconsideration in a habeas case. See
e.g. Amr v. U.S., 280 F. App'x. 480, 486 (6th Cir.
2008). This Court denies petitioner a certificate of
appealability, because jurists of reason would not find this
Court's resolution of petitioner's motions for
reconsideration to be debatable. The Court will also deny
petitioner leave to appeal in forma pauperis, because the
appeal would be frivolous. Allen v. Stovall, 156
F.Supp.2d 791, 798 (E.D. Mich. 2001).
the Court DENIES WITH PREJUDICE the
“Motion for Relief from Opinion and Order Due to
Clerical Mistake, Oversight or Omission Pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(a) and Brief in Support; Motion to Amend and
Make Additional Findings Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 52(b) and
Brief in Support; Motion to Alter Opinion and Order in Light
of State Trial Court Transcripts Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
59(a) and Brief in Support; and Motion for ...