James v. Ozmint
ORDER denying Petitioner's 130 MOTION to Alter Judgment. Signed by Chief Judge Terry L Wooten on 7/17/2017. (mwal)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Isiah James, Jr. # 96883
Warden, Ridgeland Correctional
Civil Action No.: 1:08-cv-02256-TLW
Petitioner Isiah James, Jr., a prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a Motion to Set Aside
Judgment pursuant to Rule 60(b) on April 13, 2017. ECF No. 130. Petitioner challenges the
Court’s entry of Summary Judgment for the Respondent on September 13, 2010 and requests
relief from the November 17, 2016 Order denying his previous Rule 60 motion. Id.
Petitioner filed a pro se Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254
on June 18, 2008. ECF No. 1. Respondent filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on October 16,
2009. ECF Nos. 41–47. Because Petitioner is proceeding pro se, the Court issued an order on or
about October 20, 2009, pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975),
advising Petitioner of the Respondent’s Motion for Summary Judgment and the possible
consequences if he failed to respond adequately. ECF No. 48. Petitioner filed a Response in
Opposition to Respondent’s Motion, ECF No. 50, and a Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF
No. 51, both on November 10, 2009. On August 4, 2010, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report
and Recommendation (“the Report”) recommending that Respondent’s Motion for Summary
Judgment be granted and that Petitioner’s Motion for Summary Judgment be denied. ECF No.
79. Petitioner objected to the Report on August 20, 2010. ECF No. 67. On September 13, 2010,
this Court accepted the Report, overruled Petitioner’s objections, granted the Respondent’s
Motion for Summary Judgment, and denied Petitioner’s Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF
Petitioner filed a Motion to Alter Order on September 24, 2010, ECF No. 72, seeking
alteration of the Court’s September 2010 Order Ruling on the Report and Recommendation, ECF
No. 69. Respondent filed a Response in Opposition to the Motion to Alter Order on October 1,
2010. ECF No. 74. By Order docketed on October 12, 2010, the Court denied Petitioner’s
Motion to Alter Order. ECF No. 75. Petitioner appealed, and the Fourth Circuit dismissed the
appeal and declined to issue a certificate of appealability. ECF No. 94.
Approximately one year later on December 13, 2012, Petitioner filed a “Motion to Set
Aside” the September 2010 Order. ECF No. 95. That motion was denied on January 28, 2013.
ECF No. 97. Petitioner then filed a Notice of Appeal of the 2013 order denying the Motion to Set
Aside. ECF No. 103. The Fourth Circuit declined to issue a certificate of appealability and
dismissed the appeal on June 20, 2013. ECF No. 117.
Petitioner filed a second “Motion to Alter” the September 2010 Judgment. ECF No. 99.
On March 13, 2013, the Court denied the motion. ECF No. 108. Petitioner appealed and the
appeal was terminated. ECF Nos. 112, 118. Thereafter Petitioner filed two motions pursuant to
Rule 60(b) asking that the Court vacate its September 2010 Order and requesting that Judge
Wooten and a magistrate judge be disqualified. ECF No. 119, 120. The motions were denied,
ECF No. 123, and the appeal of the denial was dismissed by the Fourth Circuit, ECF No. 131.
This matter is now before the Court for consideration of Petitioner’s April 13, 2017
motion, filed over six years after the Court denied his § 2254 petition. ECF No. 130. Petitioner
seeks to vacate the Court’s November 17, 2016 Order denying his previous Rule 60 motions. Id.
Petitioner’s motion seeks “relief from judgment” pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 60(b)(5) and (6). ECF No. 130. The basis of Petitioner’s Rule 60(b) motion is not
entirely clear, but he requests relief from the November 2016 judgment.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(5)-(6) provides:
Grounds for Relief from a Final Judgment, Order, or Proceeding. On motion and
just terms, the court may relieve a party or its legal representative from a final
judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons:
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
any other reason that justifies relief.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). After careful review, the Court finds that Petitioner’s Rule 60(b) motion is
meritless and untimely and he is therefore not entitled to relief.
Regarding timing, a Rule 60(b) motion must be filed “within a reasonable time—and for
reasons (1), (2), and (3) no more than a year after the entry of the judgment or order or the date
of the proceeding.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(c)(1); see also Wadley v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, 296 F.
App’x 366, 368 (4th Cir. 2008) (concluding that an almost-two-year delay was not reasonable);
Sorbo v. United Parcel Serv., 432 F.3d 1169, 1177–78 (10th Cir. 2005) (affirming district court’s
conclusion that an almost-one-year delay was not reasonable) McLawhorn v. John W. Daniel &
Co., 924 F.2d 535, 538 (4th Cir. 1991) (affirming district court’s conclusion that a three-month
delay was not reasonable). Petitioner filed the instant motions over six years after the entry of the
judgment and, therefore, his motion pursuant to Rule 60(b) is untimely.
Furthermore, even if he had filed his motion in a timely manner, the Fourth Circuit has
already dismissed his direct appeal for the November 2016 Order, and there is no merit to his
motion. See United States v. Patel, 879 F.2d 292, 295 (7th Cir. 1989) (“When issues patently
lack merit, the reviewing court is not obliged to devote scarce judicial resources to a written
discussion of them.”); McLawhorn v. John W. Daniel & Co., Inc., 924 F.2d 535, 538 (4th Cir.
1991) (Rule 60(b) provides an extraordinary remedy that can be invoked only upon a showing of
Based upon a review of the record in this case, the Court concludes that no legally
sufficient basis exists to vacate this Court’s November 17, 2016 Order. Therefore, Petitioner’s
Rule 60(b) Motion, ECF No. 130, is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
_s/Terry L. Wooten_______
TERRY L. WOOTEN
Chief United States District Judge
July 17, 2017
Columbia, South Carolina
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?