Anderson v. True et al
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO VOID JUDGMENT 74 . Signed by District Judge Gershwin A. Drain. (TBan)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 15-cv-11703
B. TRUE ET AL.,
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
GERSHWIN A. DRAIN
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
DAVID R. GRAND
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO VOID JUDGMENT 
Dexter Anderson is a federal prisoner located in Oxford, Wisconsin. On May
11, 2015, Mr. Anderson filed a complaint alleging that prison officials violated his
First Amendment rights by transferring him a different federal correctional
institution. On March 20, 2017, the Court granted summary judgment against Mr.
Anderson. Pending before the Court is Mr. Anderson’s Motion to Void the Court’s
Judgment. See Dkt. No. 74. For the reasons that follow, the Court will DENY Mr.
II. Relevant Factual Background
The original dispositive motion cutoff date in this case was April 18, 2016.
Dkt. No. 22. On April 15, 2016 the Defendants filed a motion to extend the
dispositive motion cutoff date to May 18, 2016. Dkt. No. 35. The Court granted that
motion. Dkt. No. 36. On May 18, 2016, the Defendants again asked to extend the
dispositive motion cutoff date to June 1, 2016 (hereinafter “Defendants’ Second
Motion to Extend”). Dkt. No. 41. On May 19, 2016, the Court granted the
Defendants’ Second Motion to Extend. Dkt. No. 42.
On May 26, 2016 Plaintiff filed a Motion in Opposition to the Defendants’
Second Motion to Extend (hereinafter “Plaintiff’s Opposition”).1 See Dkt. No. 50.
On June 1, 2016, the Court received the Defendants’ Motion to for Summary
Judgment. Dkt. No. 46.
On November 30, 2016, Magistrate Judge Grand issued a Report and
Recommendation to grant the Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment. Dkt. No.
66. On March 20, 2017, the Court accepted Magistrate Judge Grand’s Report and
Recommendation. Dkt. Nos. 72–73. On April 14, 2017 Plaintiff filed a Motion to
Void the Judgment pursuant to Rule 60(b)(4). Dkt. No. 74.
According to the Plaintiff, because the Court accepted the Report and
Recommendation before ruling on Plaintiff’s Opposition to the Defendants’ Second
Plaintiff’s motion was received on June 1, 2016, but not entered on the docket until
June 6, 2016. However, pursuant to the “prison mailbox rule,” “a pro se prisoner’s
complaint is deemed filed when it is handed over to prison officials for mailing to
the court.” Brand v. Motley, 526 F.3d 921, 925 (6th Cir. 2008). Accordingly,
Plaintiff’s motion is deemed filed on May 26, 2016. Dkt. No. 50, p. 4 (Pg. ID 594).
Motion to Extend, the Court deprived him of an opportunity to be heard and the
judgment must be voided.
III. Discussion and Analysis
“Rule 60(b)(4) applies only in the rare instance where a judgment is premised
either on a certain type of jurisdictional error or on a violation of due process that
deprives a party of notice or the opportunity to be heard.” United Student Aid Funds,
Inc. v. Espinosa, 559 U.S. 260, 271, 130 S. Ct. 1367, 1377, 176 L. Ed. 2d 158 (2010)
Mr. Anderson does not argue the Court lacked an arguable basis for
jurisdiction. Instead, Mr. Anderson argues that “[b]ecause the Court did not allow
the plaintiff to be heard on his [Opposition to the Defendants’ Second Motion to
Extend], the judgment and order  must be voided[.]” Dkt. No. 74, p. 2 (Pg. ID 872).
Mr. Anderson is incorrect.
1. Mr. Anderson was not Denied an Opportunity to be Heard
First, pursuant the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the court may extend
time “without motion or notice” if a request is made before time expires. See FED.
R. CIV. P. 6(b)(1)(A). The Local Rules for the Eastern District of Michigan further
provide that “[a] person against whom an ex parte enlargement of time has been
granted may immediately move for a dissolution of the order granting enlargement.”
