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Goodwill v. City of Sheboygan

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

January 31, 2018



          HON. PAMELA PEPPER, United States District Judge

         On May 25, 2017, the court denied without prejudice the petitioner's petition for writ of habeas corpus, denied as moot his motion for leave to proceed without prepaying the filing fee (because he already had paid the $5 filing fee) and dismissed the case. Dkt. No. 6. After dismissal, the petitioner filed several motions seeking reconsideration and other relief. The court will deny these motions.

         I. Procedural Background

         The habeas petition filed on May 1, 2017 asked the court to open a federal criminal grand jury investigation, citing a “decade” of constitutional violations and incidents with the Sheboygan police “[a]s recently as April 25th of 2017.” Dkt. No. 1 at 3. The three-page petition, which was not on the court's official form, provided few facts to support this request. Dkt. No. 1.

         In its May 24, 2017 order denying the petition, the court explained to the petitioner that the law did not provide him with a private right to have someone investigated or prosecuted. Dkt. No. 6 at 4. The court told the petitioner that there were several things he could do if he believed that the defendants, or someone working for them, had committed crimes against him, but that this court could not do as he requested. Id. The court also explained that, to the extent that he was alleging that there was something constitutionally or legally wrong with his pending Sheboygan County criminal case, he needed to raise those issues with the Sheboygan County Circuit Court. Id. at 6. Finally, the court advised the petitioner that he could not remove a state criminal case to federal court. Id. at 7.

         II. Petitioner's writ of error coram nobis on previously “filed” “petition for writ of habeas corpus” & “motion to show cause” and order to reconsider (Dkt. No. 9)

         Thirty-six days after the court entered judgment, the court received from the petitioner a document entitled “writ of error coram nobis on previously ‘filed' ‘petition for writ of habeas corpus' & ‘motion to show cause' and order to reconsider.” Dkt. No. 9 at 1. The motion indicates that, in dismissing his petition, the court committed criminal trespass, obstruction of justice, criminal “fraud, treason, racketeering, corruption, and domestic terrorism, ” and refers to the court as a “judicial usurper.” Id. at 3. The petitioner states that, because the clerk of court did not caption the case, word for word, the way he did in his petition, the clerk's actions were “criminally unacceptable.” Id. He alleges that the court conspired with Stephen Dries (clerk of court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin) and Kristine Wrobel (deputy clerk) to disregard and dismiss his pleadings. Id. He argues that these actions deprived him of his right to meaningful access to the courts. Id.

         The petitioner asks the court to reconsider its decision for several reasons. First, he argues that by “renaming” his pleading, the court stripped him of his pro se status, despite knowing that he is not a lawyer. Id. at 6. Second, he argues that 28 U.S.C. §2243 requires a court to return a writ of habeas corpus within three days, but that the court took thirty-six days to issue its decision; this, he claims, constituted an unlawful suspension of his right to habeas corpus. Id. Third, he the petitioner reiterates that the City of Sheboygan fabricated evidence, falsified documents, kidnapped him, falsely imprisoned him and committed a number of other offenses against him, and says that by dismissing his case, the court conspired to deny him his rights just as the City did. Id. Fourth, he argues that under “judicial cognizance, ” any time a court receives notice that someone's rights have been violated, that judge must act, “with or without proved evidence.” Id. at 7. Fifth, he asserts that the court delayed his case by demanding that he file a formal application for waiver of the filing fee, and ignoring the informal one he filed. Id. Sixth, he disagrees with the court's conclusion that the law does not give him a right to remove a state criminal case to federal court. Id. Seventh, he argues that the City of Sheboygan “is guilty of mass crimes of Treason by domestic terrorists, ” and that the court dismissed his petition despite knowing this. Id. at 8. Finally, the petitioner states that, by telling him that he has to wait to find out the result of his state criminal prosecution before filing a federal habeas petition, the court is elevating form over substance, and is “defeating the very nature of Habeas Corpus.” Id.

         As relief, the petitioner indicates that his motion has the effect of vacating and nullifying the court's order of dismissal as fraudulently published, and that it constitutes an amended petition. Id. at 9.

         The petitioner did not identify any rule or statute allowing courts to reconsider their decisions, but there are such rules. There are two rules that provide a person with a way to ask a federal court to reconsider a decision. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) allows a party to file a motion to “alter or amend a judgment” within twenty-eight days of the date the judgment is entered. The clerk of court entered judgment dismissing the petition on May 25, 2017; the petitioner would have had to file a Rule 59(e) petition by June 22, 2017 in order for the court to consider it. The petitioner dated the current motion June 13, 2017. Although the court did not receive the motion until June 30, 2017, the court will consider the petitioner's motion filed as of the date he put on it, and will consider his motion a valid Rule 59(e) motion.

         In order to prevail on a Rule 59(e) motion to alter or amend judgment, a party must “clearly establish[]: ‘(1) that the court committed a manifest error of law or fact, or (2) that newly discovered evidence precluded entry of judgment.'” Cincinnati Life Ins. Co. v. Beyrer, 722 F.3d 939, 954 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoting Blue v. Hartford Life & Accident Ins. Co., 698 F.3d 587, 598 (7th Cir. 2012)). A “manifest error” is the “wholesale disregard, misapplication, or failure to recognize controlling precedent.” Oto v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir. 2000) (quoting Sedrak v. Callahan, 987 F.Supp. 1063, 1069 (N.D. Ill. 1997)). “A ‘manifest error' is not demonstrated by the disappointment of the losing party.” Id.

         The petitioner has not pointed to any newly-discovered evidence in support of his motion to reconsider; he refers only to the allegations that he made in his petition. Instead, he argues that in dismissing his petition, the court committed a manifest error. The petitioner has not “clearly established” that the court disregarded, misapplied or failed to recognize controlling precedent. He simply disagrees with the court's decision to dismiss his petition. Such a disagreement is not sufficient to support a Rule 59(e) motion.

         The other way for a party to ask a court to reconsider a judgment is Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). Rule 60(b) authorizes a court to grant relief from ...

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