United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on plaintiff Mohammad Zaki
Amawi's motion for the Court to reconsider (Doc. 207) its
April 10, 2017, order (Doc. 206) denying his motion for an
extension of time to object to Magistrate Judge Reona J.
Daly's Report and Recommendation (“Report”)
(Doc. 203) and motion for relief from judgment pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(a) (Doc. 205).
April 10, 2017, order, the Court denied Amawi's motion
for an extension of time to object to the Report, finding
that he had waited too long after receiving the report on
November 28, 2016 - a total of three weeks - before mailing
his motion for an extension of time. The Court further denied
his motion for reconsideration because he failed to point to
any exceptional circumstances justifying relief from judgment
in this case. As a precautionary measure, the Court reviewed
the Report de novo anyway and found, for the reasons
stated in the Report, that Magistrate Judge Daly was correct
in her conclusions.
Court construes the pending motion for reconsideration to be
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). It is well
settled that Rule 60(b) relief is an extraordinary remedy and
is granted only in exceptional circumstances. Gonzalez v.
Crosby, 545 U.S. 524, 535 (2005); McCormick v. City
of Chi., 230 F.3d 319, 327 (7th Cir. 2000) (citing
Dickerson v. Board of Educ., 32 F.3d 1114, 1116 (7th
Cir. 1994)). Rule 60(b) allows a court “to address
mistakes attributable to special circumstances and not merely
to erroneous applications of law.” Russell v. Delco
Remy Div. of Gen. Motors Corp., 51 F.3d 746, 749 (7th
Cir. 1995). The rule authorizes a Court to grant relief from
judgment for the specific reasons listed in the rule but does
not authorize action in response to general pleas for relief.
See Young v. Murphy, 161 F.R.D. 61, 62 (N.D. Ill.
1995). It is also not an appropriate vehicle for addressing
simple legal error, for rehashing old arguments, or for
presenting arguments that should have been raised before the
court made its decision. Russell, 51 F.3d at 749;
Rutledge v. United States, 230 F.3d 1041, 1052 (7th
Cir. 2000); Young, 161 F.R.D. at 62; In re Oil
Spill by “Amoco Cadiz, ” 794 F.Supp. 261,
267 (N.D. Ill. 1992), aff'd, 4 F.3d 997 (7th
Cir. 1993) (Table).
pending motion, Amawi offers more excuses for his delay in
seeking an extension of time to object: his lack of postage
and writing material when he was in the Special Housing Unit
(“SHU”) from September 26, 2016, to December 1,
2016; his dependence on prison personnel to retrieve his mail
for posting while he was in the SHU; and his lack of access
to his legal material. These reasons do not, however, explain
why it took Amawi nearly three weeks after being released
from the SHU on December 1, 2016, to file a motion for an
extension of time explaining why he needed more time to
object. Such a motion would not have required access to a law
library or Amawi's legal materials. All he needed to say
was that he required more time because he did not have access
to the legal materials he needed to draft his objections to
also asks for reconsideration of the denial of his prior Rule
60(b) motion. However, he offers reasons why he believes the
Court's original judgment was wrong, not why he believes
its ruling on his first Rule 60(b) motion was wrong, the only
question pending before the Court at this time. He has not
pointed to any exceptional circumstances why the Court should
reconsider its April 10, 2017, order finding that his prior
Rule 60(b) motion did not warrant relief from judgment.
his motion were directed at the Court's original
judgment, it is not compelling. With respect to Count 1, a
procedural due process claim asserting loss of liberty by
placement in a restrictive housing unit at USP-Marion, the
Court found it was not clearly established at the time of
Amawi's placement in the unit from January 2010 to August
2014 that such placement amounted to a deprivation of
liberty. Amawi points to a Court of Appeals decision from the
District of Columbia Circuit, Aref v. Lynch, 833
F.3d 242, 257 (D.C. Cir. 2016), that he argues “clearly
establishes” that law, but even if it did, that was too
late to deprive the defendants in this case of qualified
immunity for their conduct two years earlier.
Count 2, an equal protection claim asserting discrimination
against Muslims by placing and keeping them in a restrictive
housing unit, the Court found no evidence of discrimination
from those actually making or influencing the housing
placement and retention decisions about which Amawi
complains. By the same token, the Court found those making
discriminatory comments had no input into the housing
decisions. Amawi now makes vague assertions of discrimination
without curing the evidentiary void noted in the Report and
the Court's order dismissing this case.
the Court has already considered the defendants' motion
for summary judgment de novo as explained in its
April 20, 2017, order. Further review is unwarranted.
the Court does not find that Amawi has pointed to any
exceptional circumstances warranting relief from the
Court's April 10, 2017, order. Accordingly, the Court
DENIES his motion for reconsideration (Doc.