Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Mathews v. Silva

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

September 20, 2019

LOUIS H. MATHEWS, Petitioner,
v.
STEVEN SILVA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON MOTIONS FOR RELIEF AND RE-FILED PETITION

          F. Dennis Saylor, United States District Judge.

         This is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner Louis Mathews is an inmate at Massachusetts Correctional Institution - Norfolk in Norfolk, Massachusetts. Respondent Steven Silva is the current superintendent at MCI-Norfolk.[1]

         I. Background

         Mathews was convicted of first-degree murder in December 2005. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court denied his appeal in March 2008, and a single justice of the SJC denied his appeal concerning a motion for new trial in May 2009. This petition was filed in December 2009.

         The petition as filed contained both exhausted and unexhausted claims. In March 2011, Judge Gertner of this court, to whom the case was originally drawn, stayed the petition in order to permit Mathews to pursue two unexhausted claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. The unexhausted claims, in substance, are that trial counsel failed to investigate and assert a third-party-culprit defense and that appellate counsel failed to seek correction of the trial transcript. The undersigned judge was assigned to the case in July 2012.

         After a number of status reports and hearings, the Court eventually concluded that the ongoing state litigation did not address the two claims as to which the stay had been issued. It accordingly lifted the stay on January 31, 2019. Mathews twice filed motions for reconsideration of this issue, both of which the Court denied.

         The Court ordered Mathews to make an election as to whether he intends to proceed with only his exhausted claims or dismiss the entire petition. After several extensions of time, the Court set a final deadline of July 15, 2019, as to that election.

         Unfortunately, on June 11, 2019, the clerk entered an electronic order dismissing the case. That order was entered in error and without the knowledge of the undersigned judge.

         In the meantime, Mathews filed a document on July 15, 2019, indicating his intention to proceed only on the exhausted claims.

         Mathews has filed two motions for relief from judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60. The first is directed to the decision to lift the stay and the second to the dismissal of the case.

         For the reasons outlined below, the Court will deny the motion as to the stay; grant the motion as to vacating the dismissal; and set a schedule for briefing of the petition.

         II. Analysis

         A. Legal Standard

         Rule 60 provides two paths for relief from a judgment or order. Under Rule 60(a), “[t]he court may correct a clerical mistake or a mistake arising from oversight or omission whenever one is found in a judgment, order, or other part of the record. The court may do so on its own, with or without notice.” Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 60(a). Under Rule 60(b), the court may “relieve a party or its legal representatives from a final judgment, order, or proceeding” for reason ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.