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Donnie Pratola v. Adrienne Barge

December 14, 2010

DONNIE PRATOLA, PETITIONER,
v.
ADRIENNE BARGE, RESPONDENTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Robert B. Kugler

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

MEMORANDUM OPINION

IT APPEARING THAT:

1. Donnie Pratola ("Petitioner"), who is serving a life sentence for murder*fn1 , filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging a final administrative decision of the New Jersey Department of Corrections ("NJDOC") denying his request for a reduction in security status from gang minimum to full minimum.

2. By Order and Opinion entered March 5, 2010, this Court dismissed the Petition for lack of jurisdiction under § 2254, without prejudice to any right Petitioner may have to assert his claims in a properly filed action of the kind authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and denied a certificate of appealability. This Court reasoned that, because habeas relief is available only when prisoners "seek to invalidate the duration of their confinement - either directly through an injunction compelling speedier release or indirectly through a judicial determination that necessarily implies the unlawfulness of the [government's] custody," Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 81 (2005), and Petitioner did not seek either speedier release or a judicial determination that necessarily implies the unlawfulness of his incarceration or sentence, this Court lacked habeas jurisdiction. See Lee v. Williamson, 297 Fed. App'x 147 (3d Cir. 2008) ("We agree with the District Court that Lee's claims concerning retaliation, denial of placement in the drug treatment program, and medical needs do not lie at the 'core of habeas' and, therefore, are not cognizable in a § 2241 petition"); see also Zapata v. United States, 264 Fed. App'x. 242 (3d Cir. 2008) (District Court lacks habeas jurisdiction to entertain inmate's challenge to prison transfer); Ganim v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 235 Fed. App'x. 882, 884 (3d Cir. 2007) (same); Bronson v. Demming, 56 Fed. App'x. 551, 553-54 (3d Cir. 2002) (habeas relief was unavailable to inmate seeking release from disciplinary segregation to general population).

3. On April 5, 2010, the Clerk received from Plaintiff an undated "MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION TO REINSTATE PETITIONER'S HABEAS CORPUS PETITION PURSUANT TO F.R.C.P. 28 U.S.C. § 2254, FOR REINSTATEMENT OF PETITIONER'S FULL-MINIMUM CUSTODY STATUS TO REINSTATE HIS COMMUNITY RELEASE STATUS IN VIOLATION OF PETITIONER'S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS UNDER DUE PROCESS OF LAW." (Docket Entry #9.) Attached to the motion were Petitioner's undated certification in lieu of oath in support of the motion, a memorandum dated September 6, 2006, from William F. Plantier, Director of Division of Operations of New Jersey Department of Corrections to all administrators concerning review process for full minimum eligibility, and copies of various documents filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.

Motion for Reconsideration

4. Local Civil Rule 7.1(i) provides that, unless otherwise provided by statute or rule (such as Fed. R. Civ. P. 50, 52 and 59), a motion for reconsideration shall be served and filed within 14 days after the entry of the order or judgment on the original motion. Local Civ. R. 7.1(i). The purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence. See Holland v. Holt, 2010 WL 5018169 at * 2 (3d Cir. Dec. 9, 2010) (citing Max's Seafood Cafe by Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)). "A proper . . . motion [to reconsider] therefore must rely on one of three grounds:

(1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence; or (3) the need to correct clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice." Lazaridis v. Wehmer, 591 F. 3d 666, 669 (3d Cir. 2010).

5. In this case, Plaintiff's motion is untimely, as the face of the motion does not show that it was handed to prison officials for mailing to the Clerk on or before March 19, 2010, which is 15 days after entry of the Order of dismissal at issue.

6. Although the motion is untimely, this Court will nevertheless consider whether Petitioner has shown any basis for reconsideration.

7. The face of the motion indicates that Petitioner's motion is based on "Newly Discovered Evidence consistent to the Legislative Law created of September 6, 2006, for review process for his Full-Minimum Custody Eligibility." (Docket Entry #9, p. 1.) Petitioner supports the motion as follows in his accompanying certification:

1. I am the Petitioner . . . in his Motion for Reconsideration to Reinstate his Habeas Corpus Petition with Newly Discovered Evidence which is contrary to my Adversary's/Respondent's Pleading before the Appellate Division, and State Supreme Court of N.J.

2. On September 19, 2007 Petitioner, Pratola filed his Motion to Settle the Record . . . before ...


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