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Morey v. Rodriguez

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

May 29, 2018

ELI ALMANZAR MOREY, Petitioner,
v.
ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ, Respondent.

          OPINION

          KEVIN MCNULTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGTE

         I.INTRODUCTION

         Petitioner pro se, Eli Almanzar Morey, is an immigration detainee who brought this habeas proceeding under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Now before the Court is a motion (ECF No. 19) seeking reconsideration of my opinion and order of September 19, 2017 (ECF Nos. 14, 15), which denied Mr. Morey's habeas petition. Respondent opposes this motion. (ECF No. 20.) Having considered the parties' submissions, and for the reasons given below, Mr. Morey's reconsideration motion will be denied.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Mr, Morey filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in January 2017. On September 19, 2017, 1 issued an opinion and order denying Mr. Morey's petition as moot, because he had already received a bond hearing before an immigration judge. (ECF No. 14 at 5.) I also noted that the evidence before the Court indicated that Mr. Morey had not exhausted his potential administrative remedies by seeking a discretionary grant of parole from the Attorney General. (ECF No. 14 at 4-5.)

         Mr. Morey now moves for reconsideration of that opinion and order. (ECF No. 19.) He argues that a legal permanent resident ("LPR") like him who has returned from a short trip abroad should be afforded greater due process rights than an alien seeking admission to the United States for the first time. (ECF No. 19 at 2-4.) Mr. Morey also contends that, although he received a bond hearing before an immigration judge in October 2016, he was not afforded adequate due process during that hearing. (Id. at 4-6.)

         In opposition, respondent argues that Mr. Morey relies on non-binding precedent and still has not addressed his failure to exhaust administrative remedies. (ECF No. 20, at 1-2.) He further notes that it does not appear Mr. Morey sought review of his bond determination from the Board of Immigration Appeals, thus arguing that any claim regarding the process received during the bond hearing remains unexhausted. (Id. at 2.)

         Mr. Morey subsequently submitted a letter asserting that his circumstances have changed. He cites a decision to continue his detention from the director of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") field office, new letters in support of his release on bond from family and friends, and his application for post-conviction relief in state court. (ECF No. 22.)

         HI. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Motions for reconsideration are permitted under Local Civil Rule 7.1(i), but reconsideration is considered an extraordinary remedy and is granted only sparingly. See Buzz Bee Toys, Inc. v. Swimways Corp., 20 F.Supp.3d 483, 515 (D.N.J. 2014); Andreyko v. Sunrise Senior Living, Inc., 993 F.Supp.2d 475, 477 (D.N.J. 2014). A party seeking reconsideration must "set[] forth concisely the matter or controlling decisions which the party believes the Judge ... has overlooked." L. Civ. R. 7.1(i). Motions for reconsideration are not intended as an opportunity to reargue old matters or raise issues that could have been raised previously. See Andreyko, 993 F.Supp.2d at 477-78; P. Schoenfeld Asset Mgm 7 LLC v. Cendant Corp., 161 F.Supp.2d 349, 352 (D.N.J. 2001). Thus, the movant generally has the burden of demonstrating one of three bases for reconsideration: "(1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not available when the court [rendered its original decision]; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent a manifest injustice." Max's Seafood Cafe ex rel Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999).

         IV. DISCUSSION

         Mr. Morey's motion cannot be read as raising an intervening change in controlling law or newly discovered evidence. The arguments he now attempts to assert are based on law or facts that he knew, or could have known, when he filed his petition. Accordingly, I construe the motion as asserting a "need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent a manifest injustice." Max's Seafood Cafe, 176 F.3d at 677.1 find no such error, however.

         First, although the opinion denying his petition contained some discussion of the government's authority to detain applicants for admission under 8 U.S.C. § 1225(b), the main basis for the denying relief was the fact that Mr. Morey had already received a bond hearing. Such a bond hearing is the only relief that this Court typically grants immigration detainees seeking habeas relief for prolonged detention. (See ECF No. 14 at 5.) In addition, the opinion stated that no relief could be granted because Mr. Morey had not exhausted potential administrative remedies. (See Id. at 4-5.)

         Accordingly, Mr. Morey's arguments as to whether an LPR returning from a brief trip abroad should be found to have greater constitutional rights than an alien seeking admission for the first time are irrelevant. That question had no impact on the initial ...


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