United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PETITIONER'S MOTION TO
SET ASIDE PREVIOUS JUDGMENT , DENYING PETITIONER'S
MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS , AND
DENYING PETITIONER'S MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT
Page Hood Chief Judge, United States District Court.
habeas corpus case under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 has come
before the Court on petitioner Nelson Cobas'
post-judgment motions (1) to set aside the Court's
judgment in this case, (2) to proceed in forma pauperis, and
(3) for relief from the Court's judgment. As explained
more fully below, the dispositive motions are untimely and
also meritless, and the motion to proceed in forma pauperis
was unnecessary. The Court, therefore, will deny all three
was convicted of first-degree murder in 1991 and sentenced to
life imprisonment. His direct appeal ended on September 13,
1995, when the Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to appeal.
See People v. Cobas, 450 Mich. 862; 539 N.W.2d 375 (1995)
(table). On April 10, 1997, Petitioner filed a motion nunc
pro tunc for an evidentiary hearing in the state trial court.
The trial court denied his motion, but Petitioner did not
appeal the trial court's decision.
18, 1999, Petitioner filed a motion for relief from judgment.
The state trial court denied the motion because it was a
second or successive motion under Michigan Court Rule
6.502(G). On May 25, 2000, the Michigan Court of Appeals
dismissed Petitioner's appeal from the trial court's
order on the ground that the court lacked jurisdiction to
hear an appeal from a second motion for relief from judgment.
On August 3, 2000, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected
Petitioner's application for leave to appeal as untimely.
October 3, 2000, Petitioner commenced this action. The Court
dismissed his habeas petition with prejudice because it was
barred by the one-year statute of limitations set forth in
the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(AEDPA). See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). The United States
Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed this
Court's decision, see Cobas v. Burgett, 306 F.3d 441 (6th
Cir. 2002), and on April 21, 2003, the United States Supreme
Court denied Petitioner's petition for a writ of
certiorari. See Cobas v. Burgess, 538 U.S. 984 (2003).
filed a second petition for the writ of habeas corpus, which
another judge in this district transferred to the Federal
Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit as a second or
successive habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. §
2244(b)(3)(A). See Cobas v. Howes, No. 2:06-cv-11560 (E.D.
Mich. May 2, 2006). The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied
Petitioner's request for leave to file a second or
successive habeas petition. See In re Nelson Cobas, No.
06-1646 (6th Cir. Oct. 24, 2006). Petitioner filed a third
habeas corpus petition, which was also transferred to the
Sixth Circuit as a second or successive petition. See Cobas
v. Howes, No. 5:08-cv-10516 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 11, 2008). The
Sixth Circuit denied leave to file a second or successive
petition. In re Nelson Cobas, No. 08-1171 (6th Cir. Oct. 23,
has also filed a number of post-conviction applications and
motions in this case. In 2008, he filed an application for
habeas corpus relief, which the Court transferred to the
Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals as a second or successive
habeas petition. See Docket No. 41, filed Sept. 9,
2008. The Sixth Circuit denied Petitioner's subsequent
motion for an order authorizing this Court to adjudicate his
second or successive habeas petition. See In re Nelson
Cobas, No. 08-2471 (6th Cir. Apr. 29, 2009).
2013, Petitioner filed a motion to amend or correct the
Court's opinion and order dismissing his habeas petition
and a supplemental motion for reviewing procedural history.
The Court denied both motions on December 30, 2013.
See Docket No. 48.
2014, Petitioner filed a motion for new trial based on newly
discovered evidence that a search of his motor vehicle was
illegal. The Court transferred the motion to the Sixth
Circuit as a second or successive habeas petition.
See Docket No. 56, filed Dec. 10, 2014. The Sixth
Circuit denied Petitioner's application for permission to
file a second or successive habeas petition. See In re
Nelson Cobas, No. 14-2565 (6th Cir. May 7, 2015).
before the Court are Petitioner's Motion to Set Aside the
Previous Judgment, his Motion for Leave to Proceed In
Forma Pauperis, and his Motion for Relief from Judgment.
In his Motion to Set Aside the Previous Judgment, Petitioner
alleges that the state trial court mishandled his
post-conviction motions and applied the wrong court rule in
its decisions. Petitioner contends that the state court's
rulings on his post-conviction motions misled him and
constituted an impediment to filing a timely habeas petition
because the rulings prevented him from filing an appeal that
would have tolled the habeas statute of limitation.
See Docket No. 58, pages 3-6.
Motion for Relief from Judgment, Petitioner alleges that the
state trial court erred by denying his motion for relief from
judgment under Michigan Court Rule 6.508(D) without providing
any reason for its decision and by failing to refer to any
subsection of Rule 6.508(D). As a result, Petitioner contends
that this Court was precluded from reviewing the trial
court's judgment. See Docket No. 71, pages 2 and
5. In a supporting affidavit and memorandum of law,
Petitioner claims that the Court improperly applied the
habeas statute of limitations to his case because the statute
of limitations is not retroactive. See Docket Nos.
72 and 73.
brings his Motion to Set Aside the Previous Judgment and his
Motion for Relief from Judgment under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 60(b), which "allows a party to seek relief
from a final judgment, and request reopening of his case
under a limited set of circumstances including fraud,
mistake, and newly discovered evidence." Gonzalez v.
Crosby,545 U.S. 524, 528 (2005). "Rule 60(b)(6),
the particular provision under which [Petitioner brought his
motion[s], permits reopening when the movant shows 'any .
. . reason justifying ...