United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division
STAN BAKER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Defendant-Petitioner Waseem Daker's
(“Daker”) Motion to Vacate pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). (Doc. 22.) In his Motion,
Daker requests the Court vacate its earlier judgment
dismissing his Notice of Removal (“Notice”) and
remanding the action to the Superior Court of Tattnall
County, (docs. 16, 17). (See Doc. 22.) For the
reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES
January 18, 2018, Daker filed a Notice of Removal seeking to
remove his state court criminal proceedings in Tattnall
County, Georgia, to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1443(1) and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized
Persons Act (“RLUIPA”), codified at 42 U.S.C.
§§2000cc et seq. (Doc. 1.) Daker then filed several
other Motions, including a Motion for Law Library Access
(“Library Motion”), (doc. 6). (See also
docs. 7, 12.) On March 7, 2019, the Court denied his Notice,
explaining that alleged RLUIPA violations cannot form the
basis for removal under Section 1443(1), and remanded the
proceedings to the Superior Court of Tattnall County. (Doc.
16.) It then denied the Library Motion as moot.
(Id.) On March 8, 2019, the Court entered judgment
and ordered the case closed. (Doc. 17.) Daker filed the
at-issue Motion to Vacate on April 24, 2019, forty-eight days
later. (Doc. 22.) In his Motion, Daker alleges the Court
erred by ruling on his Notice prior to addressing the Library
Motion; he contends and that the Court must vacate its
previous judgment and allow him to conduct legal research to
“correct clear error and prevent manifest
injustice.” (Id. at pp. 1-2.) Daker argues
this research may reveal new grounds for removal, thereby
providing a basis for his case to remain in federal court.
initial matter, Daker categorizes his Motion as one brought
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e).
(Id. at p. 1). However, Rule 59(e) requires such
motions to be filed within twenty-eight days of the entry of
judgment; district courts must construe “untimely Rule
59(e) motion[s] . . . [as] Rule 60(b) motions to vacate the
judgment.” See Jones v. S. Pan Servs., 450
Fed.Appx. 860, 862 (11th Cir. 2012) (per curiam) (citing
Mahone v. Ray, 326 F.3d 1176, 1177 n.1 (11th Cir.
2003)). As Daker filed the at-issue Motion forty-eight days
after the entry of judgment, it is untimely and the Court
will consider his Motion under the standards of Rule 60(b).
(See docs. 17, 22.) Rule 60(b) enumerates a limited
set of circumstances in which a party may seek relief from a
final judgment, order, or proceeding: “(1) mistake,
inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly
discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could
not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial
under Rule 59(b); (3) fraud . . ., misrepresentation, or
misconduct by an opposing party; (4) the judgment is void;
[and] (5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or
discharged, it is based on an earlier judgment that has been
reversed or vacated, or applying it prospectively is no
longer equitable.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1)-(5). Daker has
not shown-and does not argue-that any of these provisions
entitle him to relief.
60(b) also contains a “catchall” provision which
authorizes relief based on “any other reason that
justifies [it].” Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(6). However, relief
under Rule 60(b)(6) is an “extraordinary remedy which
may be invoked only upon a showing of exceptional
circumstances, ” and a party seeking relief must show
that, absent such relief, extreme and unexpected hardship
will result. Griffin v. Swim-Tech Corp., 722 F.2d
677, 680 (11th Cir. 1984) (citation omitted). Daker has not
made this showing. To the extent his Motion can be construed
to allege that he will suffer “extreme hardship”
should the Court decline to revisit his removal petition
after he has time to research-and assert-new legal theories,
this argument fails as a matter of law. The Court remanded
this action after finding that Daker's removal petition
did not “demonstrate a proper basis for removal.”
(Doc. 16, p. 1.) Thus, even assuming Daker were to identify
additional grounds not stated in his Notice, the Court's
conclusion would remain the same. See Alabama v.
Conley, 245 F.3d 1292, 1299 (11th Cir. 2001) (remand
appropriate where removal petition failed to demonstrate
proper basis). Moreover, “Rule 60(b) was never intended
to permit parties to relitigate the merits of claims or
defenses”-precisely what Daker seeks to do. See
Gonzales v. Sec'y for Dep't of Corr., 366 F.3d
1253, 1291-92 (11th Cir. 2004). Daker may be unhappy with the
Court's decisions to dismiss his Notice of Removal, but
mere discontent is not a reason to disturb the Court's
light of the foregoing, Daker has failed to demonstrate that
any grounds to vacate its previous judgment exist and the
Court therefore discerns no reason to reopen this case.
Accordingly, the Court DENIES Daker's
Motion to Vacate, (doc. 22). The Court's March 7, 2019
Order remains the Order of the Court, and this case remains
 In his Notice, Daker cited 28 U.S.C.
§ 1443 generally and also asserted 28 U.S.C. § 1446
as a basis for removal. (Doc. 1, p. 1.) As explained by the
Court in its previous Order, these statutory provisions do
not apply to Daker's case because “Section 1443(2)
only permits removal by federal and state officers or agents,
and, in some instances, individuals authorized to act with or
for those officers, ” and Section 1446 “only
applies to removal of civil cases.” (Doc. 16, p. 6
 The Court dismissed Daker's action
without prejudice. (See ...