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United States v. Bernal

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 26, 2013

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Richard Bernal, Defendant.

ORDER

DAVID G. CAMPBELL, District Judge.

Defendant Richard Bernal filed a motion to reconsider the Court's ruling on Defendant's motion to suppress and for a new a trial. Doc. 91. The government filed a response in opposition, and Defendant filed a reply. Docs. 92, 98. No party has requested oral argument. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will deny the motion.

I. Background.

Defendant was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition based on evidence acquired from a traffic stop by Phoenix police officers in the early morning hours of March 1, 2010. Prior to trial, Defendant filed a motion to suppress all evidence resulting from the stop by Phoenix Police Officer Travis Morrison, including a firearm and ammunition found at the scene and statements Defendant made to police officers. Doc. 36. Defendant argued that Officer Morrison had detained him without reasonable suspicion in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights, and that the evidence should be suppressed as the fruit of an illegal seizure. Id. at 4-8. Following briefing and an evidentiary hearing on May 30, 2013, the Court found that Officer Morrison's detention of Defendant was supported by reasonable suspicion. Doc. 58. The Court issued an order denying Defendant's motion on June 7, 2013. Id. at 6. A three-day jury trial commenced on June 18, 2013, and the jury returned a guilty verdict on June 20, 2013.

Defendant asks the Court to reconsider its denial of his motion to suppress based on new evidence, specifically the trial testimony of Officer Morrison and Officer Blake Richey. Doc. 91 at 3-6. Defendant argues that this new evidence should cause the Court to rethink its assessment of Officer Morrison's credibility at the May 30, 2013 suppression hearing. Id. at 6. This reassessment, Defendant argues, should in turn cause the Court to reverse its denial of Defendant's motion to suppress and order a new trial. Id.

II. Legal Standards.

A. Motion to Reconsider.

Motions for reconsideration are disfavored and should be granted only in rare circumstances. See Stetter v. Blackpool, No. CV 09-1071-PHX-DGC, 2009 WL 3348522, at *1 (D. Ariz. Oct. 15, 2009). A motion for reconsideration will be denied "absent a showing of manifest error or a showing of new facts or legal authority that could not have been brought to [the Court's] attention earlier with reasonable diligence." LRCiv 7.2(g)(1); see Carroll v. Nakatani, 342 F.3d 934, 945 (9th Cir. 2003). Mere disagreement with an order is an insufficient basis for reconsideration. See Ross v. Arpaio, No. CV 05-4177-PHX-MHM, 2008 WL 1776502, at *2 (D. Ariz. 2008). Nor should reconsideration be used to ask the Court to rethink its analysis. Id.; see N.W. Acceptance Corp. v. Lynnwood Equip., Inc., 841 F.2d 918, 925-26 (9th Cir. 1988).

B. Motion for a New Trial.

"Upon the defendant's motion, the court may vacate any judgment and grant a new trial if the interest of justice so requires." Fed. R. Crim. P. 33(a). To prevail on a motion for new trial based on newly discovered evidence, the movant must satisfy a five-part test: "(1) the evidence must be newly discovered; (2) the failure to discover the evidence sooner must not be the result of lack of diligence on the defendant's part; (3) the evidence must be material to the issues at trial; (4) the evidence must be neither cumulative nor merely impeaching; and (5) the evidence must indicate that a new trial would probably result in acquittal.'" United States v. Harrington, 410 F.3d 598, 601 (9th Cir. 2005) (quoting U.S. v. Kulczyk, 931 F.2d 542, 549 (9th Cir. 1991)).

III. Discussion.

A. Motion for Reconsideration.

The government argues that Defendant's motion for reconsideration should be denied as both procedurally and substantively unsound. ...


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