Meyer v. Haeg et al
ORDER denying 476 Motion for Relief from Judgment. (Written Opinion) Signed by Judge Susan Richard Nelson on 4/21/17. (JRT)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
Harley Dean Meyer,
Case No. 15-cv-2564 (SRN/HB)
Thomas Haeg, Hennepin County Referee,
in his official capacity, et al.,
Harley Dean Meyer, 96 Moo 3 Vibavadee Randsit Road, Laksi, Bangkok, Thailand
10210, pro se.
Andrew Tweeten, Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, 445 Minnesota Street, Suite
1100, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101, Richard S. Reeves, 3944 Zenith Avenue South,
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55410, David Grobeck, 5821 Blaisdell Avenue South,
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55419, Ronald S. Stadler, Mallery & Zimmerman, S.C., 731
North Jackson Street, Suite 900, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202, Stacy A. Broman, Laura
J. Hanson, Meagher & Geer, PLLP, 33 South Sixth Street, Suite 4400, Minneapolis,
Minnesota 55402, Bryon Glen Ascheman, Burke & Thomas, PLLP, 3900 Northwoods
Drive, Suite 200, St. Paul, Minnesota 55112, Virginia K. Ekola, 3944 Zenith Avenue
South, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55410, Amie E. Penny Sayler, Jonathan P. Norrie,
Bassford Remele, P.A., 33 South Sixth Street, Suite 3800, Minneapolis, Minnesota
55402, Angela B. Brandt, David M. Wilk, Larson King LLP, 30 East Seventh Street,
Suite 2800, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101, Ann-Marie Anderson, Wright Welker & Pauole,
PLC, 10429 South Fifty-first Street, Suite 285, Phoenix, Arizona 85044, Steven C.
Kerbaugh, Steven M. Phillips, Anthony Ostlund Baer & Louwagie P.A., 90 South
Seventh Street, Suite 3600, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402, Barry G. Vermeer, Jennifer
M. Waterworth, Gislason & Hunter, 701 Xenia Avenue South, Suite 500, Minneapolis,
Minnesota 55416, Lindsey A. Streicher, Patrick M. Biren, Brownson & Linnihan, PLLP,
225 South Sixth Street, Suite 4800, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402, Erin M. Secord,
United States Attorney’s Office, 300 South Fourth Street, Suite 600, Minneapolis,
Minnesota 55415, Ashley M. DeMinck, and Ellen B. Silverman, Hinshaw & Culbertson
LLP, 333 South Seventh Street, Suite 2000, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402, for
SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, United States District Judge
This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Harley Dean Meyer’s Motion to
Set Aside Order and Judgment in a Civil Case [Doc. No. 476]. Meyer requests that the
Court set aside two orders [Doc. Nos. 427, 432] and two related judgments [Doc. Nos.
429, 433] pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 60(b)(3) and 60(d)(3). After
careful review of Meyer’s submissions, Defendants’ responses, and the relevant case law,
the Court concludes that the requested relief is procedurally improper and substantively
unwarranted. Accordingly, Meyer’s motion is denied.
The general facts pertaining to this matter are set forth in previous rulings from this
court, and are incorporated herein by reference. See, e.g., Meyer v. Haeg, No. 15-cv-2564
(SRN/HB), 2016 WL 4153611, at *1-3 (D. Minn. Aug. 5, 2016). Briefly stated, this action
arises generally from claims related to a child custody dispute that occurred in 2003. See id.
at *2. Meyer had divorced his wife in 2001, and they were awarded joint legal and physical
custody of their son, J.M. See id. Shortly thereafter, however, Meyer and his wife began
disputing the terms of custody, leading to litigation in Hennepin County Family Court.
Numerous hearings were held related to the dispute in 2002 and 2003, at which Meyer was
either present in person or represented by counsel. See id. Ultimately, Meyer’s wife was
awarded sole custody of J.M., and Meyer was ordered to pay child support. Id.
After the 2003 custody decision, Meyer’s employers at times garnished his wages to
satisfy his child support obligations, and banks where Meyer held accounts also levied those
accounts for the same purpose. See id. at *3. According to Meyer, these levies caused him
numerous harms, including credit and tax difficulties, and placement in a “passport denial
program.” See id.
Meyer now contends that all aspects of the 2003 custody decision, and the hearing
preceding it, were fraudulent, procedurally deficient, involved negligence, and amounted to
a civil conspiracy against him. See id. As a result, Meyer brought state and federal law
claims against hundreds of individuals and entities (e.g., his former attorneys, judges and
referees in the Minnesota state court system, the federal agencies involved with his alleged
passport and tax issues, former employers, administrators at the high school J.M. attended)
who he alleges were responsible for the 2003 custody decision, or relied on that decision to
take actions that adversely impacted him. See id. In general, the vast majority of Meyer’s
claims allege that the Defendants’ acts relating to or relying on the 2003 custody decision
were violations of his civil rights, Minnesota state law, and various federal laws and
regulations. See id.
