United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Petitioner Darnell Brown's
Rule 59(e) Motion for Reconsideration. (Doc. 7). Brown seeks
reconsideration of the Court's April 16, 2019 Order
dismissing his Petition upon threshold review pursuant to
Rules 1(b) and 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in
United States District Courts.
was sentenced to 151 months of imprisonment on November 14,
2014. He was designated a career offender (see
U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1) based on two prior convictions,
including a conviction for attempted aggravated fleeing or
attempting to elude a police officer, which was considered a
crime of violence under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a). Brown filed
this habeas action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 on
January 17, 2019, relying on the Supreme Court's decision
in Mathis to challenge his designation and sentence
as a career offender. The Court dismissed the habeas petition
based on binding Seventh Circuit precedent finding, “an
error in calculating a defendant's guidelines sentencing
range does not justify postconviction relief unless the
defendant had . . .been sentenced in the pre-Booker
era, when the guidelines were mandatory rather than merely
advisory.” Hawkins v. United States, 724 F.3d
915, 916 (7th Cir. 2013). Brown was sentenced long after
Booker was decided and received a sentence that was
well within the applicable 20-year statutory maximum for the
crime to which he pled guilty. United States v.
Brown, SDIL case no. 3:14-cr-30082-DRH, Docs. 26, 28.
final judgment has been entered in a civil case, a
dissatisfied litigant's avenues for reconsideration fall
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) or 60(b). See
Abcarian v. McDonald, 617 F.3d 931, 943 (7th Cir. 2010).
Whether a motion is construed under Rule 59(e) or Rule 60(b)
depends on the date the motion was filed and the substance of
the motion, not the label on the motion. See Obriecht v.
Raemisch, 517 F.3d 489, 493-94 (7th Cir.).
59(e) permits a court to amend a judgment only if the movant
demonstrates a manifest error of law or fact or presents
newly discovered evidence that was not previously available.
See, e.g., Sigsworth v. City of Aurora, 487 F.3d
506, 511-12 (7th Cir. 2007); Harrington v. City of
Chicago, 433 F.3d 542 (7th Cir. 2006). A Rule 59(e)
motion must be filed within 28 days of the challenged order;
this strict time limit cannot be extended. Fed.R.Civ.P.
60(b) permits a court to relieve a party from an order or
judgment based on such grounds as mistake, surprise or
excusable neglect by the movant; fraud or misconduct by the
opposing party; a judgment that is void or has been
discharged; or newly discovered evidence that could not have
been discovered within the 28-day deadline for filing a Rule
59(b) motion. A motion under Rule 60(b)(1) asserting mistake,
inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect may be filed
within one year after entry of judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P.
motion was received by the Clerk's Office on May 15,
2019. (Doc. 7). If that date governs, Rule 60(b) applies
because the motion was filed outside the 28-day window of
Rule 59(e). However, if Brown gets the benefit of the
prisoner mailbox rule, the date on the motion is used (May
13, 2019, see Doc. 7, p. 13) and Rule 59(e)
applies. Brown is not entitled to relief under
has not identified any newly discovered evidence or any
manifest error in the Court's ruling. Instead, he argues
that Hawkins is no longer sound precedent because it
was effectively overruled by Mathis and United
States v. Edwards, 836 F.3d 831 (7th Cir. 2016). The
Court disagrees. Edwards was a direct appeal and has
no relevance to the issue of whether Hawkins
forecloses consideration of Brown's argument on
collateral review. Further, the Seventh Circuit recently
reaffirmed the holding in Hawkins that foreclosed
relief in a Mathis challenge. Hanson v. United
States, 941 F.3d 874, 878 (7th Cir. 2019). There is no
meaningful way to distinguish Hawkins from this
case; that decision is binding precedent in this Circuit and
remains dispositive. As such, Brown fails to raise any
grounds under Rule 59(e) to vacate the judgment.
Brown shown any grounds for relief under Rule 60(b) (if the
mailbox rule doesn't apply). Alleged mistake of law
cannot properly be addressed in a Rule 60(b) motion. See,
e.g., Bell v. Eastman Kodak Co., 214 F.3d 798, 801 (7th
Cir. 2000); Parke-Chapley Constr. Co. v.
Cherrington, 865 F.2d 907, 915 (7th Cir. 1989)
(“an appeal or motion for new trial, rather than a FRCP
60(b) motion, is the proper avenue to redress mistakes of law
committed by the trial judge, as distinguished from clerical
mistakes caused by inadvertence”); Swam v. United
States, 327 F.2d 431, 433 (7th Cir.), cert.
denied, 379 U.S. 852 (1964) (a belief that the Court was
mistaken as a matter of law in dismissing the original
petition does “not constitute the kind of mistake or
inadvertence that comes within the ambit of rule
60(b)”). And, Brown does not claim surprise, excusable
neglect, fraud or misconduct by the opposing party, or newly
discovered evidence that could not have been discovered
within the 28-day deadline for filing a Rule 59(b) motion.
review of the record, the Court remains persuaded that its
ruling dismissing the Petition was correct. Therefore, the
Motion (Doc. 7) is DENIED.
instant motion to reconsider was timely filed under Rule
59(e), it suspended Brown's deadline to seek an appeal.
Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(4)(A); Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). In that
event, if Brown wishes to appeal the dismissal of this
action, his notice of appeal must be filed with this court
within 60 days of the date of this order. Fed. R. App. P.
4(a)(4). A motion for leave to appeal in forma
pauperis (“IFP”) must set forth the issues
Brown plans to present on appeal. See Fed. R. App.
P. 24(a)(1)(C). If Brown does choose to appeal and is allowed
to proceed IFP, he will be liable for a portion of the
$505.00 appellate filing fee (the amount to be determined
based on his prison trust fund account records for the past
six months) irrespective of the outcome of the appeal.
See Fed. R. ...