Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Butler v. Clarke

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

May 4, 2018

ROBERT EDWARD BUTLER, Petitioner,
v.
HAROLD W. CLARKE, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          John A. Gibney, Jr. United States District Judge

         Robert Edward Butler, a Virginia prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("§ 2254 Petition"). See Butler v. Young, No. 3:02CV56, 2002 WL 32925758, at *1 (E.D. Va. July 16, 2002). By Memorandum Opinion and Order entered on July 16, 2002, the Court denied Butler's § 2254 Petition because it was barred by the applicable one-year statute of limitations. Id. at 2.

         On February 14, 2018, the Court received from Butler "A Motion under Rule 60(b)" seeking relief under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6) ("Rule 60(b) Motion, " ECF No. I).[1] In his Rule 60(b) Motion, Butler requests that the Court vacate the dismissal of his § 2254 Petition due to extraordinary circumstances. (See Id. at 1, 4.)[2]

         A party seeking relief under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) must make a threshold showing of "timeliness, a meritorious defense, a lack of unfair prejudice to the opposing party, and exceptional circumstances." Dowell v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Auto. Ins. Co., 993 F.2d 46, 48 (4th Cir. 1993) (quoting Werner v. Carbo, 731 F.2d 204, 207 (4th Cir. 1984)). After a party satisfies this threshold showing, "he [or she] then must satisfy one of the six specific sections of Rule 60(b)." Id. (citing Werner, 731 F.2d at 207).

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(c)(1), Butler was required to file his motion within a reasonable time after the entry of the July 16, 2002 Memorandum Opinion and Order. Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(c)(1) ("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."). Butler's Rule 60(b) Motion, filed over fifteen years after the entry of the challenged judgment, was not filed in a reasonable time. See McLawhorn v. John W. Daniel & Co., Inc., 924 F.2d 535, 538 (4th Cir. 1991) ("We have held on several occasions that a Rule 60(b) motion is not timely brought when it is made three to four months after the original judgment and no valid reason is given for the delay." (citing Cent. Operating Co. v. Utility Workers of Am., 491 F.2d 245 (4th Cir. 1974); Consol Masonry & Fireproofing, Inc. v. Wagman Constr. Corp., 383 F.2d 249 (4th Cir. 1967))). Moreover, "[a] motion under [Rule] 60(b)(6) may not be granted absent 'extraordinary circumstances.'" MLC Auto., LLC v. Town of Southern Pines, 532 F.3d 269, 277 n.5 (4th Cir. 2008) (quoting Reid v. Angelone, 369 F.3d 363, 370 (4th Cir. 2004)).

         Instead of arguing why his Rule 60(b) Motion should be considered timely, Butler essentially argues that he is entitled to an evidentiary hearing to determine whether this Court properly denied his § 2254 Petition as untimely. (See Rule 60(b) Mot. 2, 5-7.) Thus, Butler fails to offer any persuasive argument as to why this Court should find that his Rule 60(b)(6) was filed within a reasonable time. Cf. Fortune v. Clarke, 712 Fed.Appx. 296, 297 (4th Cir. 2018) (explaining that determination of timeliness of a Rule 60(b) motion is discretionary, not jurisdictional). Butler also fails to demonstrate any such extraordinary circumstances that would wan-ant vacating the prior dismissal of his § 2254 Petition.[3] Accordingly, Butler's Rule 60(b) Motion (ECF No. 1) will be DENIED. A certificate of appealability will be DENIED.

         An appropriate Order shall issue.

---------

Notes:

[1] Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) provides, in pertinent part:

(b) Grounds for Relief from a Final Judgment, Order, or Proceeding. 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:
(6) any other reason that justifies relief.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6).

[2]The Court employs the pagination assigned by the CM/ECF docketing system to Butler's Rule ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.