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Paduano v. Clarke

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division

November 2, 2018

JOSEPH LOUIS PADUANO, Petitioner,
v.
HAROLD W. CLARKE, Respondent.

          OPINION

          Hon. Michael F. Urbanski Chief United States District Judge.

         On September 27, 2018, the court denied Paduano's Writ of Habeas Corpus and declined to issue a certificate of appealability. Paduano v. Clarke, No. 7:17CV00540, 2018 WL 4655758 (W.D. Va. Sept. 27, 2018). Paduano, a Virginia inmate proceeding by counsel, filed a motion to alter or amend the judgment pursuant to Rule 59 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons that follow, the motion is DENIED.

         I.

         A court may amend or alter a judgment under Rule 59(e) "(1) to accommodate an intervening change in controlling law; (2) to account for new evidence not available at trial; or (3) to correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice." Hutchison v. Staton, 994 F.2d 1076, 1081 (4th Cir. 1993). "Importantly, however, a Rule 59(e) motion for reconsideration may not be used to 'reargue the facts and law originally argued in the parties' briefs.'" Projects Mgmt. Co. v. DynCorp Int'l. L.L.C.. 17 F.Supp.3d 539, 541 (E.D. Va. 2014) (quoting United States v. Smithfield Foods. 969 F.Supp. 975, 977 (E.D. Va. 1997)). This standard is narrowly construed, as a Rule 59(e) motion is "'an extraordinary remedy which should be used sparingly.'" Pac. Ins. Co. v. Am. Nat'l Fire Ins. Co., 148 F.3d 396, 403 (4th Cir. 1993) (quoting 11 Wright et al, Federal Practice and Procedure § 2810.1, at 124 (2d ed. 1995)); see Durkin v. Taylor, 444 F.Supp. 879, 889 (E.D. Va. 1977) ("Whatever may be the purpose of Rule 59(e) it should not be supposed that it is intended to give an unhappy litigant one additional chance to sway the judge.").

         II.

         In his motion for reconsideration, Paduano raises six court errors:

(1) the court's finding of procedural default as to portions of Claim 6 and Claims 8 and 9 was erroneous;
(2) the court ignored Paduano's allegations and relied on biased evidence in improperly dismissing Claim 1;
(3) the court improperly dismissed Claim 2 by relying on biased, uncorroborated testimony and speculation;
(4) the court improperly dismissed Claim 4 by not concluding that Paduano's psychiatric issues would have resulted in suppression of his statements and in a lesser sentence;
(5) the court improperly dismissed Claims 4, 5, and 6 without considering all of the evidence;
(6) the court erred in dismissing Claim 7 because the date of the sexual assault of T.H. was critical to Paduano's defense.

Id. at 7-20.[1]

         Paduano's motion mostly presents issues that the court already ruled upon, either expressly or by reasonable implication, when the court denied petitioner's habeas application and declined to issue a certificate of appealability. Nevertheless, he fails to show an intervening change in controlling law, new evidence not available at trial, a clear error of law, or manifest injustice. Even though the majority of ...


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