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Williamson v. Missouri Department of Corrections

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

October 15, 2019

LAMONT WILLIAMSON, Plaintiff,
v.
MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HENRY EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the court on pro se plaintiff Lamont Williamson's motion for reconsideration, notice of appeal, and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal. Plaintiff seeks reconsideration of the Court's dismissal of his 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). On the same date that plaintiff filed his motion for reconsideration, he also filed a notice of appeal and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal.

         “The filing of a notice of appeal … confers jurisdiction on the court of appeals and divests the district court o[f] its control over those aspects of the case involved in the appeal.” Liddell v. Bd. of Educ., 73 F.3d 819, 822 (8th Cir. 1996) (quoting Griggs v. Provident Consumer Disc. Co., 459 U.S. 56, 58 (1982)). But filing a notice of appeal does not prevent a district court from taking action in furtherance of the appeal or prevent it from hearing motions on collateral matters to those at issue on appeal. Mahone v. Ray, 326 F.3d 1176, 1179 (11th Cir. 2003). A district court retains jurisdiction to deny a motion for relief from a judgment or order brought under Rule 60(b),[1] because a denial is in furtherance of the appeal. However, a district court lacks the ability to grant a Rule 60(b) motion. Id. at 1180; Hunter v. Underwood, 362 F.3d 468, 475 (8th Cir. 2004). When presented with a Rule 60(b) motion after a notice of appeal has been filed, the Eighth Circuit has explicitly instructed that a district court should consider the motion and assess its merits. Hunter, 362 F.3d at 475.

         After reviewing the grounds raised by plaintiff in his motion for reconsideration, the Court will decline to alter or amend the judgment of this Court. Plaintiff's motion fails to point to any mistake, newly discovered evidence, fraud, or other reason justifying reconsideration of the Court's judgment. Instead, the motion merely revisits the same arguments made in plaintiff's complaint regarding an alleged 2011 incident of inmate assault and claims of fraud and/or legal malpractice against attorneys involved in the lawsuit involving the assault. Plaintiff is therefore not entitled to reconsideration of the dismissal of his complaint, and his motion will be denied.

         When the Court dismissed this action, it certified in writing that an appeal from the dismissal would not be taken in good faith. See ECF Nos. 10 & 11; 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3). As a result, plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal will also be denied.

         Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for reconsideration [ECF No. 13] is DENIED.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiffs motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal [ECF No. 15] is DENIED.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff shall, within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order, either pay the $505 appellate filing fee or file a motion in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff shall file any future documents or pleadings in connection with his appeal directly with the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

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Notes:

[1] Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) states:

On motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party or its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for ...

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