United States District Court, D. New Mexico
EARL R. MAYFIELD, Plaintiff,
JOHN SUGGS DA, ATTY AT LAW JEFFREY SCOVIL, ESTATE OF DET JOHN KELLY APD, STATE OF NEW MEXICO, DA RACHEL EAGEL, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING AMENDED SUMMARY
JUDGMENT AND MOTION IN OPPOSITION TO MEMORANDUM OPINION
MATTER is before the Court on the Amended Summary Judgment
motion (Doc. 11) and Motion in Opposition to Memorandum
Opinion Order /Amended /Summary Judgment in Support of
Opposition to Dismissed (Doc. 17) filed by Plaintiff Earl
Mayfield. The Court construes the motions as requests for
reconsideration of the Court's September 27, 2018
dismissal of this case and denies the motions.
filed this proceeding as a prisoner civil rights action under
42 U.S.C. § 1983. He names, as Defendants, District
Attorneys John Sugg and Rachel Eagel, New Mexico Public
Defender staff attorney, Jeffrey Scovil, the Estate of
Albuquerque Police Department Detective John Kelly, and the
State of New Mexico. (Doc. 1 at 1). He alleges a vague,
wide-ranging conspiracy among the Defendants to illegally
arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate him. (Doc. 1 at 1-5). The
Court determined that Mayfield's complaint fails to state
a claim on which relief can be granted and dismissed the
case. (Doc. 9). Final Judgment was entered on September 27,
2018. (Doc. 10).
Mayfield filed a document titled “Amended/Summary
Judgment Rule 56 Prisoner's Civil Rights Complaint”
on October 5, 2018. (Doc. 11) (“Amended Summary
Judgment”). The filing is on a standard prisoner civil
rights complaint form and appears to set out essentially the
same allegations Mayfield made in his original complaint in
this case. (Doc. 1, 11). Attached to the Amended Summary
Judgment are 42 pages of documents from Plaintiff
Mayfield's appellate proceedings in the New Mexico state
courts. (Doc. 11 at 10-52). Mayfield then filed a Notice of
Appeal on October 12, 2018, appealing to the United States
Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. (Doc. 12). The Tenth
Circuit docketed the appeal as No. 18-2152 and, on October
16, 2018, the Tenth Circuit ordered abatement of the appeal
until this Court rules on the Amended Summary Judgment. (Doc.
then filed his Motion in Opposition to Memorandum Opinion
Order/Amended /Summary Judgment in Support of Opposition to
Dismissed on October 18, 2018. (Doc. 17) (“Motion in
Opposition”). His Motion in Opposition questions why
the Amended Summary Judgment took ten days from the time he
placed it in the prison mail until it was filed with the
Court. (Doc. 17 at 1). Attached to the Motion in Opposition
are duplicate copies of the October 5, 2018 Amended Summary
Judgment and the Court's Memorandum Opinion and Order.
(Doc. 17 at 11-77).
Court will construe the Amended Summary Judgment and Motion
in Opposition as post-judgment requests for reconsideration.
Plaintiff Mayfield filed the Motions within twenty-eight days
after entry of Judgment and the Court treats them as a timely
motions to alter or amend judgment under Fed.R.Civ. P. 59(e).
Grounds warranting a motion to reconsider under Rule 59(e)
include (1) an intervening change in the controlling law, (2)
new evidence previously unavailable, and (3) the need to
correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice. See
Brumark Corp. v. Samson Resources Corp., 57
F.3d 941, 948 (10th Cir.1995). A motion for reconsideration
is proper where the court has clearly misapprehended the
facts, a party's position, or the controlling law, but is
not appropriate to revisit issues already addressed in prior
filings. See Van Skiver v. United States, 952 F.2d
1241, 1243 (10th Cir.1991); Servants of Paraclete v.
Does, 204 F.3d 1005, 1012 (10th Cir. 2000).
