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.

Ryburn v. Ramos

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

January 3, 2014

THOMAS VON RYBURN, Petitioner,
v.
ANTHONY RAMOS, Warden, Respondent.

ORDER & OPINION

JOE BILLY McDADE, Senior District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Thomas Von Ryburn's ("Petitioner") Motion for Relief of Judgment pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Doc. 63). Respondent has declined to file a response to the Motion. For the reasons stated below, the Motion is denied.

BACKGROUND

In an Order and Opinion (Doc. 37) dated June 23, 2010, this Court granted Respondent's Motion to Dismiss Petitioner's § 2254 Petition (Doc. 24) on the basis that it was untimely pursuant to § 2244(d). The Court also found that neither statutory tolling provided in § 2244(d)(1)(B), (C), or (D), nor equitable tolling of the statute of limitations was applicable. (Doc. 37 at 21). One of the four grounds asserted in the habeas petition was a bare-bones claim of actual innocence. (Doc. 1 at 11). Petitioner also perfunctorily raised the issue of actual innocence in response to the motion to dismiss his petition in other written submission to the Court. ( See, e.g., Doc. 28 and 29).[1] The Court declined to consider the actual innocence defense to the motion to dismiss the habeas petition because of Escamilla v. Jungwirth, 426 F.3d 868, 871-72 (7th Cir. 2005), in which the Seventh Circuit held that claims of actual innocence alone did not allow petitioners to circumvent the statute of limitations found at 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). On May 28, 2013, the United States Supreme Court decided McQuiggin v. Perkins, ___ U.S. ___, 133 S.Ct. 1924 (2013), in which the court held that in extremely rare circumstances, an actual innocence claim can overcome 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)'s one year statute of limitations.

Petitioner now moves the Court to vacate its June 23, 2010 Opinion and Order in light of McQuiggin and reconsider evidence presented in the habeas petition concerning legal malpractice, ineffective assistance of counsel and Petitioner's state of mind. (Doc. 63 at 2).

LEGAL STANDARDS

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6), a court may relieve a party from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for "any other reason that justifies relief." Whether to grant a motion for relief pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6) "lies within the sound discretion of the district court." Neuberg v. Michael Reese Hosp. Found., 123 F.3d 951, 955 (7th Cir. 1997), citing Helm v. Resolution Trust Corp., 84 F.3d 874, 877 (7th Cir. 1996).

In order to secure relief from a final judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6), a petitioner must demonstrate extraordinary circumstances. Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545 U.S. 524, 535 (2005). Gonzalez forewarns petitioners that "[s]uch circumstances will rarely occur in the habeas context." Id. Moreover, "[i]ntervening developments in the law by themselves rarely constitute the extraordinary circumstances required for relief under Rule 60(b)(6)." Agostini v. Felton, 521 U.S. 203, 239 (1997).

Before a district court even analyzes a petitioner's claim that his case should be reopened under Rule 60(b)(6), the court must first determine whether it is allowed to reach the petitioner's claim under 28 U.S.C. § 2244. Dunlap v. Litscher, 301 F.3d 873, 875-76 (7th Cir. 2002) (relief under Rule 60(b) is unavailable to petitioners when such relief conflicts with the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act's ("AEDPA") amendments to the federal habeas corpus statute, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241 et seq. ). Gonzalez holds that a Rule 60(b) motion based on a purported change in the substantive law governing the claim is to be treated as a successive habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b). 545 U.S. at 531-32. However, Gonzalez also holds that a Rule 60(b) motion will not be treated as a successive habes petition when it does no more than challenge a purported defect in the adjudication of the petition and does not challenge the "substance of the federal court's resolution of a claim on the merits." Id. at 533-35.

DISCUSSION

I. Petitioner's Motion Is Not The Equivalent Of A Successive Habeas Petition.

As an initial matter, the Court declines to treat this motion as a successive habeas petition. The change in the law at issue here does not relate to the substantive law governing Petitioner's actual underlying habeas claims. See Gonzalez, 545 U.S. at 531-32. Instead, the change in the law at issue here is merely procedural because it relates to the application of the AEDPA's statute of limitations. Similarly, the motion sub judice does not challenge the substance of the Court's resolution of Petitioner's underlying habeas claims on their merits either, rather it "challenges only the District Court's previous ruling on the AEDPA statute of limitations." Gonzalez, 545 U.S. at 535. Therefore, the Court concludes the instant motion is not equivalent to a successive habeas petition for which this Court would lack jurisdiction to adjudicate. The Court will proceed with the analysis of whether the Petitioner should be afforded relief under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6).

II. No Extraordinary Circumstances Are Present That Would Justify Relief Under Rule 60(b)(6).

Before the Supreme Court decided McQuiggin v. Perkins, ___ U.S. ___, 133 S.Ct. 1924 (U.S. May 28, 2013), the law in the Seventh Circuit was that a claim of actual innocence alone could not allow a petitioner to circumvent the statute of limitations found at 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1). Escamilla v. Jungwirth, 426 F.3d 868, 871-72 (7th Cir. 2005). McQuiggin abrogated Escamilla by holding a state prisoner filing a first federal habeas petition may use a claim of actual innocence as the basis for invoking the equitably-based miscarriage of justice exception to overcome the one-year statute of limitations in the AEDPA for filing a federal habeas petition. 133 S.Ct. at 1934. McQuiggin, 133 S.Ct. 1924, was decided almost three years after this Court entered its Order and Opinion (Doc. 37) ...


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.