Turner v. Beth
ORDER signed by Judge J P Stadtmueller on 9/8/2021: DENYING 14 Petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration and DENYING 16 Petitioner's Motion for Clarification. (cc: all counsel, via mail to Paul Alexander Turner at Dodge Correctional Institution)(jm)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
PAUL ALEXANDER TURNER,
Case No. 21-CV-161-JPS
On May 24, 2021, the Court dismissed Petitioner’s petition for a writ
of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Docket #11). The Court,
recommendation on the screening of the petition, agreed that the petition,
along with the motion for a temporary restraining order, was moot. (Id.)
The Court entered judgment in favor of Respondent. (Docket #12).
Petitioner never filed a notice of appeal. Instead, on June 8, 2021, Petitioner
filed a motion requesting reconsideration of the Court’s decision. (Docket
#14). Petitioner followed this motion with a motion for clarification. (Docket
#16). The crux of his argument is that the Court was incorrect to deny the
petition on mootness grounds, and that the TRO should have been decided
earlier. Petitioner also, variously, contends that the statutes under which he
was prosecuted were unconstitutionally vague, and that he was the victim
of bad faith prosecution. (Docket #14 at 2–6). He also generally challenges
the facts underlying the conviction. (Id. at 5–6).
Two rules allow a court to revisit a final judgment in civil cases. First,
Rule 59(e) empowers a court to alter or amend a judgment on motion by a
party. Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e). The party seeking relief under this Rule must
Case 2:21-cv-00161-JPS Filed 09/08/21 Page 1 of 3 Document 17
establish “a manifest error of law or present newly discovered evidence.”
Obriecht v. Raemisch, 517 F.3d 489, 494 (7th Cir. 2008). Whether to grant a
motion to amend a judgment “is entrusted to the sound judgment of the
district court,” In re Prince, 85 F.3d 314, 324 (7th Cir. 1996), but the movant
must first “clearly establish” his right to relief, Romo v. Gulf Stream Coach,
Inc., 250 F.3d 1119, 1122 n.3 (7th Cir. 2001).
“Appeal, not reconsideration, is the time to deal with the majority
of legal errors,” and so only “manifest errors . . . so obvious that no
additional explanation is needed or possible” are proper subjects of a Rule
59 motion. Burney v. Thorn Ams., Inc., 970 F. Supp. 668, 671 (E.D. Wis. 1997).
Such error “is not demonstrated by the disappointment of the losing party”
but instead “the ‘wholesale disregard, misapplication, or failure to
recognize controlling precedent.’” Oto v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 601,
606 (7th Cir. 2000) (quoting Sedrak v. Callahan, 987 F. Supp. 1063, 1069 (N.D.
Similarly, Rule 60(b) allows the Court to vacate a judgment based on,
inter alia, excusable neglect, newly discovered evidence, fraud by a party,
satisfaction of the judgment, or “any other reason that justifies relief.” Fed.
R. Civ. P. 60(b). Relief under Rule 60(b) is an “extraordinary remedy and is
granted only in exceptional circumstances.” Wickens v. Shell Oil Co., 620 F.3d
747, 759 (7th Cir. 2010). The Court’s determination is constrained only by
its sound discretion. Venson v. Altamirano, 749 F.3d 641, 656 (7th Cir. 2014).
Neither Rule affords Petitioner any relief here. None of his
arguments upend the Court’s correct conclusion that because Petitioner
entered a plea bargain, the § 2241 petition, and the motion for a temporary
restraining order, are now moot. See (Docket #11 at 3–4). Petitioner’s
Page 2 of 3
Case 2:21-cv-00161-JPS Filed 09/08/21 Page 2 of 3 Document 17
submissions evince frustration with his attorneys, the criminal proceedings,
and his ultimate conviction. However, as he may already know, the correct
avenue to challenge his conviction is through appeal in state court. See
(Docket #14 at 7) (“Petitioner can’t seek relief under 2254 until all his state
court remedies are exhausted[.]”). Indeed, once Petitioner’s state court
remedies are exhausted, he can file a petition in federal district court
pursuant to § 2254. Because Petitioner’s arguments fall well short of
demonstrating manifest error or that such an extraordinary remedy as
reconsideration is warranted, the Court will deny his motion.
IT IS ORDERED that Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration
(Docket #14) be and the same is hereby DENIED; and
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Petitioner’s motion for clarification
(Docket #16) be and the same is hereby DENIED.
Dated at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this 8th day of September, 2021.
BY THE COURT:
U.S. District Judge
Page 3 of 3
Case 2:21-cv-00161-JPS Filed 09/08/21 Page 3 of 3 Document 17
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?