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United States v. Malta

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Corpus Christi Division

June 2, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff/Respondent,
v.
MARTIN MALTA, Defendant/Movant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          HAYDEN HEAD SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Defendant Martin Malta filed a motion under Rule 59(e) in which he requests reconsideration of the Court's dismissal of his Rule 60 motion. D.E. 60. For the same reasons set out in this Court's previous Order dated April 24, 2017, the Court dismisses Malta's present motion for lack of jurisdiction. Malta is also denied a certificate of appealability.

         Malta complains in his current motion that this Court erred substantively when the Court determined that Malta's showing did not qualify for relief. The history of these proceedings is set out in this Court's previous Order dated April 24, 2017.

         ANALYSIS SECOND OR SUCCESSIVE MOTION

         A. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e)

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are applicable to federal habeas practice “only to the extent that they are not inconsistent with any statutory provisions or these rules.” Rule 12, Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings for the United States District Courts (2017). To prevail on a Rule 59(e) motion, the movant must show at least one of the following: 1) an intervening change in controlling law; 2) new evidence not previously available; 3) the need to correct a clear or manifest error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice. In re Benjamin Moore & Co., 318 F.3d 626, 629 (5th Cir. 2002); Rosenzweig v. Azurix Corp., 332 F.3d 854, 863-64 (5th Cir. 2003) (quoting Simon v. United States, 891 F.2d 1154, 1159 (5th Cir. 1990)).

         A defendant bringing a Rule 59(e) motion may run afoul of the prohibition on second or successive § 2255 motions. Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545 U.S. 524, 532 (2005) (post-judgment motion pursuant to Rule 60(b) may be construed as second or successive § 2255); Williams v. Thaler, 602 F.3d 291, 303 & n.10 (5th Cir. 2010) (finding 59(e) claim to be second or successive). It is only when a Rule 60 or 59(e) motion “attacks, not the substance of the federal court's resolution of a claim on the merits, but some defect in the integrity of the federal habeas proceedings, ” that it does not raise a second or successive claim. Gonzalez, 524 U.S. at 532. Any other claim must be considered second or successive. Gonzalez, 524 U.S. at 532.

         B. Second or Successive § 2255 Motion

         Malta's motion does not claim a defect in the proceedings, instead he declares that the Court was wrong. If true, his remedy is by appeal.

         Because Malta previously filed a § 2255 motion, he may not file a second or successive motion. In pertinent part, 28 U.S.C. § 2255(h) provides:

A second or successive motion must be certified as provided in section 2244 by a panel of the appropriate court of appeals to contain -
(1) newly discovered evidence that, if proven and viewed in light of the evidence as a whole, would be sufficient to establish by clear and convincing evidence that no reasonable factfinder would have found the movant guilty of the offense; or
(2) a new rule of constitutional law, made retroactive to cases on collateral review by the Supreme Court, that was ...

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