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Williams v. Clarke

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

June 20, 2014

GARY B. WILLIAMS, Petitioner,
v.
HAROLD CLARKE, Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION DENYING MOTION FOR RECUSAL AND FOR RECONSIDERATION

HENRY E. HUDSON, District Judge.

Gary B. Williams, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition. Williams has filed a Motion for Recusal (ECF No. 24) of the undersigned citing a series of unfavorable rulings in Williams's prior actions to demonstrate the Court's purported partiality and bias. The Court harbors no bias against Petitioner nor does he demonstrate any circumstances where the impartiality of the undersigned might be reasonably questioned. See 28 U.S.C. § 455.[1] Williams's Motion for Recusal (ECF No. 24) will be denied.

By Memorandum Order entered on March 25, 2014, the Court denied Williams's "Motion For A[n] Order For The Production of Specific State Court Records." (ECF No. 23.) Williams sought state court records from unrelated actions that were unnecessary for the resolution of the instant action. Williams now seeks reconsideration of that Memorandum Order under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b).[2] (ECF No. 27.) The power to grant relief under Rule 54(b) "is committed to the discretion of the district court." Am. Canoe Ass'n v. Murphy Farms, Inc., 326 F.3d 505, 515 (4th Cir. 2003) (citing Moses H. Cone Mem'l Hosp. v. Mercury Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 12 (1983)). Granting a motion for reconsideration generally should be limited to instances such as the following:

[T]he Court has patently misunderstood a party, or has made a decision outside the adversarial issues presented to the Court by the parties, or has made an error not of reasoning but of apprehension.... [or] a controlling or significant change in the law or facts since the submission of the issue to the Court [has occurred]. Such problems rarely arise and the motion to reconsider should be equally rare.

Above the Belt, Inc. v. Mel Bohannan Roofing, Inc., 99 F.R.D. 99, 101 (E.D. Va. 1983); accord United States v. Smithfield Foods, Inc., 969 F.Supp. 975, 977 (E.D. Va. 1997); see Tully v. Tolley, 63 F.Appx. 108, 113 (4th Cir. 2003) (concluding district court properly denied Rule 54(b) motion where new evidence could have been discovered with due diligence). Reconsideration is also appropriate when the prior decision was clearly erroneous and would work manifest injustice.'" Am. Canoe Ass'n, 326 F.3d at 515 (quoting Sejman v. Warner-Lambert Co., 845 F.2d 66, 69 (4th Cir. 1988)). The courts do not entertain motions to reconsider which ask the Court merely to "rethink what the Court had already thought through-rightly or wrongly." Above the Belt, Inc., 99 F.R.D. at 101. Williams fails to satisfy the relevant criteria for reconsideration. He fails to demonstrate that the Court's prior decision was made in error, would cause manifest injustice, or any other reason to grant relief. Thus, his Motion for Reconsideration (ECF No. 27) will be denied.

An appropriate Order will accompany this Memorandum Opinion.


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