United States District Court, D. New Jersey
B. KUGLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Petitioner's motion to amend judgment
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). (ECF Nos.
11, 12). Petitioner requests that the Court
reconsider its April 25, 2018, Opinion and Order dismissing
his Petition for lack of jurisdiction as second or
successive. (ECF Nos. 5, 6).
Petitioner is intimately familiar with the facts of his case,
and because the Court has already set forth the background of
this case in an earlier Opinion, the Court will only set
forth facts necessary to address the instant motion.
Petitioner challenges a March 28, 2002, judgment of
conviction from the Superior Court of New Jersey. (ECF No. 1,
appeal, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division,
sua sponte reversed in light of an issue regarding
the testimony of a witness. See State v. Burns, No.
A-6273-01T4, 2006 WL 1275077, at *2 ( N.J.Super.Ct.App.Div.
May 11, 2006), rev'd, 929 A.2d 1041 (N.J. 2007).
The New Jersey Supreme Court granted the State's petition
for certification and, on July 26, 2007, reversed and
remanded the case for reinstatement of Petitioner's
judgment of conviction. See State v. Burns, 929 A.2d
1041, 1059 (N.J. 2007).
then filed a petition for post-conviction relief
(“PCR”) in August of 2017 and received a denial
at each level of review, the last of which on November 30,
2012, when the New Jersey Supreme Court denied certification.
See State v. Burns, 64 A.3d 237 (2012).
March 22, 2013, Petitioner filed a habeas petition pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (hereinafter “First
Petition”), and in a comprehensive Opinion, this Court
denied the First Petition on the merits. See Burns v.
Warren, No. 13-1929, 2016 WL 1117946 (D.N.J. Mar. 22,
2016). The Third Circuit denied a certificate of
appealability on May 16, 2017, Burns v. Adm'r New
Jersey State Prison, No. 16-1875, 2017 WL 4574445, at *1
(3d Cir. May 16, 2017), and the Supreme Court denied
Petitioner's petition for writ of certiorari on January
8, 2018. See Burns v. Johnson, 138 S.Ct. 664 (2018).
Petitioner's First Petition was pending, Petitioner filed
a motion for a new trial in the Superior Court of New Jersey,
received a denial on August 5, 2015, and on April 12, 2017,
the Appellate Division affirmed. See State v. Burns,
No. A-446-15T4, 2017 WL 1337501, at *1 (
N.J.Super.Ct.App.Div. Apr. 12, 2017). The New Jersey Supreme
Court denied certification on October 16, 2017. See State
v. Burns, 174 A.3d 516 (N.J. 2017).
on December 5, 2017, Petitioner filed an application for
permission to file a second or successive habeas corpus
petition, and the Third Circuit denied his request. In
re: Ronald Burns, C.A. No. 17-3638 (3d Cir. Jan. 23,
February of 2018, Petitioner filed his latest § 2254
Petition (ECF No. 1 (hereinafter “Instant
Petition”)) raising the same arguments as those within
his application for permission to file a second or successive
petition. This Court dismissed the Instant Petition for lack
of jurisdiction as second or successive. (ECF Nos. 5, 6).
Petitioner then filed the instant motion to amend judgment
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), requesting
that the Court allow him to amend the Instant Petition, in an
attempt to cure its second or successive nature.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Civil Rule 7.1(i) governs motions under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 59(e) and allows parties to seek reconsideration of
what they believe are “overlooked” matters.
See Carney v. Pennsauken Twp. Police Dep 't, No.
11-7366, 2013 WL 4501454, at *1 (D.N.J. Aug. 21, 2013)
(citations omitted). “The standard for reargument is
high” and courts should “only sparingly”
grant reconsideration. Yarrell v. Bartkowski, No.
10-5337, 2012 WL 1600316, at *3 (D.N.J. May 7, 2012) (citing
United States v. Jones, 158 F.R.D. 309, 314 (D.N.J.
1994)). To be successful on a motion for reconsideration, a
party has the burden to demonstrate: “(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 or to prevent manifest injustice.”
Max's Seafood Café ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc. v.
Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999); see
also Berry v. Jacobs IMC, LLC, 99 Fed.Appx. 405, 410 (3d
reviewing Petitioner's submission, the Court will deny
his motion to amend judgment. In its earlier Opinion, this
Court observed that a district court lacks jurisdiction over
a second or successive § 2254 petition, absent
authorization from the appropriate court of appeals.
Burton v. Stewart,549 U.S. 147, 152 (2007). Because
the Third Circuit denied Petitioner permission to file a