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UNITED STATES EX REL. LYNCH v. SANDAHL

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS, EASTERN DIVISION


July 20, 1992

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ex rel. STEVEN LYNCH, Petitioner,
v.
DAVID SANDAHL, WARDEN, Shawnee Correctional Facility, Respondent.

ASPEN

The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARVIN E. ASPEN

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

MARVIN E. ASPEN, District Judge:

 Respondent David Sandahl, Warden of the Shawnee Correctional Facility, now moves for reconsideration of this court's ruling dated April 29, 1992. United States ex rel. Lynch v. Sandahl, No. 91-6730 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 28, 1992). In that order, we denied respondent's motion to dismiss, and granted Steven Lynch's petition for writ of habeas corpus. We concluded that the jury instructions used in Lynch's trial violated his right to due process--a right that, although established after his conviction, applies retroactively. Further, we held that neither the exhaustion requirement nor the harmless-error doctrine barred Lynch from obtaining relief. In support of the present motion, respondent contends: (1) that the Seventh Circuit's decision in Taylor v. Gilmore, 954 F.2d 441 (7th Cir. 1992) (applying the rule of Falconer v. Lane, 905 F.2d 1129 (7th Cir. 1990), retroactively), petition for cert. filed, (Apr. 27, 1992), was wrongly decided; (2) that this court erred in its harmless error analysis; and (3) that Lynch procedurally defaulted his Falconer claim.

 It is settled law that motions for reconsideration "serve a limited function: to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence." Publishers Resource, Inc. v. Walker-Davis Publications, Inc., 762 F.2d 557, 561 (7th Cir. 1985) (quoting Keene Corp. v. International Fidelity Ins. Co., 561 F. Supp. 656, 665-66 (N.D. Ill. 1982), aff'd, 736 F.2d 388 (7th Cir. 1984)). As such, this court will not entertain a motion for reconsideration that merely reiterates arguments previously raised. In re Stotler & Co., No. 91-1178, slip op. at 2 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 3, 1991); Above the Belt, Inc. v. Mel Bohannan Roofing, Inc., 99 F.R.D. 99, 101 (E.D. Va. 1983); see also Quaker Alloy Casting Co. v. Gulfco Indus., Inc., 123 F.R.D. 282, 288 (N.D. Ill. 1988) ("This Court's opinions are not intended as mere first drafts, subject to revision and reconsideration at a litigant's pleasure.") Further, a motion for reconsideration may not be employed as a vehicle to introduce new evidence that could have been produced prior to the entry of judgment. Publishers Resource, 762 F.2d at 561. "Nor should a motion for reconsideration serve as the occasion to tender new legal theories for the first time." Id.

 There can be no question that respondent's procedural default argument could have, and should have, been raised in its answer to Lynch's petition and motion to dismiss. Respondent's explanation for this failure is limited to the assertion that he "merely sought expeditious resolution of the case" by limiting the motion to dismiss to the issue of exhaustion. While this court is always mindful of the desirability of expeditious litigation, filing multiple motions to dismiss, each raising one issue at a time, is not the method to achieve such a result. Respecting respondent's displeasure at the current state of the law regarding the retroactive application of Falconer, as well as the Seventh Circuit's consistent holding that such a violation is "inherently prejudicial," those issues are properly presented to the Seventh Circuit on appeal, not to this court in a motion for reconsideration. In the absence of any newly-discovered evidence, and finding no manifest error of law or fact, we deny respondent's motion for reconsideration. It is so ordered.

 MARVIN E. ASPEN

 United States District Judge

 Dated 7/20/92

19920720

© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.



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