Last week, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Henderson and Brown handed down a per curiam order in response to the government’s motion to remand Ravil Mingazov’s case to the District Court for consideration of his motion there under Rule 60(b), which governs situations in which new evidence has surfaced that may require reopening the original judgment.
Mingazov was granted a writ of habeas corpus by Judge Henry Kennedy in the District Court for the District of Columbia. The government appealed Judge Kennedy’s ruling. Shortly after the government filed its initial brief and Mingazov responded (although that brief is still classified), the government moved to hold the appeal in abeyance as it moved separately in the District Court for a new trial under 60(b). The appeals court granted the motion, so the action shifted back to the district court for the time being. The crux of the problem was that the judge who originally presided over the case, Judge Kennedy, retired without ruling on the 60(b) motion. The case had passed to Judge Thomas Hogan, and after several deadline extensions, Judge Hogan granted the 60(b) motion in part, deferring the request for relief until the appeals court decided to remand the case back to the district court. Judge Hogan justified his deferral on the fact that one could never know how Judge Kennedy would rule on the weight and credibility of new evidence, particularly given that Judge Hogan was not there.
Now that the case has been officially remanded, Judge Hogan can now rule on the 60(b) motion that he deferred ruling on back in June.