Amended Summary Judgment and Motion in Opposition do not
establish any grounds warranting reconsideration of the
Court's dismissal of this case. Mayfield does not contend
there has been an intervening change in the controlling law,
nor does he present any new evidence that was previously
unavailable. Instead, his filings continue to make the same
allegations that exculpatory evidence was lost or destroyed
and the prosecutors and defense counsel conspired to deprive
him of a fair trial in his state criminal court proceedings.
(Doc. 11 at 3-6; Doc. 17 at 13-16). Mayfield expresses
concern that the Amended Summary Judgment was mailed prior
to, but was not filed until after, the Court's ruling and
asks the Court to take the matters set out in the Amended
Summary Judgment into consideration. (Doc. 17 at 1). However,
there is nothing in the Amended Summary Judgment that has not
previously been presented to the Court and the attachments
refute, rather than support, Mayfield's claim that there
were improprieties in his criminal prosecution. See
Doc. 11 at 24-29, 41-46, 50 (New Mexico Court of Appeals'
rulings affirming Mayfield's conviction).
extent Mayfield may contend that reconsideration is necessary
to correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice,
Mayfield's Amended Summary Judgment and Motion in
Opposition do not present any basis for relief on those
grounds. Mayfield's filings do not challenge the bases of
the Court's September 27, 2018 dismissal but, instead, do
no more than revisit the issues already addressed in the
Court's Memorandum Opinion and Order. Van
Skiver, 952 F.2d at 1243; Servants of
Paraclete, 204 F.3d at 1012. Mayfield raises no clear
error in the Court's rulings: (1) that prosecutors are
absolutely immune from damages for their advocacy and
activities “intimately associated with the judicial
phase of the criminal process”; (2) the State is not a
“person” within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. §
1983 and there is no remedy against the State under §
1983; (3) public defenders cannot be sued under § 1983
because they do not act under color of state law; and (4) the
claims are barred by the three-year personal injury statute
of limitations contained in N.M.Stat.Ann. § 37-1-8
(1978). Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 430
(1976); Will v. Michigan Dep't of State Police,
491 U.S. 58, 63-64 (1989); Polk County. v. Dodson,
454 U.S. 312, 315 (1981); Varnell v. Dora Consol. Sch.
Dist., 756 F.3d 1208, 1212 (10th Cir. 2014).
reconsideration required to prevent manifest injustice
because all of Mayfield's claims are barred under
Heck v. Humphry, 512 U.S. 477, 487 (1994). In this
§ 1983 proceeding, Mayfield is not directly challenging
his state criminal conviction but, instead, seeks to recover
damages for claimed improper conduct in the underlying
criminal proceedings. (Doc. 11 at 3, 7-8). The New Mexico
appellate courts have consistently ruled that there were no
improprieties in his criminal proceeding and have affirmed
his conviction. (Doc. 6 at 21-26, 38-43, 47; Doc. 11 at
24-29, 41-46, 50). To award Mayfield the damages relief he
seeks would necessarily require this Court to find that his
conviction was improper and invalid, contrary to the New
Mexico state court determinations. Mayfield's claims are
barred under Heck and reconsideration is not
warranted to prevent manifest injustice. Brumark Corp. v.
Samson Resources Corp., 57 F.3d at 948.
Court will deny Mayfield's Amended Summary Judgment and
Motion in Opposition. Plaintiff Mayfield has appealed the
Court's dismissal of this case to the Tenth Circuit Court
of Appeals. As set out in the Court's September 27, 2018
Memorandum Opinion and Order, Mayfield has also engaged in a
pattern of abusive and unnecessary filings in this Court.
(Doc. 9 at 1-2). Mayfield is notified that this case is
closed and the Court will not accept any further submissions
from him except for filings necessary to perfect his appeal.
Tripati v. Beaman, 878 F.2d 351, 353 (10th
(1) the Amended Summary Judgment motion (Doc. 11) and the
Motion in Opposition to Memorandum Opinion Order /Amended
/Summary Judgment in Support of Opposition to Dismissed (Doc.
17) filed by Plaintiff Earl Mayfield are
(2) the Clerk is DIRECTED to notify the
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit of this
(3) the Clerk is DIRECTED to return,
unfiled, all further submissions by Plaintiff Earl Mayfield
in this case other than any filings necessary for