KAPLAN v. HOLDER et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER REOPENING CASE. Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration, ECF No. 31, is DENIED, and the Clerk shall close the case. Signed by Judge Claire C. Cecchi on 9/28/17. (sr, )(N/M)
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
RICHARD P. KAPLAN,
Civil Action No. 14-0830 (CCC)
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ERIC HOLDER, JR., et a!.,
Plaintiff is proceeding, in forma pauperis, with a civil rights complaint.
previously dismissed the case after finding that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted. (ECF No. 29 at 5.) Specifically, the Court found that the malicious
prosecution claims asserted in the Amended Complaint failed because Plaintiff pleaded guilty to
the offenses challenged. (Id.) Presently before the Court is Plaintiffs motion for reconsideration,
(ECF No. 31).
Because Plaintiff filed his motion for reconsideration within 28 days of the Court’s
dismissal, the Court construes the motion as one filed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e).
The scope of a motion for reconsideration of a final judgment under Rule 59(e) is extremely
limited. Blystone v. Horn, 664 F.3d 397, 415 (3d Cir. 2011). It requires the moving party to set
forth the factual matters or controlling legal authorities it believes the Court overlooked when
rendering its initial decision. Id.; see L.Civ.R. 7.1(i) (governing motions for reconsideration). To
prevail on a motion for reconsideration under Rule 59(e), the movant must show “(1) an
intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not
available when the court [rendered the judgment in question]; or (3) the need to correct a clear
error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice.” Id.; see US. ex rel. Schumann v. Astrazeneca
Pharm. L.F., 769 F.3d 837, 848-49 (3d Cir. 2014). To prevail under the third prong, the movant
must show that “dispositive factual matters or controlling decisions of law were brought to the
court’s attention but not considered.” Mitchell v. Twp. of Willingboro Municipality Gov ‘t, 913 F.
Supp. 2d 62, 77-78 (D.N.J. 2012) (quotation and citation omitted). The standard of review
involved in a motion for reconsideration is high and relief is to be granted sparingly. Id. at 78.
Here, Plaintiff raises no valid arguments for reconsideration. In his motion, Plaintiff again
makes numerous factual allegations regarding why he believes his criminal prosecutions were
improper, but he does not address the central holding of the Court’s dismissal—that he pled guilty
and admitted to factual guilt. See Menna v. New York, 423 U.S. 61, 62 n.2 (1975) (“A counseled
plea of guilty is an admission of factual guilt so reliable that, where voluntary and intelligent, it
quite validly removes the issue of factual guilt from the case.”). To the extent Plaintiff wishes to
challenge the propriety of his guilty pleas, a civil rights action is not the proper forum to do so; it
is not an alternative forum for Plaintiff to retry his criminal cases. See Heck v. Humphrey, 512
U.S. 477 (1994); Lora—Fena v. fBI, 529 F.3d 503, 506 n.2 (3d Cir. 2008). If Plaintiff wishes to
challenge his guilty pleas, he must do so through a federal habeas action under 28 U.S.C.
indeed, Plaintiff has filed
§ 2255 motions in both of his criminal matters, and they were both
dismissed. See Kaplan v. United States, No. 14-1007, ECF No. 12 (D.N.J. entered Mar. 18, 2015);
Kaplan v. United States, No. 13-2554, ECF No. 4 (D.N.J. entered July 24, 2013).
For the purposes of this civil matter, the Court must treat Plaintiffs guilty pleas as valid.
Heck, 512 U.S. at 487. As the Court stated in its dismissal, the existence of the guilty pleas
forecloses Plaintiffs malicious prosecution claims. (ECF No. 29 at 5.) As such, the motion for
reconsideration is denied.
IT IS therefore on this
ORDERED that the Clerk shall REOPEN the case by making a new and separate docket
entry reading “CIVIL CASE REOPENED”; it is further
ORDERED that Plaintiffs motion for reconsideration, ECF No. 31, is hereby DENIED;
and it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk shall serve a copy of this Order upon Plaintiff by regular mail,
and shall CLOSE the file.
Claire C. Cecchi, U.S.D.J.
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