United States District Court, D. New Jersey
B. KUGLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Michael Norwood, is a federal prisoner currently incarcerated
at FCI Danbury in Danbury, Connecticut. He is proceeding
pro se and had filed an amended motion to vacate his
sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. (ECF No. 4). The
Court denied the motion on November 28, 2016. (ECF Nos. 49,
50). Currently before the Court is Petitioner's motion
for relief from judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 60(b)(6). (ECF No. 54). Respondent filed an
opposition, and Petitioner filed a reply. (ECF Nos. 57, 58).
For the following reasons, the Court will deny
Petitioner's motion for relief from judgment.
Petitioner is intimately familiar with the facts of his case
and because the Court has already set forth the lengthy
background of this case in its earlier Opinion, the Court
will only state those facts necessary to address the instant
motion. (ECF No. 49).
case arises from Petitioner's convictions for bank
robbery, armed bank robbery, carjacking, possession of a
firearm by an armed career criminal, and two counts of use of
a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. (Id.
at 2). After several § 2255 petitions and appeals, this
Court resentenced Petitioner in June of 2013, and the Third
Circuit affirmed. United States v. Norwood, 566
Fed.Appx. 123, 129 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 135
S.Ct. 344 (2014). The Supreme Court thereafter denied
Petitioner's petition for certiorari in October of 2014,
United States v. Norwood, 135 S.Ct. 344 (2014), and
Petitioner filed his most recent § 2255 motion in April
that § 2255 motion was pending, Petitioner sought leave
to amend to add claims that three of his convictions were
unconstitutional under Johnson v. U.S., 135 S.Ct.
2551 (2015), and that his New York state conviction for
attempted aggravated assault on a police officer was not a
qualifying predicate offense under the Armed Career Criminal
Act (“ACCA”), also in light of Johnson.
The Government did not object to the motion to amend, and the
Court granted the motion on July 6, 2016. (ECF No. 42). A few
weeks later, however, Petitioner filed a motion to withdraw
his Johnson related claims, (ECF No. 44), and the
Court granted the motion to withdraw. (ECF No. 46).
November of 2016, the Court denied Petitioner's §
2255 motion and denied a certificate of appealability, (ECF
Nos. 49, 50), and thereafter, the Third Circuit also denied a
certificate of appealability. (ECF No. 53).
two years later, Petitioner filed the instant motion for
relief from judgment. Petitioner seeks to revive one of his
withdrawn claims, his claim that one of his prior convictions
did not qualify as a predicate under the ACCA. Respondent
filed an opposition (ECF No. 57), and Petitioner filed a
reply (ECF No. 59).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
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) (internal quotation marks omitted), 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 only grant a Rule 60(b) motion if a movant shows
extraordinary circumstances, and a Rule 60(b) motion is not
appropriate to reargue issues. Burns v. Warren,
No.13-1929, 2018 WL 1942516, at *2 (D.N.J. Apr. 25, 2018);
see also Cox, 757 F.3d at 120.
establish “extraordinary circumstances” a movant
must demonstrate that an “extreme” and
“unexpected” hardship will result. Tatar v.
United States, No. 13-3317, 2017 WL 945015, at *8
(D.N.J. Mar. 10, 2017) (quoting Michael v. Wetzel,
570 Fed.Appx. 176, 180 (3d Cir. 2014)). A judgment precluding
an adjudication on the merits may sometimes satisfy the
“hardship” requirement, but rarely “when a
party seeks relief from a judgment that resulted from the
party's deliberate choices.” Id.
where, as here, a district court must consider a Rule 60(b)
motion after it has denied a petitioner's § 2255
application, a court must first determine if the motion
constitutes a second or successive application under the
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
(“AEDPA”). Cf. Burns, 2018 WL 1942516,
at *2 (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2244).
petitioner's Rule 60(b) motion attacks the manner in
which he received a habeas judgment and not the underlying
conviction, a court may adjudicate the Rule 60(b) motion on
the merits. However, when the Rule 60(b) motion seeks to
collaterally attack the petitioner's underlying
conviction, a court should treat the ...