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Butler v. Johnson

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division

June 10, 2019

MAX RAY BUTLER
v.
CALVIN JOHNSON

          KAY MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

          MEMORANDUM RULING

          S. MAURICE HICKS, JR., CHIEF JUDGE.

         Max Ray Butler (“Petitioner”) is before the Court on a Motion for Reconsideration (Record Document 26) of the Court's Judgment (Record Document 25) adopting Magistrate Judge Hayes's Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) dismissing Petitioner's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Record Document 1), filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. For the reasons set forth below, Petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration (Record Document 26) is DENIED.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not recognize a motion for reconsideration per se; however, the Fifth Circuit has recognized that such motions may challenge a judgment or order under Rules 54(b), 59(e), or 60(b). See, e.g., Southern Snow Mfg. Co., Inc. v. SnoWizard Holdings, Inc., 921 F.Supp.2d 548, 564 (E.D. La. 2013). When the motion for reconsideration concerns a final judgment, as in the current case, Rules 59 and 60 apply. The timing of the motion affects the standard to be applied to the motion. If a motion for reconsideration is filed within 28 days of the judgment or order of which the party complains, it is considered to be a Rule 59(e) motion; otherwise, it is treated as a Rule 60(b) motion. See Duplechain v. Neustrom, No. CV 6:15-2433, 2019 WL 1598155, at *2 (W.D. La. Apr. 15, 2019) (citing Shepherd v. Int'l Paper Co., 372 F.3d 326, 328 n. 1 (5th Cir. 2004)). Here, Defendant filed his Motion for Reconsideration outside of the 28-day period required for a Rule 59(e) motion. Accordingly, the Court will construe the motion as one under Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, under which the Court may relieve a party from a final judgment 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, 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.

         ANALYSIS

         Petitioner argues that the Court committed multiple errors by adopting Magistrate Judge Hayes's R&R. As a result, he argues, he is entitled to relief from the Court's Judgment (Record Document 25). First, he argues that “one of the most important errors is the false statement that [Petitioner] did not deny fighting.” Record Document 26. However, it is unclear what Petitioner is objecting to, as the R&R never states that Defendant did not deny fighting. In fact, the R&R adopted by the Court clearly states that, “[t]he DHO also recorded Butler's statement . . . denying a fight with Sledge but admitting that Butler had defended himself.” Record Document 18 at 5. Therefore, this argument is rejected.

         Second, Petitioner cites two cases regarding the inability of one of his witnesses to testify at the DHO hearing. The first case he cites is Pace v. Oliver, 634 F.2d 302 (5th Cir. 1981). Petitioner argues that this case stands for the proposition that the “refusal to call a witness is an arbitrary decision with civil liability.” Record Document 26. However, the Court has reviewed this case and finds that the case has no ...


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