MURRAY v. VAUGHAN, et al
MEMORANDUM REGARDING PETITIONER BRUCE MURRAY'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT PURSUANT TO RULE 60(B)(1,2,3,4) NEW EXCEPTION TO DEFAULT RULE ACTUAL INNONCENCE, ET AL.. SIGNED BY HONORABLE ANITA B. BRODY ON 6/24/15. 6/25/15 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED, E-MAILED.(ldb, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
DONALD VAUGHN, et al.,
June _24__, 2015
Anita B. Brody, J.
Presently pending is Petitioner Bruce Murray’s Motion for Reconsideration Relief [From]
Judgment Pursuant to Rule 60(b)(1, 2, 3, 4) New Exception to Default Rule Actual Innocence.
See ECF No. 45. Murray argues that he is entitled to relief pursuant to Martinez v. Ryan, 132 S.
Ct. 1309 (2012) and Cox v. Horn, 757 F.3d 113 (3d Cir. 2014). Because Murray’s Rule 60
motion is not timely, it will be denied.
Rule 60(b) provides, in relevant part, that relief from judgment may be granted on the
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered
evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time
to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b); (3) fraud (whether previously called
intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party; (4)
the judgment is void; (5) the judgment has been satisfied, released or discharged;
it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or applying it
prospectively is no longer equitable; or (6) any other reason that justifies relief.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). All motions filed pursuant to Rule 60(b) must be made within a
reasonable time. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(c)(1); Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545 U.S. 524, 535 (2005).
What constitutes a reasonable time depends on the circumstances of each case. See Delzona
Corp. v. Sacks, 265 F.2d 157, 159 (3d Cir. 1959).
In Martinez v. Ryan, the Supreme Court recognized that a claim of ineffective assistance
of counsel at the initial collateral review stage could, in some circumstances, excuse procedural
default of a petitioner’s claim and allow for federal habeas review. See 132 S. Ct. at 1320.
Recognizing that Martinez effected an important change in the Supreme Court’s habeas corpus
jurisprudence, the Third Circuit in Cox provided guidance for district courts considering
Martinez-based Rule 60(b) motions in habeas cases. See Cox, 757 F.3d at 115-16.
In Cox, the Third Circuit made clear that “one of the critical factors in the equitable and
case-dependent nature of the 60(b)(6) analysis . . . is whether the 60(b)(6) motion under review
was brought within a reasonable time of the Martinez decision.” Id. It noted that “unless a
petitioner’s motion for 60(b)(6) relief based on Martinez was brought within a reasonable time of
that decision, the motion will fail.” Id. at 116. The panel did not provide a specific time frame
that it deemed reasonable, stating only that the petitioner's motion, which was filed roughly 90
days after the Martinez decision, “[was] close enough to that decision to be deemed reasonable.”
By contrast, Murray’s motion is untimely. The Supreme Court issued its opinion in
Martinez on March 20, 2012. See 132 S. Ct. at 1309. Murray filed his Rule 60(b) motion on
January 9, 2015, almost three years after Martinez was decided. See ECF No. 45. This delay is
far greater than the 90-day period the Third Circuit held reasonable in Cox, and precludes relief
pursuant to 60(b). See, e.g., Gatewood v. Attorney Gen. of Pa., No. 00-6116, 2015 WL 3466856,
at *2 (E.D. Pa. June 1, 2015) (finding 60(b) motion pursuant to Martinez untimely when it was
filed April 8, 2015); Ming v. Tennis, No. 06-1673, 2015 WL 3448599, at *2 (E.D. Pa. May 28,
2015) (finding 60(b) motion pursuant to Martinez untimely when it was filed May 5, 2015);
Joseph v. Beard, No. 02-2744, 2015 WL 1443970, at *5 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 27, 2015) (finding 60(b)
motion untimely filed because petitioner “wait[ed] more than two years after Martinez to file”).
Murray fails to present any extraordinary circumstances that justify his delay.
A certificate of appealability shall issue only if a petitioner establishes “that jurists of
reason would find it debatable whether the petition states a valid claim of the denial of a
constitutional right and that jurists of reason would find it debatable whether the district court
was correct in its procedural ruling.” Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). Murray has
not made such a showing. No certificate of appealability will issue.
___s/ANITA B. BRODY_____________
ANITA B. BRODY, J.
Copies VIA ECF on _________ to:
Copies MAILED on _______ to:
O:\ABB 2015\L - Z\Murray v Vaughn Memo denying 60b.docx
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