United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT ON
PUBLIC TRIAL CLAIM (ECF #165)
Matthew F. Leitman, Judge
November 12, 2013, Petitioner Omar Rashad Pouncy filed a
Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus (the
“Petition”). (See ECF #1.) The Petition
seeks habeas relief on many different grounds. This Court has
already ruled on two of those grounds.
Opinion and Order dated July 20, 2015, the Court denied
Pouncy's motion for summary judgment on his claim that
the state court violated his Sixth Amendment right to a
public trial. (See ECF #58.) In the same order, the
Court denied habeas relief on that claim. (Id.)
subsequent Opinion and Order dated January 8, 2016, this
Court conditionally granted a writ of habeas corpus on
Pouncy's waiver of counsel claim. (See ECF #74.)
Also on January 8, 2016, the Court entered judgment in
Pouncy's favor. (See ECF #75.) Respondent
thereafter appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for
the Sixth Circuit, but Pouncy did not cross-appeal the denial
of habeas relief on his public trial claim. The Sixth Circuit
later reversed this Court's grant of habeas relief.
the Sixth Circuit's ruling, Pouncy filed a Notice of
Appeal from the order denying his public trial claim.
(See ECF #149.) Pouncy has now moved the Court to
enter final judgment on his public trial claim so that he may
pursue his appeal. The Court DENIES the
seeks entry of final judgment under Rule 54(b) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. The rule provides that:
When an action presents more than one claim for
relief--whether as a claim, counterclaim, crossclaim, or
third-party claim--or when multiple parties are involved, the
court may direct entry of a final judgment as to one or more,
but fewer than all, claims or parties only if the court
expressly determines that there is no just reason for delay.
Otherwise, any order or other decision, however designated,
that adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and
liabilities of fewer than all the parties does not end the
action as to any of the claims or parties and may be revised
at any time before the entry of a judgment adjudicating all
the claims and all the parties' rights and liabilities.
Civ. P. 54(b).
Sixth Circuit has offered the following guidance concerning
Although Rule 54(b) relaxes the traditional finality
requirement for appellate review, it does not tolerate
immediate appeal of every action taken by a district court.
The rule is specifically “designed to facilitate the
entry of judgment on one or more claims, or as to one or more
parties, in a multi-claim/multi-party action.”
Solomon v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 782 F.2d 58, 60 (6th
Rule 54(b) certification requires two independent findings.
First, the district court must expressly “direct the
entry of final judgment as to one or more but fewer than all
the claims or parties” in a case. Second, the district
court must “express[ly] determin[e] that there is no
just reason” to delay appellate review. Fed.R.Civ.P.
54(b) [ ]; Wright, Miller & Kane, Federal Practice and
Procedure: Civil 2d § 2655 (1983 & Supp.1993) [ ]. A
district court certifying an order under Rule 54(b) must
clearly explain why it has concluded that immediate review of
the challenged ruling is desirable. Solomon, 782
F.2d at 61- 62.
Gen. Acquisition, Inc. v. GenCorp, Inc., 23 F.3d
1022, 1026 (6th Cir. 1994).
appeals under Rule 54(b) are limited to
“‘infrequent harsh case[s].'”
Id. at 1027 (quoting Rudd Construction Equip.
Co., Inc. v. Home Insurance Co., 711 F.2d 54, 56 (6th
has not persuaded the Court that a final judgment should
enter on his public trial claim. Entering such a judgment and
permitting an immediate appeal on that claim would create a
substantial risk of piecemeal litigation and inefficient use
of federal judicial resources. While Pouncy's public
trial claim is a serious one that deserves further judicial
review, the Court does not believe that there is a high
likelihood that Pouncy will prevail on the claim. Thus,
permitting an immediate appeal of that claim creates a
substantial risk of piecemeal litigation. The Court agrees
with Respondent that the most sensible way to proceed in this
action (once the Supreme Court decides whether to grant
Pouncy's pending Petition for a Writ ...