United States District Court, D. New Jersey
JERMAINE L. BRYANT, Petitioner,
PATRICK NOGAN, et al., Respondents.
L. LINARES Chief Judge, United States District Court
or about February 26, 2018, Petitioner, Jermaine L. Bryant,
filed the instant petition for a writ of habeas corpus
brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (ECF No. 1).
March 14, 2018, this Court entered an order and memorandum
opinion dismissing that petition without prejudice for lack
of jurisdiction as it was a second or successive habeas
petition brought without leave of the Court of Appeals. (ECF
March 28, 2018, Petitioner filed a response to that Order,
which this Court construes to be a motion for reconsideration
brought pursuant to either Local Civil Rule 7.l(i) or Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). (ECF No. 6). In his response,
Petitioner does not state that he has sought or received
permission to file this successive habeas petition from the
Court of Appeals, but instead argues that he should be
permitted a hearing so that he can prove that he is innocent
of the crime for which he is imprisoned. (Id.).
Whether brought pursuant to Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure or Local Civil Rule 7.l(i), the scope of a
motion for reconsideration is extremely limited, and courts
will grant such motions only sparingly. Delanoy v. Twp.
of Ocean, No. 13-1555, 2015 WL 2235103, at *2 (D.N.J.
May 12, 2015) (as to Local Civil Rule 7.l(i)); see also
Blystone v. Horn, 664 F.3d 397, 415 (3d Cir. 2011) (as
to Rule 59(e)). An order of the Court may be altered or
amended pursuant to such a motion only where the moving party
establishes one of the following grounds for relief:
"(1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2)
the availability of new evidence that was not available when
the court [issued its order]; or (3) the need to correct a
clear error of law or fact to prevent manifest
injustice." Delanoy, 2015 WL 2235103 at *2
(quoting Max's Seafood Cafe v.
Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)); see
also Blystone, 664 F.3d at 415 (applying same standard
to 59(e) motions). In the reconsideration context, a manifest
injustice will generally arise only where "the Court
overlooked some dispositive factual or legal matter that was
presented to it, " or committed a "direct, obvious,
and observable" error. See Brown v. Zickefoose,
No. 11-3330, 2011 WL 5007829, at *2, n.3 (D.N.J. Oct. 18,
2011) (citations and quotations omitted). Reconsideration
motions may not be used to relitigate old matters or to raise
arguments or present evidence or allegations that could have
been raised prior to entry of the original order, and courts
should only grant such a motion where its prior decision
"overlooked a factual or legal issue that may alter the
disposition of the matter." Delanoy, 2015 WL
2235103 at *2.
While Petitioner argues at length in his motion that he
should be granted a hearing to prove his innocence,
Petitioner utterly fails to address the fact that his current
petition is a second or successive habeas petition brought
without leave of the Court of Appeals. As this Court
previously explained to Petitioner,
Because Petitioner has filed a previous habeas petition which
was previously dismissed with prejudice as time barred,
Petitioner's current habeas petition is a second or
successive habeas petition filed without leave from the Court
of Appeals. Pursuant to the Anti-Terrorism and Effective
Death Penalty Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2244 ("AEDPA"),
this Court's jurisdiction over second and successive
habeas petitions brought under § 2254 is limited.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A). Under AEDPA, a
habeas petitioner may not file a second or successive habeas
petition in this Court without first receiving authorization
from the appropriate court of appeals, in this case the Third
Circuit. Id. Absent a grant of authorization from
the Court of Appeals, this Court lacks jurisdiction over a
second or successive habeas petition. Id.; see also
Burton v. Stewart, 549 U.S. 147, 152 (2007) (district
court "never had jurisdiction to consider"
successive petition where the petitioner "did not seek
or obtain authorization to file in the District Court");
Blystone v. Horn, 664 F.3d 397, 412 (3d Cir. 2011)
("A petitioner's failure to seek such authorization
from the appropriate appellate court before filing a second
or successive habeas petition acts as a jurisdictional
bar"). "When a second or successive habeas petition
is erroneously filed in a district court without the
permission of a court of appeals, the district court's
only option is to dismiss the petition or transfer it to the
court of appeals pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1631."
Robinson v. Johnson, 313 F.3d 128, 139 (3d Cir.
(ECF No. 4 at 2-3).
Because Petitioner has previously had a habeas petition
dismissed with prejudice as time barred, his petition is a
second or successive habeas petition, and this Court has no
jurisdiction to hear any of his claims - including his claim
of innocence - unless and until Petitioner seeks and obtains
leave from the Third Circuit. Blystone, 664 F.3d at
411-12. Because Petitioner's motion in no way disputes
that his habeas petition is a successive petition, nor shows
that Petitioner has secured the permission of the Court of
Appeals, he has failed to show that this Court erred in
dismissing his habeas petition, and Petitioner has thus
failed to show any valid basis for reconsideration.
Petitioner's motion for reconsideration must therefore be
conclusion, Petitioner's motion for reconsideration, (ECF
No. 6), is ...