Couture v. Berkebile et al
ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 20 in full. A certificate of appealability is DENIED. Signed by Judge Dana L. Christensen on 10/20/2017. Mailed to Couture (TAG)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
OCT 2 0 2017
Clerk, U.S Diatrict Court
District Of Montana
JAMES A. COUTURE,
DAVID BERKEBILE; ATTORNEY
GENERAL OF THE STATE OF
On September 19, 2017, United States Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch
entered his Findings and Recommendations, recommending that Plaintiff James A.
Couture's ("Couture") motion for relief under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6) be denied.
Couture timely filed an objection to the findings and recommendations, and so is
entitled to de novo review of those findings and recommendations to which he
specifically objects. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b )(1 )(C). This Court reviews for clear error
those findings and recommendations to which no party objects. See McDonnell
Douglas Corp. v. Commodore Bus. Mach., Inc., 656 F.2d 1309, 1313 (9th Cir.
1981); Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149 (1985). Clear error exists ifthe Court is
left with a "definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed."
United States v. Syrax, 235 F.3d 422, 427 (9th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted).
Because the parties are familiar with the factual and procedural background,
it will not be restated here.
Having reviewed Couture's objection, the Court finds that he fails to
articulate any specific issue with Judge Lynch's reasoning, and instead explains
that he was unaware of the "extraordinary circumstances" standard under Fed. R.
Civ. P. 60(b)(6). Couture explains that he did not appeal this Court's prior ruling
on his habeas petition because he "didn't know what, or understand what [he] was
reading and interpreting. That is why [he] elected not to appeal." (Doc. 21 at 2.)
Couture states that he has presented all evidence he had before him and proceeded
with due diligence in this case. Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6), a court may
exercise its equitable power to reconsider its judgment but it "requires a showing
of 'extraordinary circumstances."' Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545 U.S. 524, 536 (2005).
The extraordinary circumstance must be "beyond his control," Community Dental
Servs. v. Tani, 282 F. 3d 1164, 1168 (9th Cir. 2002), and "[R]elief may not be had
where the party seeking reconsideration has ignored normal legal recourses."
United States v. Alpine Land & Reservoir Co., 984 F. 2d 1047, 1049 (9th Cir.
1993). Couture has not shown that something beyond his control prevented him
from appealing this Court's prior ruling. He simply did not appeal.
Accordingly, the Court reviews Judge Lynch's Findings and
Recommendations for clear error and, finding none,
IT IS ORDERED that Judge Lynch's Findings and Recommendations
(Doc. 20) are ADOPTED IN FULL. Couture's Motion (Doc. 15), which the Court
has construed as a motion for relief under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6), is DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall enter by separate
document a judgment in favor of Respondents and against Petitioner.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a certificate of appealability is DENIED.
20~ay of October, 2
Dana L. Christensen, Chief Judge
United States District Court
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