L.R. 7.1(g)(3). The Local Rules and due process provide a meaningful opportunity
to be heard, but do not guarantee a successful outcome. See RBIII, L.P. v. City of
San Antonio, 713 F.3d 840, 845 n.4 (5th Cir. 2013) (“The Due Process Clause
entitles [plaintiff] to an opportunity to heard, not a successful outcome.”); Pugel v.
Bd. of Trustees of Univ. of Illinois, 378 F.3d 659, 666 (7th Cir. 2004) (“Due process
did not entitle [plaintiff] to a favorable result based on this testimony, only to a
meaningful opportunity to present it.”); Ctr. for Powell Crossing, LLC v. City of
Powell, Ohio, 173 F. Supp. 3d 639, 665 (S.D. Ohio 2016) (“Procedural due process
guarantees [plaintiff] only ‘an opportunity to be heard, not to a successful
outcome.’ ”) (quoting RBIII, L.P., 713 F.3d at 845).
Here, the Court complied with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the
Local Rules. Mr. Anderson had a meaningful way to oppose the Defendants’ Second
Motion to Extend. However, due process and an opportunity to be heard does not
require this Court to rule in his favor.
2. The Court Implicitly Overruled Mr. Anderson’s Opposition
It is important to note that Mr. Anderson’s Opposition was moot on arrival.
Defendants filed their Second Motion to Extend on May 18. Magistrate Judge Grand
granted that motion the next day, May 19. Although Mr. Anderson’s objection is
considered filed on May 26, 2016, that is a legal fiction. Brand v. Motley, 526 F.3d
921, 925 (6th Cir. 2008) (“[A] pro se prisoner’s complaint is deemed filed when it
is handed over to prison officials for mailing to the court.”). In reality, the Court did
not become aware of Mr. Anderson’s objection until June 6, 2016—five days after
the Defendants had already filed their motion for summary judgment.2
Nevertheless, the Court implicitly overruled Mr. Anderson’s objection on
June 29, 2016. Contemporaneously with its Motion for Summary Judgment, the
Defendants filed a Motion for leave to file a thirty-six page brief. Dkt. No. 45. By
granting the Defendants’ Motion to exceed the page limit, the Court accepted the
Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment, albeit thirty-six pages and submitted
on June 1, 2016. Dkt. No. 60.
Even if the Court somehow erred by not explicitly ruling on Plaintiff’s
Opposition before rendering judgment, such error is not tantamount to a denial of
due process. “The fundamental requirement of due process is the opportunity to be
heard ‘at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner.’ ” Mathews v. Eldridge,
424 U.S. 319, 333, 96 S. Ct. 893, 902, 47 L. Ed. 2d 18 (1976). Here, the Court did
not deny either side a time extension; it granted three time extensions for the
Plaintiff, see Dkt. Nos. 32, 57, 70, and three time extensions for the Defendants, see
Dkt. Nos. 20, 36, 42. The Court rendered judgment in this case based on the merits
It appears that Mr. Anderson sent his Opposition to Ann Arbor, rather than Detroit.
Though received in Ann Arbor on June 1, 2016. This Court did not become aware
of the Opposition until June 6, 2016, when Plaintiff’s Opposition was entered on the
of Plaintiff’s claims rather than pleading technicalities or arbitrary deadlines.
Therefore both sides were afforded a meaningful opportunity to be heard.
For the foregoing reasons, Mr. Anderson has failed to show that this Court
lacked jurisdiction or that it acted in a manner inconsistent with due process that
deprived him notice or the opportunity to be heard. See United Student Aid Funds,
Inc., 559 U.S. at 270. Therefore, Mr. Anderson’s Motion to Void Judgment pursuant
to Rule 60(b)(4)  is DENIED.
Dated: August 3, 2017
/s/Gershwin A Drain
HON. GERSHWIN A. DRAIN
United States District Court Judge
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was mailed to the attorneys
of record on this date, August 3, 2017, by electronic and/or ordinary mail.
Case Manager, (313) 234-5213
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