Uncapher v. Berghuis
OPINION AND ORDER denying 41 Motion for Relief from Judgment. Signed by District Judge John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case No. 5:08-CV-10583
HONORABLE JOHN CORBETT O’MEARA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE MOTION
FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT FILED PURSUANT TO RULE 60(b)
Kenneth Uncapher, (“Petitioner”), filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his conviction for one count of firstdegree murder and one count of second-degree murder. After determining that this was a
successive challenge by petitioner to these convictions, the Court transferred the case to
the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit for petitioner to obtain
authorization pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A) to file a successive petition for writ
of habeas corpus. Uncapher v. Berghuis, No. 5:08-CV-10583, 2015 WL 778035 (E.D.
Mich. Feb. 24, 2015). The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
subsequently denied petitioner permission to file a successive habeas petition. In Re
Uncapher, No. 15-1239 (6th Cir. Sept. 8, 2015). Petitioner then filed a motion with the
Sixth Circuit to authorize the filing of a second habeas petition, which was denied. In Re
Uncapher, No. 16-1846 (6th Cir. Feb. 15, 2017).
Petitioner has now filed a motion for relief from judgment, in which he argues that
this Court, and by implication, the Sixth Circuit, erred in treating his current habeas
petition as a successive habeas petition because petitioner’s earlier 2008 habeas action
was misfiled as a habeas petition by the United States District Court for the Western
District of Michigan, when petitioner had not intended to file that case as a habeas
petition but as a motion for writ of jurisdiction brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1311, 22
U.S.C. § 611 and 101. Petitioner argues that the Western District erred in
recharacterizing this action as a habeas petition filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 without
giving petitioner prior notice of their intent to do so, thus, petitioner’s first action should
not count as a habeas petition that would render petitioner’s current petition a second or
successive habeas petition. Petitioner asks this Court to vacate its earlier order and
adjudicate the claims raised in his petition.
A district court lacks the authority to reinstate a habeas petitioner’s second or
successive petition for writ of habeas corpus after the Court of Appeals declines to grant
petitioner leave to file such a petition. See White v. Carter, 27 F. App’x. 312, 313-14 (6th
Cir. 2001). Therefore, this Court is without authority to grant petitioner relief pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b) from the Sixth Circuit’s refusal to grant petitioner permission to file a
successive habeas petition. See Sullivan v. Sherry, No. 2007 WL 2571966, * 1 (E.D.
Mich. Sept. 5, 2007). Petitioner made the Sixth Circuit aware in his motion for
authorization that he had filed his action in the Western District of Michigan under 28
U.S.C. § 1311, 22 U.S.C. § 611, 612, and 4 U.S.C. § 101 and that the Western District
had recharacterized his action as a habeas petition brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 before
dismissing it. See In Re Uncapher, No. 16-1846, Dkt. # 1, p. 14, ¶¶ 2 and 3. By denying
petitioner’s motion for authorization, the Sixth Circuit clearly rejected petitioner’s
argument. This Court cannot revisit the argument or reinstate the habeas petition.
IT IS ORDERED that the motion for relief from judgment [Dkt. # 41] is
s/John Corbett O’Meara
United States District Judge
Date: April 21, 2017
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was served upon the parties
of record on this date, April 21, 2017, using the ECF system and/or ordinary mail.
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