United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
HONORABLE JOHN C. COUGHENOUR, JUDGE.
following Minute Order is made by direction of the Court, the
Honorable John C. Coughenour, United States District Judge:
matter comes before the Court on Petitioner's motion to
file overlength objections to the report and recommendation
(Dkt. No. 51) and motion for reconsideration of the order
striking Petitioner's pro se objections (Dkt.
report and recommendation stated that, “Objections and
responses shall not exceed twelve (12) pages.” (Dkt.
No. 47 at 60.) Petitioner asks for leave to file 14-page
objections to the report and recommendation, citing the
substantial legal and factual issues presented in this case.
(See Dkt. No. 51.) Having thoroughly considered the
motion and the relevant record, the Court hereby GRANTS the
motion. Petitioner is granted leave to file a 14-page brief
setting forth his objections to the report and
Motion for Reconsideration
September 2019, Petitioner, while represented by counsel,
asked the Court to consider his pro se supplemental
reply brief in support of his underlying § 2254
petition. (Dkt. No. 42.) The Honorable Brian A. Tsuchida,
United States Magistrate Judge, denied Petitioner's
request. (Dkt. No. 46.) Judge Tsuchida found that Petitioner
had not requested to proceed on his own behalf and
“does not have the right to co-litigate a federal
habeas petition pro se while represented by
counsel.” (Id. at 2) (citing W.D. Wash. Local
Civ. R. 83.2(b)(5)). Judge Tsuchida also found that
Petitioner's “difficulty trusting counsel”
was insufficient to warrant granting his request.
(Id.) Nonetheless, while Petitioner's counsel
offered substantive argument only as to one of
Petitioner's claims, Judge Tsuchida's report and
recommendation thoroughly addressed the merits of each of
Petitioner's claims in his § 2254 petition.
(See Dkt. Nos. 41, 46 at 2-3, 47.)
November 26, 2019, Petitioner filed pro se
objections to Judge Tsuchida's report and recommendation.
(See Dkt. No. 50.) The Court struck Petitioner's
pro se objections because he remains represented by
counsel. (See id.) Petitioner moves for
reconsideration of the Court's striking of
Petitioner's pro se objections. (Dkt. No. 53.)
for reconsideration are generally disfavored. W.D. Wash.
Local Civ. R. 7(h)(1). Reconsideration is appropriate only
where there is “manifest error in the prior ruling or a
showing of new facts or legal authority which could not have
been brought to [the Court's] attention earlier with
reasonable diligence.” Id. “A motion for
reconsideration should not be used to ask the court to
rethink what the court had already thought through-rightly or
wrongly.” Premier Harvest LLC v. AXIS Surplus Ins.
Co., No. C17-0784-JCC, Dkt. No. 61 at 1 (W.D. Wash.
2017) (quoting U.S. v. Rezzonico, 32 F.Supp.2d 1112,
1116 (D. Ariz. 1998)).
first asserts that Local Civil Rule 83.2(b)(5) should be
suspended in § 2254 proceedings where good cause is
shown. (Dkt. No. 53 at 2.) Petitioner argues that good cause
exists in this case because of Petitioner's
“documented history of severe distrust of counsel
[which has] made it difficult for him to work with
undersigned counsel and to trust that the federal proceedings
are fair.” (Id.) Petitioner raised this
argument before Judge Tsuchida, who rejected it after finding
that Petitioner's distrust of his counsel was not unique
to him and that Petitioner's counsel has competently and
diligently represented him. (See Dkt. Nos. 42-2, 46
at 2.) Thus, the issue of Petitioner's distrust of
counsel has already been put before the Court and it remains
insufficient to merit allowing Petitioner to co-litigate his
case alongside counsel. Therefore, Petitioner has not
identified a manifest error or new facts or legal authority
that could not have been brought to the Court's attention
earlier with reasonable diligence, and reconsideration is not
merited on this ground. See W.D. Wash. Local Civ. R.
next argues that his pro se objections to the report
and recommendation are distinguishable from his pro
se supplemental reply brief. (Dkt. No. 53 at 2-3.) Judge
Tsuchida noted that “[w]hile the Court denies the
motion to permit pro se filings, this does not mean the Court
will disregard claims counsel did not brief . . . . The
Court's denial of the motion is therefore not dispositive
because the Court will review each of the claims originally
presented, rather than foreclose review of claims not briefed
by counsel.” (Dkt. No. 46 at 2-3.) Petitioner argues
that “[t]he same is not necessarily true of objections
before the district court judge.” (Dkt. No. 53 at 2-3)
(citing Loher v. Thomas, 8251103, 1121 (9th Cir.
2016) (discussing State's waiver of challenge to the
petitioner's claim by failing to object to magistrate
judge's recommendation that was adopted by district
court)). Any distinction between Petitioner's pro
se supplemental reply brief and his pro se
objections does not merit reconsideration of the Court's
decision. Judge Tsuchida's report and recommendation
reached the merits of each of Petitioner's claims, and
Petitioner's counsel was welcome to raise any objection
they wished. (See Dkt. No. 47.) And Petitioner's counsel
has not established that the Court is precluded from
reviewing Judge Tsuchida's report and recommendation in
its entirety despite counsel's decision to cabin their
objections to a single issue. (See Dkt. No. 52.)
Therefore, Petitioner has not identified a manifest error or
new facts or legal authority meriting reconsideration on this
ground. See W.D. Wash. Local Civil R.
forgoing reasons, Petitioner's motion for reconsideration
of the Court's order striking Petitioner's pro
se objections (Dkt. No. 53) is DENIED.