Tuesday, 17 July 2007
The Eleventh Circuit examines the interplay of Rule 60(b) and AEDPA’s successive writ rules in Edward Zakrzweski v. McDonough. The district court erred, the panel holds, on these facts finding the Rule 60(b) motion was a successor. Initial habeas counsel or Zakrzweski took positions and actions that resulted in a pro se bar complaint and a pro se request for new counsel. The district court denied the request for new counsel and denied substantive habeas relief. On the subsequent appeal Zakrzweski lost. New counsel was recruited nonetheless while the habeas appeal was pending and filed a Rule 60(b) motion requesting reconsideration. The Eleventh Circuit, despite previously denying relief, remands the finding of abuse of the writ and orders the district court to examine whether relief is appropriate under Rule 60(b).