United States District Court, D. New Jersey
B. KUGLER U.S. District Judge
Ronald Burns ("Petitioner") has submitted a motion
seeking relief pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
60(b)(6) (ECF No. 17) and a motion for authorization to
consider a second or successive habeas petition pursuant to
28 U.S.C. §2244(ECFNo. 18). For the reasons stated
below, the Court will dismiss both motions for lack of
about March 22, 2013, Petitioner, an inmate currently
confined at New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, New Jersey,
filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254 challenging his state criminal conviction.
(See ECF No. 1). On March 22, 2016, in a
comprehensive opinion and order, this Court denied
Petitioner's habeas petition on the merits. (See
ECF Nos. 10 & 11). Petitioner appealed, and on May 16,
2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit denied a certificate of appealability on the ground
that jurists of reason would not debate this Court's
conclusion regarding Petitioners claims. See Burns v.
Admin. New Jersey State Prison, No. 16-1875, 2017 WL
4574445, at *1 (3d Cir. May 16, 2017). On July 27, 2017, the
Third Circuit denied a petition for a panel rehearing. The
Supreme Court denied Petitioner's writ for certiorari on
January 8, 2018. See Burns v. Johnson, 138 S.Ct. 664
November 3, 2017, Petitioner filed a motion for relief from
order pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6)
(ECF No. 17), seeking relief from this Court's March 22,
2016 decision. Additionally, on December 5, 2017, Petitioner
filed applications for permission to file a second or
successive habeas corpus petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244 in this Court (ECF No. 18) and in the Third
Circuit. By Order dated January 23, 2018, the Third Circuit
denied Petitioner's request, holding that:
The application under 28 U.S.C. § 2244 to file a second
or successive petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 is denied.
Burns has not satisfied the requirements for obtaining
authorization to file a second or successive § 2254
petition. He does not rely on "a new rule of
constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on collateral
review by the Supreme Court, that was previously
unavailable." 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(2) and (3). He
cites Satterfield v. DA Philadelphia, 872 F.3d 152,
162 (3d Cir. 2017), but Satterfield, among other
things, is a case from this Court, not the Supreme Court. He
also discusses Martinez v. Ryan, 566 U.S. 1 (2012);
however, Martinez did not announce a new rule of
constitutional law. See Cox v. Horn, 757 F.3d 113,
124 (3d Cir. 2014); Martinez, 566 U.S. at 11 (noting
that the Court's ruling was equitable). Furthermore,
Burns cannot show that the facts underlying his claims would
establish that no reasonable factfinder would have found him
guilty. 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(2)(B)(ii).
In re: Ronald Burns, C.A. No. 17-3638 (3d Cir. Jan.
60(b) allows a party to seek relief from a final judgment,
and request reopening of his case, under a limited set of
circumstances including fraud, mistake, and newly discovered
evidence." Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545 U.S. 524,
528 (2005). Specifically at issue in this case is Rule
60(b)(6), which "is a catch-all provision that
authorizes a court to grant relief from a final judgment for
'any ... reason' other than those listed elsewhere in
the Rule." Cox v. Horn, 757 F.3d 113, 120 (3d
Cir. 2014), cert, denied sub nom., Wetzel v. Cox,
135 S.Ct. 1548 (2015).
60(b) motions are left to the sound discretion of the trial
court, consistent with accepted legal principles applied in
light of all relevant circumstances. See Pierce Assoc.
Inc. v. Nemours Found., 865 F.2d 530, 548 (3d Cir.
1988). "A court may grant a Rule 60(b) motion only in
extraordinary circumstances, and a Rule 60(b) motion is not
appropriate to reargue issues that the court has already
considered and decided." Weber v. Pierce, No.
13-283, 2016 WL 2771122, at *2 (D. Del. May 13, 2016)
(citations and footnote omitted); see also Cox, 757
F.3d at 120 (quoting Sawka v. Healtheast, Inc., 989
F.2d 138, 140 (3d Cir. 1993)).
where, as here, a district court is presented with a Rule
60(b) motion after it has denied a petitioner's §
2254 application, the court must first determine if the
motion constitutes a second or successive application under
the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b). The Third Circuit has
in those instances in which the factual predicate of a
petitioner's Rule 60(b) motion attacks the manner in
which the earlier habeas judgment was procured and not the
underlying conviction, the Rule 60(b) motion may be
adjudicated on the merits. However, when the Rule 60(b)
motion seeks to collaterally attack the petitioner's
underlying conviction, the motion should be treated as a
successive habeas petition.
Pridgen v. Shannon,
380 F.3d 721, 727 (3d Cir.
2004); see also Parham, 496 Fed.Appx. at 184
(explaining that a 60(b) motion should be treated as a second
or successive habeas petition if it "seeks
vindication" of a "claim" defined as "an
asserted federal basis for relief from a state ...