United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
following proposed Findings and Recommendation have been sent
to United States District Judge D.P. Marshall Jr. You may
file written objections to all or part of this
Recommendation. If you do so, those objections must: (1)
specifically explain the factual and/or legal basis for your
objection, and (2) be received by the Clerk of this Court
within fourteen (14) days of this Recommendation. By not
objecting, you may waive the right to appeal questions of
1987, petitioner Thomas Crockett (“Crockett”)
filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. 2254 in Crockett v. Lockhart, PB-C-87-341.
See Docket Entry 1, Exhibit 1. In the petition, he
maintained that his 1983 Phillips County, Arkansas, guilty
plea should be set aside for the following reasons: 1) the
plea was involuntary and not intelligently entered, 2) it was
the result of a coerced confession, 3) the plea was obtained
in violation of his right against self-incrimination, and 4)
his trial attorney was ineffective. United States Magistrate
Judge H. David Young denied the petition and dismissed
PB-C-87-341. Judge Young found that Crockett's
first three claims were procedurally barred from federal
court review, and his fourth claim had no merit. Crockett
appealed, but the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal as
September 5, 2017, Crockett filed a submission he identified
as a motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6). See Docket Entry 1. In
the submission, he alleged the following:
... [T]his application [is filed] pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure ... 60(b) requesting this Court reopen the
previously decided habeas petition in Crockett v.
Lockhart, No. PB-C-87-341. Petitioner seeks to have the
Court vacate its Order denying habeas corpus relief for the
purpose of correcting a defect in the manner in which the
original habeas petition was initially decided. Specifically,
(1) Petitioner asserts that a wrongful finding of a
procedural bar was entered in this case; (2) even if a
procedural bar was proper, new rules of the Supreme Court
establish cause and prejudice for overcoming the bar; and (3)
Schlup v. Delo serves a gateway through which any
procedurally-barred claim can now be heard due to actual
innocence. Schlup had not been decided at the time of the
instant habeas petition. The Court also issued final judgment
on the petition prior to the Supreme Court decision in
Williams v. Taylor, ...
As explained herein, Petitioner is entitled to relief from
this Court's Order denying habeas relief under provisions
of Rule 60(b)(6), and his application should not be
considered a second or successive petition as it is not
inconsistent with 28 U.S.C. Section 2244(b).
See Docket Entry 1 at CM/ECF 1-2. (Emphasis
omitted). Crockett asked that PB-C-87-341 be reopened and a
hearing be held on his first three claims pursuant to
Trevino v. Thaler, 569 U.S. ___, 133 S.Ct. 1911, 185
L.Ed.2d 1044 (2013), and a hearing be held on his fourth
claim pursuant to Trevino v. Thaler and Schlup
v. Delo, 513 U.S. 298 (1995).
receiving Crockett's submission, the Clerk of the Court
did not file it as a motion pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6).
Instead, the Clerk of the Court opened this case-a new
case-and filed the submission as a petition pursuant to 28
soon discovered that his submission had not been filed in
PB-C-87-341 as a motion pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6) but had
been filed in this case as a petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
2254. He then filed the pending motion to clarify.
See Docket Entry 2. In the motion, he alleged the
Petitioner had previously filed a Motion for Relief from
Judgment Pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6) seeking to have this Court
reopen the previously decided habeas petition in No.
PB-C-87-341. Petitioner had alleged that a wrongful finding
of a procedural bar was imposed and that based on Schlup
v. Delo, as well as other cases decided since the final
decision in his case, he was entitled to habeas relief.
On September 5, 2017, the motion was filed, but was restyled
as a habeas petition. This is erroneous, in that Petitioner
never intended for it to be labeled as such. In fact, he is
aware of the requirements for filing a successive petition,
but he specifically asked the Court to not consider this
motion as one.
Petitioner seeks clarification from this Court as to whether
it will treat the Rule 60(b) motion as a new habeas or a
successive one. If it was erroneously labeled a habeas,
Petitioner asks that the record be altered to indicate that
this is a Rule 60(b) motion. Otherwise, in the alternative,
if the Court is not treating this as a successive petition,
but rather as a new one, he asks the Court to stay the
instant motion and allow the Petitioner to file a detailed
habeas and brief in support to raise claims that he could not
raise in a 60(b) motion.
If, in fact, the Court is treating this as a successive
habeas, he  moves the Court to allow him to brief the
matter more fully to expound on why the instant motion should
not be treated ... as such or  he be allowed to petition
the Eighth Circuit ...