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Edwards v. State

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

December 4, 2019

RENE D. EDWARDS, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, et al., Defendants.

          RENE D. EDWARDS APPEARING PRO SE

          TASHA MARIE BRADT STATE OF NEW JERSEY OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANTS

          OPINION

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         This case concerns claims by Plaintiff that Defendants violated his constitutional rights when he was beaten and raped by his cellmate in South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton, New Jersey. On April 27, 2018, this Court granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment, finding that Defendants were entitled to judgment in their favor because Plaintiff had failed to exhaust the administrative remedies that were available to him, as he was required to do by 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a) prior to filing suit. (Docket No. 128.)

         On December 11, 2018, Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal with United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. (Docket No. 131.) On May 1, 2019, the Third Circuit dismissed Plaintiff's appeal because it was untimely. (Docket No. 133.) The Third Circuit explained:

The District Court entered its final order in the case on April 27, 2018. Appellant was required to file his notice of appeal with the District Court Clerk by Monday, May 28, 2018, within the applicable thirty-day appeal period measured after entry of the judgment or order. See Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(1)(A). See also Fed. R. App. P. 26(a)(1)(C) (a calculated period ending on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday is extended to include the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday). Appellant's notice of appeal, filed on December 11, 2018, was untimely. It is well-settled that “the timely filing of a notice of appeal is a jurisdictional requirement.” Bowles v. Russell, 551 U.S. 205, 213-14 (2007). Accordingly, we lack jurisdiction over the appeal, and we do not reach the motions filed by Appellant.

(Id.)

         Currently pending before this Court are four motions filed by Plaintiff: (1) MOTION For Relief Of The Court's April 27, 2018 Order Granting Summary Judgment [134]; (2) MOTION To File, New Federal Judge, Chief Of Federal [136]; (3) MOTION For Oral Argument and Trial [137]; and MOTION For Oral Argument and Trial [138]. For the reasons expressed below, all of Plaintiff's motions will be denied.

         (1) MOTION For Relief Of The Court's April 27, 2018 Order Granting Summary Judgment [134]

         Plaintiff's motion for relief from the April 27, 2018 decision granting summary judgment in Defendants' favor, which Plaintiff brings pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b), presents two arguments. First, Plaintiff disagrees with the Court's finding that he was required to exhaust his administrative remedies prior to bringing suit, and requests that the Court reinstate his case. Second, Plaintiff requests that the Court render its decision void in order to reset the clock for his deadline to appeal because he did not receive notice of the Court's decision until after the 30-day appeal deadline had already expired. The Court does not find either argument has merit.

         Rule 60(b) provides:

(b) Grounds for Relief from a Final Judgment, Order, or Proceeding. On motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party or its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons:
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct ...

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