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Bell v. United States

United States District Court, D. Maryland

July 27, 2015

TODD BELL, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Respondent. Crim. Action No. RDB-09-219

MEMORANDUM OPINION

RICHARD D. BENNETT, District Judge.

On September 24th, 2013, this Court entered its Memorandum Opinion and Order denying Petitioner Todd Bell's ("Petitioner") motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Subsequently, Petitioner filed a Motion Pursuant to Rule 60(b)(1) (ECF No. 215) and, thereafter, a Motion for Judicial Review in the Interest of Justice (ECF No. 227). For the reasons stated below, Petitioner's Motions are DENIED.

BACKGROUND

On April 23, 2009, a grand jury in the District of Maryland charged Todd Bell by indictment with Hobbs Act robbery (Counts One and Three), in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113, and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence (Counts Two and Four), in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). A grand jury issued a Superseding Indictment (ECF No. 28) on September 3, 2009, which charged the Petitioner with conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery (Count One) in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a), Hobbs Act robbery (Counts Two and Four) in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951, and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence (Counts Three and Five), in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). Second Superseding Indictment, ECF No. 28.

On August 2, 2009, Petitioner pled guilty to Counts Three and Five of the Second Superseding Indictment pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(C), with an agreed-upon disposition of 32-years incarceration. Re-arraignment, ECF No. 118; Ct. Tr., Aug. 2, 2009, 12:15-25, ECF No. 134. The mandatory minimum sentence for Counts Three and Five combine to impose a composite sentence of 32-years incarceration. Ct. Tr., Aug. 2, 2009, 5:5-11, ECF No. 134.

On October 7, 2010, Petitioner attempted to withdraw his guilty plea. Petr.'s Mot. to Withdraw Guilty Plea, ECF No. 133. On October 12, 2010, however, Petitioner revoked his withdrawal at his sentencing hearing. Order Denying Petr.'s Mot. to Withdraw Guilty Plea, ECF No. 137. This Court sentenced Petitioner to the agreed sentence, which imposed 32 years of incarceration and five years of supervised release. J. of Petr.'s Criminal Case, ECF No. 138. The Petitioner appealed his sentence on October 31, 2010, but the Fourth Circuit affirmed. J. of Petr.'s Appeal, ECF No. 178.

On October 12, 2012, Petitioner filed a motion to vacate under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Petr.'s Mot. to Vacate, ECF No. 184. The Government filed its Response brief on July 26, 2013. The deadline for Petitioner's Reply brief was August 12, 2013. Petitioner did not file a reply within that time frame, but he mailed a Motion for Extension of Time (ECF No. 208) on September 18, 2013, and that Motion was entered on the Court's docket on September 23, 2013. Petitioner's Motion for Extension of Time was granted by order dated September 23, but the order was not docketed until September 24th. That same day this Court entered its Memorandum Opinion and Order denying Bell's § 2255 motion.

On December 2, 2013, Bell simultaneously appealed this Court's ruling on his § 2255 motion and filed a Motion Pursuant to Rule 60(b)(1) (ECF No. 215) seeking reconsideration based upon the timing of this Court's ruling. Bell's appeal on this Court's § 2255 ruling was dismissed.[1] See ECF Nos. 224. Subsequently, on July 10, 2014, Bell filed a Motion for Judicial Review in the Interest of Justice (ECF No. 227).

STANDARD OF REVIEW

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not expressly recognize motions for "reconsideration." Instead, Rule 59(e) authorizes a district court to alter, amend, or vacate a prior judgment, and Rule 60 provides for relief from judgment. See Katyle v. Penn Nat'l Gaming, Inc., 637 F.3d 462, 470 n.4 (4th Cir. 2011), cert. denied, 132 S.Ct. 115 (2011). As this Court recently explained in Cross v. Fleet Reserve Ass'n Pension Plan, Civ. No. WDQ-05-0001, 2010 WL 3609530, at *2 (D. Md. Sept. 14, 2010):

A party may move to alter or amend a judgment under Rule 59(e), or for relief from a judgment under Rule 60(b). See Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) & 60(b). A motion to alter or amend filed within 28 days of the judgment is analyzed under Rule 59(e); if the motion is filed later, Rule 60(b) controls. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e); MLC Auto., LLC v. Town of S. Pines, 532 F.3d 269, 280 (4th Cir. 2008); In re Burnley, 988 F.2d 1, 2-3 (4th Cir. 1992).

(footnote omitted).

This Court issued its opinion and accompanying order denying Petitioner's Motion to Vacate on September 24, 2013. See ECF Nos. 211 & 212. Petitioner's Motion Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(1) (ECF No. 215) was filed on December 2, 2013. Because Petitioner's Motion was filed more than 28 days after this Court's ruling, it was properly characterized as a motion pursuant to Rule 60.

Under Rule 60(b), the moving party must show: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence which by due diligence could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b); (3) fraud, misrepresentation or other misconduct of an adverse party; (4) the judgment is void; (5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged; or (6) any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b). The moving party "must clearly establish the grounds therefore to the satisfaction of the district court, " and those grounds "must be clearly substantiated by adequate proof." In re Burnley, 988 F.2d 1, 3 (4th Cir. 1992) (citations omitted). "Rule 60(b) provides extraordinary relief and may only be invoked under ...


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