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Bamigbade v. City of Newark

January 30, 2006

RE: BAMIGBADE
v.
CITY OF NEWARK



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William J. Martini Judge

LETTER OPINION

Dear Litigants:

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Pro Se's Motion Pursuant to Rule 60(b)(1), (3) to "Vacate Defaults and to Reopen and Reinstate and Restore this Case to the Trial List." There was no oral argument. Fed. R. Civ. P. 78. For the following reasons, Plaintiff Pro Se's motion is DENIED.

I. Background

Familiarity with the facts of this matter is presumed. See Bamigbade v. City of Newark, No. 04-4419, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25338 (D.N.J. Oct. 27, 2005). For purposes of this motion, though, we will summarize the relevant facts. Plaintiff Pro Se Bamigbade ("Plaintiff") commenced this action on September 13, 2004 by filing a complaint, which he later amended on October 12, 2004. The Amended Complaint alleged that Plaintiff won an auction for a tax lien certificate for a property located in Newark, New Jersey (the "Property"). Plaintiff further alleged that, although he could not pay for the property at the time of the auction, Defendant City of Newark ("Defendant") violated his rights under the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution by failing to award him the tax lien certificate at a later date.

On August 12, 2005, Magistrate Judge Ronald J. Hedges recommended the dismissal of Plaintiff's Amended Complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff then filed a motion pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(1) and 60(b)(3) challenging Magistrate Hedges's recommendation, which we construed as a motion pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b). On October 27, 2005, we denied Plaintiff's Rule 72(b) motion for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See id. at *3-6. Now, Plaintiff moves again pursuant to Rules 60(b)(1) and 60(b)(3) to vacate our prior order and to reopen this case.

II. Discussion

A. Standard For Relief Under Rule 60(b)

Rule 60(b) provides in relevant part:

On motion and upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party ... from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect ... [or]; (3) fraud (whether heretofore denominated intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party. Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(1), (3). The remedy provided under Rule 60(b) is "extraordinary, and [only] special circumstances may justify granting relief under it."

Dietsch v. United States, 2 F. Supp. 2d 627, 631 (D.N.J. 1998) (quoting Moolenaar v. Gov't of the Virgin Islands, 822 F.2d 1342, 1346 (3d Cir. 1987)). In fact, relief under Rule 60(b) is available "only under such circumstances that the `overriding interest in the finality and repose of judgments may properly be overcome.'" Dietsch, 2 F. Supp. 2d at 631 (D.N.J. 1998) (quoting Harris v. Martin, 834 F.2d 361, 364 (3d Cir. 1987)). Rule 60(b) is not a substitute for an appeal, and legal error, without more, does not warrant relief under this rule. Page v. Schweiker, 786 F.2d 150, 154 (3d Cir. 1986); United States v. Fiorelli, 337 F.2d 282, 288 (3d Cir. 2003).

B. Substantive Due Process Under The Fourteenth Amendment

Plaintiff first requests, pursuant to Rule 60(b)(1), that the Court vacate its prior order which held that Plaintiff failed to establish subject matter jurisdiction under the substantive due process protections of the Fourteenth Amendment. See Bamigbade, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS at *5-6. This request must be denied, again. Plaintiff offers nothing more than legal arguments, which were already considered in our prior decision. Since our decision in the first instance was correct, it will not be disturbed on Plaintiff's renewed 60(b)(1) motion. See, e.g., Smith v. Evans, 853 F.2d 155, 158 (3d Cir. ...


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