United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
the Court is Travis Barlow's ("Defendant")
Motion and Memorandum Seeking to Alter or Amend Order
Denying Habeas Relief, Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(3). (Doc.
113). For the reasons stated below, the Court DENIES
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
was indicted on March 21, 2013 for being a felon in
possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
922(g)(1), and being a felon in possession of ammunition,
also in violation 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). (Doc. 1). On
April 4, 2013, Defendant's attorney filed a motion to
suppress, which was subsequently amended (Docs 10, 11, &
13). In the motion, Defendant's attorney requested that
the Court suppress the ammunition found in the vehicle. (Doc.
10 at pp. 1-2). Defendant's attorney also challenged the
warrant that authorized the collection of Defendant's
DNA. (Doc. 11 at p. 1).
a hearing on the motion to suppress on June 19, 2013 (Doc. 20
at p. 3), the Court dismissed the motion, finding that
Defendant did not have standing to challenge the search of
the rental car, as he was not an authorized user of the
vehicle. (Id. at p. 5). The Court further found that
even if Defendant had standing, the officers lawfully seized
the ammunition in the vehicle pursuant to the plain view
doctrine. (Id. at p. 8). Defendant entered into a
plea agreement with the United States on November 7, 2013
wherein Defendant agreed to plead guilty to Count One of the
indictment in return for the United States dismissing Count
Two. (Doc. 33). On October 1, 2014, Defendant was sentenced
to 235 months in the custody of the United States Bureau of
Prisons. (Doc. 54). On that same day, Defendant filed his
notice of appeal. (Doc. 51).
appellate counsel filed an Anders brief with the
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit,
asserting that there were no non-frivolous grounds to appeal.
See United States v. Barlow, 61 F.App. App'x
131, 131 (5th Cir. 2016). Although Defendant filed his own
response, the Fifth Circuit reviewed the record and dismissed
Defendant's appeal. Id.
December 13, 2016, Defendant filed a motion to vacate his
conviction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (Doc. 85). That
motion was denied on July 9, 2018. (Doc. 111). Now, Defendant
brings the instant motion to alter or amend the Order denying
his previous motion to vacate. (Doc. 113).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion to alter or amend a judgment must be filed no later
than 28 days after the entry of judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P.
59(e). [A] motion to alter or amend the judgment
under Rule 59(e) "must clearly establish either a
manifest error of law or fact or must present newly
discovered evidence1 and 'cannot be used to raise
arguments which could, and should, have been made before the
judgment issued. Rosenblatt v. United Way of Greater
Hous., 607 F.3d 413, 419 (5th Cir. 2010).
manifest error standard is a high one. "A manifest
error" is one that "is plain and indisputable, and
that amounts to a complete disregard of the controlling
law." Guy v. Crown Equip. Corp., 394 F.3d 320,
325 (5th Cir. 2004) quoting Venegas-Hemandez v. Sonolux
Records, 370 F.3d 183, 195 (1st Cir.2004). "For
example, the motion would be properly taken if the court
patently misunderstood a party, making a mistake not of
reasoning but of apprehension." Id. at *3 n. 5
(citing Gregg v. Am. Quasar Petroleum Co., 840
F.Supp. 1394, 1401 (D.Colo.1991)). In other words, "[a]
motion for reconsideration is proper when the court has
patently misunderstood a party, has made a decision outside
the adversarial issues presented, has made a mistake not of
reasoning but of apprehension, or there has been a
significant change or development in the law or facts since
the submission of the issues to the court."
Gregg, 840 F.Supp. at 1401 (citing EEOC v.
Foothills Title Guar. Co., Civ.A. No. 90-A-361, 1991 WL
61012, at *3 (D.Colo. Apr.12, 1991)).
ARGUMENTS AND LEGAL ANALYSIS
Defendant is not Entitled to Relief Under Sanders v.
United States, 373 U.S. 1, 83 S.Ct. 1068 (1963)
scattershot manner, Defendant first argues that he should
have been allowed to amend his petition for habeas relief in
light of the ruling in Sanders v. United States, 373
U.S. 1, 83 S.Ct. 1068, 1077 (1963) wherein the Supreme Court
stated that" a ... determination on the merits is deemed
made of an application raising factual issues not
conclusively resolved by files and records." (Doc. 113
at p. 7).
Court followed the rule set forth in Sanders. As
cited by Defendant himself: "[a] federal court has power
to deny a motion to vacate under 2255 (sic) on grounds that
the motion only states legal conclusions with no factual
allegations even though the better course may be to direct
the movant to amend his motion." (Id.). At the
time of the hearing, Defendant did not allege facts that
would allow the Court to grant his ineffective assistance of
counsel claim. The Court was well within its authority to
deny Defendant's motion, having considered the arguments
presented, and did not conclusively base its decision by
relying only on "files and records," but on the
prevailing legal authority. Defendant failed to establish
multiple criteria required ...