Barnes v. Hook
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DENYING 63 Plaintiff's motion to reopen (c/m to Plaintiff 12/9/13 sat). Signed by Chief Judge Deborah K. Chasanow on 12/9/13. (sat, Chambers)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
JUAN SYLVESTER BARNES
Civil Action No. DKC 08-3486
DETECTIVE BRIAN HOOK
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
motion for summary judgment, Erin Miller was appointed as pro
settlement, and a settlement conference was held on March 12,
On the same date, the court was advised that the parties
had settled, and a settlement order was issued pursuant to Local
Rule 111, dismissing the action “without prejudice to the right
of a party to move for good cause within 30 days to reopen this
action if settlement is not consummated.”
dismissal shall be with prejudice.”
(ECF No. 36).
On October 30, 2013, Plaintiff submitted what appeared to
The case was briefly reopened on December 10, 2010, for
the purpose of considering Ms. Miller’s fee petition, which was
contemplated by the parties’ settlement agreement.
[his] 6th Amendm[e]nt rights[.]”
(ECF No. 61).
By an order
whether he intended “to request to reopen the case, which was
settled, in order to attempt to seek further damages,” or was
“seeking to make a claim against the attorneys, which would
response, received by the clerk on November 22, reflects that he
intends to do both.
(ECF No. 63).
Specifically, he appears to
seek to invalidate the settlement agreement, based on what he
views as deficiencies in Ms. Miller’s representation, so that he
may continue to pursue his claim for monetary damages against
Insofar as Plaintiff seeks to reopen this case, his motion
The Rule 111 order provided a limited right to
move to reopen within thirty days in the event that settlement
was not consummated.
Thereafter, the dismissal automatically
became “with prejudice.”
(ECF No. 36).
There is no question
that Plaintiff’s settlement was consummated and no motion to
reopen was filed within thirty days.
Thus, the dismissal was
final and Plaintiff’s only recourse could be through a motion
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b).
proceeding” for any of six enumerated reasons.
reasonable time,” Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(c), and Plaintiff did not file
his initial motion in this case until over three and one-half
years after the Rule 111 order was entered.
The record reflects
that he was aware of the basis of his motion shortly after the
date of settlement and he offers no explanation for the extended
delay in filing.
See McLawhorn v. John W. Daniel & Co., Inc.,
924 F.2d 535, 538 (4th Cir. 1991) (“Motions under Rule 60(b) must
be brought within a reasonable time and the movant must make a
showing of timeliness”) (internal marks and citation omitted).
Under these circumstances, it cannot be said that Plaintiff’s
motion was filed within a reasonable time.
See Moolenaar v.
Gov’t of Virgin Islands, 822 F.2d 1342, 1348 (3d Cir. 1987)
(Rule 60(b)(6) motion brought two years after the underlying
Insofar as Plaintiff seeks to bring a malpractice action
See Hopper v. Clemens, 172 F.3d 863, 1999 WL 18396,
at *1 (4th Cir. 1999) (“Relief in a civil case on the basis of
between attorney and client and not within the jurisdiction of
this Court in the present case”);
Howlette v. Hall, Estill,
Hardwick, Gable, Golden & Nelson, P.C., Civ. No. CCB-09-600,
2011 WL 310264, at *1 (D.Md. Jan. 28, 2011) (“In Maryland, legal
malpractice may sound in either tort or contract” and “[t]he
essence of the action is the negligent breach of the contractual
duty”) (internal marks and citations omitted).
Accordingly, it is this 9th day of December, 2013, by the
Plaintiff’s correspondence received November 22, 2013
(ECF No. 63), construed as a motion to reopen, BE, and the same
hereby IS, DENIED; and
Memorandum Opinion and Order directly to Plaintiff, along with a
form complaint for filing a new action, and to Plaintiff’s pro
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW
United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?