United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Dublin Division
MATTHEW J. TAYLOR, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
the Court is Petitioner's motion to alter or amend
judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e).
(Doc. No. 17.) After careful consideration, the Court
DENIES Petitioner's motion.
August 7, 2013, the grand jury in the Southern District of
Georgia charged Petitioner with one count of possession with
intent to distribute methamphetamine, in violation of 21
U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). (See United States v.
Taylor, Case No. 3:13-CR-008 (S.D. Ga. 2014) (the
"Criminal Action"), Doc. No. 1.) On December 18,
2013, Petitioner, represented by court-appointed attorney
Joseph Marchant, pled guilty to the one charge.
(Id., Doc. Nos. 22-24.) On July 1, 2014, Petitioner
was sentenced to 156 months imprisonment, to be served
consecutively to the state terms of imprisonment imposed by
the Superior Court of Wilkinson County, Georgia, and judgment
thereon was entered on July 3, 2014. (Id., Doc. Nos.
31, 32.) Petitioner did not file a direct appeal of this
16, 2016, the Court received Petitioner's petition under
28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct his
federal sentence. (Doc. No. 1.) In his Section 2255 petition,
Petitioner raised four grounds for relief, namely three
grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel and one ground
of sentencing error. (Id.) On May 19, 2016, the
United States Magistrate Judge conducted an initial review of
Petitioner's Section 2255 petition and entered a report
and recommendation ("R&R") wherein he
recommended, inter alia, the dismissal of
Petitioner's Section 2255 petition as untimely. (Doc. No.
3.) The deadline to file objections to the R&R passed
without response from Petitioner. Accordingly, on June 15,
2016, after a careful de novo review of the file,
the Court adopted the R&R, dismissed Petitioner's
Section 2255 petition as untimely, and denied Petitioner a
certificate of appealability (the "Dismissal
Order"). (Doc. No. 6.)
April 10, 2017, Petitioner filed a motion for relief from
judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)
seeking to have the Court set aside the Dismissal Order
("Motion for Relief"). (Doc. No. 15.) On April 20,
2017, the Court denied the Motion for Relief on the grounds
that Petitioner had failed to establish that his failure to
timely object to the R&R was excusable ("Order
Denying Relief").(Doc. No. 16.) On May 16, 2017, Petitioner
filed his present motion to alter or amend the Order Denying
Relief pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e).
(Doc. No. 17.)
may seek to alter or amend a judgment in a civil case within
twenty-eight days after the entry of the judgment.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). Because reconsideration of a judgment
after its entry is an extraordinary remedy which should be
used sparingly, a movant must set forth facts or law of a
strongly convincing nature to induce the court to reverse its
prior decision. Bostic v. Astrue, No. 1:12-CV-082,
2012 WL 3113942, at *1 (S.D. Ga. July 31, 2012). A Rule 59(e)
motion may not be used “to relitigate old matters,
raise argument or present evidence that could have been
raised prior to the entry of judgment, " as "the
only grounds for granting a Rule 59(e) motion are
newly-discovered evidence or manifest errors of law or
fact." Arthur v. King, 500 F.3d 1335, 1343
(11th Cir. 2007) (quotations omitted). "Rule 59(e) is
not a vehicle for rehashing arguments already rejected by the
court or for refuting the court's prior decision."
Bostic, 2012 WL 3113942, at *1 (quoting
Wendy's Int'l v. Nu-Caoe Const.,
Inc., 169 F.R.D. 680, 686 (M.D. Ga. 1996)).
Petitioner has failed to demonstrate newly discovered
evidence or manifest errors of law or fact that would justify
a finding that the Court should amend or alter its Order
Denying Relief. Petitioner attaches to his present motion two
exhibits, namely: (1) a letter sent to him from his former
counsel dated November 5, 2013; and (2) an affidavit from his
mother, Mrs. Carolyn Taylor, regarding alleged coercive
influence exercised by the arresting officer over Petitioner
and his family. (See Doc. No. 17, at 4-7.) Yet
neither of these exhibits constitute "newly-discovered
evidence" that could not have been raised prior to the
entry of the Order Denying Relief. Petitioner has also failed
to articulate any manifest errors of law or fact in the
Court's Order Denying Relief that would affect that
ruling or otherwise necessitate its reversal. Rather,
Petitioner has merely restated the points made in his
original Motion for Relief and argued that the Court has
erred by "not allowing for the maturation of the
arguments supporting [Petitioner's] actual innocence
claim." (Doc. No. 17, at 2.) Moreover, as noted by the
Court in its Order Denying Relief, even were the Court to
grant Petitioner's present motion as well as his original
Motion for Relief and consider Petitioner's substantive
claims of coercion and threats by the arresting officer as
timely objections to the R&R, Petitioner still would not
be entitled to relief. (See Doc. No. 16, at 6-8.)
Accordingly, his present motion must be denied, his Motion
for Relief remains properly denied, and his underlying
Section 2255 petition remains untimely.
the foregoing and due consideration, Petitioner's motion
to alter or amend judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 59 (e) (doc. no. 17) is DENIED.
 On July 13, 2016, the Court received
Petitioner's notice of appeal to the Eleventh Circuit
Court of Appeals as to the Order dismissing his Section 2255
Motion. (Doc. No. 10.) On December 19, 2016, the Eleventh
Circuit denied Petitioner's motion for a certificate of
appealability based on his failure to make the requisite