United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
JAMES U. PAYNE, Plaintiff,
DET. SHROCK, et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST TO
REOPEN CASE (ECF NO. 9)
D. BORMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
16, 2011, approximately five years before this action was
initiated, James U. Payne sued Christopher R. Boulter and
Blackman Charter Township in the Jackson County Circuit
Court; the matter was removed to this Court on September 14,
2011, and Mr. Payne obtained counsel shortly thereafter.
Payne v. Boulter, et al., No. 11-14023, ECF Nos. 1,
3 (E.D. Mich. 2011). The action arose from a 2008 car
accident which resulted in the Blackman police discovering
drugs in Mr. Payne's car and later searching his home,
pursuant to a warrant, for the same. This Court ultimately
granted summary judgment to the defendants and dismissed the
case on October 31, 2013. Payne, No. 11-14023, ECF
No. 21 (E.D. Mich. 2011).
April 8, 2016, Plaintiff filed this pro se federal
civil action, also based on events surrounding the 2008 car
accident. (ECF No. 1.) The matter was first assigned to U.S.
District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith, but because Plaintiff
identified it as a companion case to his 2011 case in his
pleadings, the case was reassigned to this Court. (ECF No.
3.) On May 13, 2016, this Court granted Plaintiff's
application to proceed without prepayment of fees and costs,
but summarily dismissed the complaint as frivolous under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) because it was barred by the
applicable statute of limitations. (ECF No. 5.) Five days
later, Plaintiff sent a letter to the Court that he
identified as being related to this case, but the Court
struck that letter on June 24, 2016, noting that “[i]n
the Letter, Plaintiff appears to seek relief from events
related to his April 11, 2016 arrest and incarceration at the
Hazel Park and Oakland County Jails, ” and finding that
“the events in Plaintiff's Letter are unrelated to
the events alleged in Plaintiff's complaint as evidenced
by the fact that his arrest post-dates the filing of the
present action.” (ECF No. 8.)
April 9, 2018, Plaintiff sent a letter to the Court
requesting that this case be reopened. (ECF No. 9.) Because a
final judgment was entered in this action on May 13, 2016
(ECF No. 6), the Court construes Plaintiff's request to
reopen the case as a motion for relief from a judgment or
order pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b).
See Futernick v. Sumpter Twp., 207 F.3d 305, 313
(6th Cir. 2000) (treating a motion to modify two final
judgments “as one brought pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 60(b)”); see also Sandles v.
Calahan, No. 03-71438, 2012 WL 3151537, at *2 (E.D.
Mich. Aug. 2, 2012) (“The Court's . . . judgment in
defendants' favor has not been vacated. The Court
therefore construes Plaintiff's ‘motion to
reopen' as a motion for relief from this judgment
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b).”).
60(b) provides as follows:
On motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party or
its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or
proceeding for 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 misconduct by
an opposing party; (4) the judgment is void; (5) the judgment
has been satisfied, released or discharged; it is based on an
earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or
applying it prospectively is no longer equitable; or (6) any
other reason that justifies relief.
Info-Hold, Inc. v. Sound Merch., Inc., 538 F.3d 448,
454 (6th Cir. 2008) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)). “A
motion under Rule 60(b) must be made within a reasonable
time--and for reasons (1), (2), and (3) no more than a year
after the entry of the judgment or order or the date of the
proceeding.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(c)(1). To obtain relief
under Rule 60(b)(2) based on “newly discovered
evidence, ” a movant “must demonstrate (1) that
it exercised due diligence in obtaining the information and
(2) [that] the evidence is material and controlling and
clearly would have produced a different result if presented
before the original judgment.” Jodway v. Fifth
Third Mortg. Co., 557 B.R. 560, 566 (E.D. Mich. 2016)
(alteration in original) (internal quotation marks omitted)
(quoting Good v. Ohio Edison Co., 149 F.3d 413, 423
(6th Cir. 1998)). To obtain relief under Rule 60(b)(6) based
on “any other reason that justifies relief, ” a
movant “must show ‘extraordinary
circumstances' justifying the reopening of a final
judgment.” Moore v. Mitchell, 848 F.3d 774,
776 (6th Cir. 2017) (quoting Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545
U.S. 524, 535 (2005)).
has not demonstrated that he is entitled to relief from the
May 13, 2016 judgment in this case under any of the grounds
enumerated in Rule 60(b). Even if he had, his Rule 60(b)
motion would be untimely under Rule 60(c)(1) because it was
filed “more than a year after the entry of the judgment
or order or the date of the proceeding”: Plaintiff has
not claimed that the grounds set forth in either Rule
60(b)(4) or 60(b)(5) apply in this case, and he has not
“show[n] ‘extraordinary circumstances'
justifying the reopening of a final judgment [under Rule
60(b)(6)], ” Moore, 848 F.3d at 776, so Rule
60(c)(1)'s one-year limitation period bars
Plaintiff's request for relief.
Plaintiff's request to reopen ...