Re: ECF No. 40
NORA BARRY FISCHER, District Judge.
For the following reasons, Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration, ECF No. 40, filed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b), will be denied.
The above-captioned prisoner civil rights complaint was received by the Clerk of Court on May 29, 2014, and was referred to Chief United States Magistrate Judge Maureen P. Kelly for pretrial proceedings in accordance with the Magistrate Judges Act, 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), and Rule 72 of the Local Rules for Magistrate Judges.
The Chief Magistrate Judge, in a Report and Recommendation (the "Report"), ECF No. 8, filed on July 21, 2014, recommended that the Complaint be dismissed pre-service pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Plaintiff filed Objections, ECF No. 9, and the Court overruled the Objections, adopted the Report and Recommendation and dismissed the Complaint and the Amended Complaint filed subsequently to the Report for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. ECF No. 14. Plaintiff filed an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which, on June 12, 2015, affirmed the dismissal of Plaintiff's Complaint and Amended Complaint. ECF No. 30-2.
Now, two years later, Plaintiff has filed a "Motion For Reconsideration Of The Court's Dismissal, For Reimbursement of the Filing and Appellate Fees, Or to Reinstate the Civil Rights Complaints" (the "Rule 60(b) Motion"). ECF No. 40. Plaintiff alleges that the jurisdictional basis for the present filing is Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1)-(2).
A "movant under Rule 60(b) bears a heavy burden," and "[w]e view Rule 60(b) motions as extraordinary relief which should be granted only where extraordinary justifying circumstances are present."
In the instant case, Plaintiff has failed to carry the requisite burden to show entitlement to relief Rule 60(b). In an attempt to carry his heavy burden under Rule 60(b), Plaintiff asserts that a decision of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania in a case that he filed in state court, which mirrored this case, renders this Court's dismissal of his Complaint a mistake or inadvertence within the contemplation of Rule 60(b). ECF No. 40 ¶ 14. We are not convinced.
By means of the instant suit, Plaintiff sought, inter alia, to attack the validity of the forfeiture proceedings in state court which occurred in 2003, alleging that he was never provided notice of those proceedings. This Court held that Plaintiff's attempted attack on the forfeiture proceedings in state court was barred by the
In the state court proceedings, which Plaintiff initiated on July 23, 2015, the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas dismissed, before service, the complaint that Plaintiff filed therein as frivolous, finding the claims, including the claim concerning the forfeiture proceeding, to be either time-barred or barred by res judicata. Plaintiff appealed to the Commonwealth Court. On September 27, 2016, the Commonwealth Court affirmed in part and vacated in part. ECF No. 40-1. The Commonwealth Court vacated in part, finding that Plaintiff's claim regarding the lack of notice of the forfeiture proceedings was not frivolous because under state law, apparently a statute of limitations analysis is not proper with respect to this claim.
We fail to see how a state court's adjudication of this claim concerning the alleged due process failings of the forfeiture proceedings, even if the claim is identical to the claim raised in the Complaint that was filed in this Court and dismissed by this Court, renders this Court's dismissal erroneous, mistaken or inadvertent within the meaning of Rule 60(b). Whatever the Commonwealth Court's finding, it does not speak to or otherwise call into question, this Court's holding that the
Plaintiff's request to return any filing fees is also DENIED.