In response to Meyer’s action, most defendants moved for dismissal on various
grounds, including lack of personal jurisdiction, failure to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted, and insufficient service of process. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2), (5), (6). As
relevant to this matter, defendants’ motions were referred to United States Magistrate Judge
Hildy Bowbeer for a report and recommendation (“R&R”). See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The
magistrate judge duly submitted two R&Rs covering defendants’ motions on June 27, 2016
[Doc. No. 292] and October 5, 2016 [Doc. No. 283], recommending that defendants’
motions be granted. Meyer timely objected to both R&Rs. On review, this Court overruled
his objections and entered orders dismissing the Complaint as to all relevant defendants.
(See Aug. 5, 2016 Order [Doc. No. 341] (as amended by Dec. 9, 2016 Order [Doc. No.
432]); Nov. 21, 2016 Order [Doc. No. 427].) Judgments were subsequently entered by the
Clerk of Court on November 22, 2016 [Doc. No. 249] and December 13, 2016 [Doc. No.
Meyer now moves the Court to set aside the relevant orders and judgments pursuant
to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 60(b)(3) and 60(d)(3), “on the grounds of fraud,” and
“on the grounds that the fraud prevented the Plaintiff from fully and fairly presenting his
An initial question confronting the Court is whether Meyer’s Motion, though styled
as one for relief from a judgment or order under Rule 60, properly invokes that rule. Rule
60(b)(3) provides that “[o]n motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party . . . from a
final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons: (3) fraud (whether
previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing
party.” Rule 60(d)(3) likewise indicates that a court retains power to “set aside a judgment
for fraud on the court.”
Here, Meyer appears to allege that this Court’s orders and
judgments should be set aside under Rule 60 because various orders and judgments entered
in the state court case were “forgeries,” meaning that this Court’s orders were, in a sense,
procured by fraud.
However, as this Court has previously recognized, Rule 60 does not apply to all
orders or judgments—rather, it applies only to those that are “final.” See John v. MainGate,
Inc., No. 10-cv-4902 (SRN/JJK), 2014 WL 3805662, at *2 (D. Minn. Aug. 1, 2014). As the
Eighth Circuit has explained, an order or judgment is only final if an appeal may lie from
that order or judgment. See Auto Servs. Co. v. KPMG, LLP, 537 F.3d 853, 856 (8th Cir.
2008). Except in certain limited circumstances not present here,1 an order dismissing fewer
than all of the defendants or claims does not give rise to a right of appeal. See id.; see also
St. Mary’s Health Ctr. v. Bowen, 821 F.2d 493, 498 (8th Cir. 1987) (“Rule 60(b) applies
only to relief from a final judgment or order.”). Because this Court has not dismissed all
defendants in this action, Meyer’s Rule 60 motion is premature. (See also Dec. 21, 2016
Order [Doc. No. 440] (discussing distinction between final and non-final judgments).)
Accordingly, the Court will treat Meyer’s motion as a “motion to reconsider” its
previous orders and judgments. See John, 2014 WL 3805662, at *3 (noting that court has
“inherent authority” to convert the form of a motion). Such motions are not expressly
provided for by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. By local rule, this Court has declared
that “[e]xcept with the court’s prior permission, a party must not file a motion to
reconsider.” D. Minn. LR 7.1(j) (emphasis added). The rule further requires that a party
seeking permission to file a motion to reconsider must first “file and serve a letter of no
more than two pages requesting such permission.” Id. Permission to file a motion to
reconsider will only be granted where a party demonstrates “compelling circumstances”
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b) (decreeing that “the court may direct entry of a final judgment
as to one or more, but fewer than all, claims or parties only if the court expressly
determines that there is no just reason for delay”). No such express determination has
been made here. See also 28 U.S.C. § 1292 (setting forth grounds for interlocutory
justifying reconsideration. Id.
Here, Meyer has not requested permission to file a motion to reconsider in keeping
with the requirements of this Court’s rules. More pertinently, the Court finds no new
arguments (as opposed to arguments already presented in previous filings) in his supporting
memorandum to justify the sort of “compelling circumstances” requiring reconsideration.
Accordingly, because Meyer’s motion is both procedurally and substantively deficient, his
re-styled Motion to Reconsider is denied.
Based on the foregoing, and all the files, records, and proceedings herein, IT IS
HEREBY ORDERED that:
Plaintiff’s Motion to Set Aside Order and Judgment in a Civil Case [Doc. No.
476] is DENIED.
Dated: April 21, 2017
s/Susan Richard Nelson
SUSAN RICHARD NELSON
United States District Judge
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