United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ANTHONY W. OLIPHANT, Plaintiff,
ROBERT VILLANO, ET AL., Defendants.
RULING RE: MOTION TO RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
W. Oliphant (“Plaintiff”) requests the Court to
grant remedy and relief from the March 23, 2016 Judgment
(“Judgment”) issued by the United States Court of
Appeals for the Second Circuit, which affirmed the March 12,
2014 Judgment issued by this Court following the jury trial
of Mr. Oliphant's claims. Mot. for Relief from J., ECF
No. 314. Robert Villano, Mark Sheppard, and William Onofrio
(together “Defendants”) oppose this motion. Defs.
Obj., ECF No. 317. For the reasons outlined below, Mr.
Oliphant's  Motion for Relief from Judgment is
DENIED, and his  Motion for Status and
Clarification is DENIED AS MOOT.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
September 1, 1995, Mr. Oliphant was sentenced to fifteen
years of imprisonment for “defraud[ing] a public
community, ” which was to be suspended after seven
years served with five subsequent years of probation. Am.
Compl. ¶¶ 10-11, ECF No. 178. Defendants are police
officers of the Hamden Police Department in the Town of
Hamden, Connecticut. Id. at ¶ 2.
Mr. Oliphant's probation period, his ex-girlfriend,
Rhonda Dixon, allegedly reported to the police that she had
been “beat up” by Mr. Oliphant. Id. at
¶ 25. On October 6, 2006, Defendants arrested Mr.
Oliphant outside his home in connection with Ms. Dixon's
complaint. Id. at ¶¶ 73-89. According to
Mr. Oliphant, Defendants used excessive force against him
during this incident. Id. at ¶¶ 97-114.
Mr. Oliphant was charged with eight offenses based on this
encounter, id. at ¶ 93, and on October 26,
2007, Mr. Oliphant was sentenced to serve six and one half
additional years in prison for having violated the terms of
his probation. Id. at ¶¶ 94-95.
trial was held in this matter from March 4, 2014 until March
7, 2014. Minute Entries, ECF Nos. 286-291. The jury entered a
verdict for Defendants on Mr. Oliphant's claims of
excessive force, battery and intentional infliction of
emotional distress, and they found for Mr. Oliphant as to his
assault claim against Defendant Villano. Jury Verdict, ECF
No. 292. The jury awarded nominal damages of $1.00 and
determined that he was not entitled to punitive damages on
the second claim. Id. The Court entered judgment in
accordance with the jury's verdict, see
Judgment, ECF No. 297, and Mr. Oliphant promptly appealed to
the Second Circuit on April 3, 2017, see Not. of
Appeal, ECF No. 298. On March 23, 2016, the Second Circuit
issued a mandate affirming the Court's judgment. Mandate
of USCA, ECF No. 313.
February 23, 2017, Mr. Oliphant filed this “Motion for
Relief” from the Second Circuit's ruling, arguing
that the judgment issued by the Court in accordance with the
jury's verdict is “too inequitable . . . to stand
in this matter, due to inadvertent error by the Court.”
Mot. for Relief, ECF No. 314.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a
district court, “[o]n motion and just terms... may
relieve a party or its legal representative from a final
judgment, order, or proceeding....” Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b).
Generally, “[i]t is well established . . . that a
‘proper case' for Rule 60(b)(6) relief is only one
of ‘extraordinary circumstances, ' or
‘extreme hardship.'” Harris v. United
States, 367 F.3d 74, 81 (quoting United States v.
Cirami, 563 F.2d 26, 32 (2d Cir. 1977) (internal
“[w]hile the federal rules do permit the district court
to ‘relieve a party or a party's legal
representative from a final judgment', see Fed.
R. Civ. P. 60(b), this Circuit has repeatedly held that the
docketing of a notice of appeal ‘ousts the district
court of jurisdiction except insofar as it is reserved to it
explicitly by statute or rule.'” Toliver v.
Cty. of Sullivan, 957 F.2d 47, 49 (2d Cir. 1992)
(quoting Ryan v. United States Line Co., 303 F.2d
430, 434 (2d Cir. 1962)); see also United States v.
Habib, 72 F.2d 271, 272 (2d Cir. 1934) (noting that,
even following voluntary abandonment of appeal, “the
District Court was without jurisdiction to reduce the
sentences which had been appealed to this court”).
Oliphant filed this Rule 60 motion after he had already
appealed the Court's judgment to the Second Circuit and
after the Second Circuit issued a ruling affirming the
judgment. Mot. for Relief, ECF No. 314. In support of this
motion, he makes general references to claims of conspiracy
racketeering, Racketeering Influence and the Corrupt
Organization Act (RICO), denial of equal protection, denial
of due process, excessive use of force, tort of assault and
battery, and racial discrimination under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA). He does not provide any factual
support for any of these claims, nor does he address the
jurisdictional challenges associated with challenging Second
Circuit action at the district court level after an appeal
has already been filed. Mem. in Supp. Mot. for Relief, ECF
has already been entered in this case and the case has been
closed since March of 2014. Mr. Oliphant has already appealed
the Court's judgment, and the judgment was affirmed.
Accordingly, the Court lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate Mr.
Oliphant's claims and Mr. Oliphant's motion lacks any
factual allegations that would otherwise support any
recognizable form of relief. See Toliver, 957 F.2d
at 434. Thus, the motion is denied, and this case will remain