United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Douglas Thompson, pro se.
Patrick J. Schiltz United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on plaintiff Douglas
Thompson’s motion under Rule 60(d)(3) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure to set aside a judgment that was
entered by this Court in 1989. For the reasons that follow,
Thompson’s motion is denied.
1961, Thompson escaped from a California jail (where he was
serving a sentence for armed robbery), went on a crime spree,
and killed a police officer and another man in Missouri.
After a total of four trials, Thompson was convicted of both
murders and sentenced to life in prison. See Thompson v.
Denney, No. 4:13CV1241 TIA, 2013 WL 3884168, at *1-3
(E.D. Mo. July 26, 2013) (reviewing Thompson’s
“extensive post-conviction history”).
was released on parole in 1986. Two years later, he was
arrested in Minnesota and charged with several federal
crimes, including bank robbery and firearms offenses.
Thompson pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in
filed a detainer asking that Thompson be returned to its
custody after he finished serving his federal sentence so
that he could be held accountable for parole violations.
See Id. at *2. In response, Thompson filed a habeas
petition in this Court, claiming that the Missouri detainer
was invalid because he was no longer on parole. Specifically,
Thompson argued that he had served at least five years on
parole, and that a Missouri law-§ 558.011.4
of the Missouri Revised Statutes-required that defendants be
discharged from parole after five years. Both this Court and
the Eighth Circuit rejected Thompson’s argument on the
ground that § 558.011.4 did not apply to crimes (such as
Thompson’s murders) that were committed before 1979.
See Thompson v. Mo. Bd. of Parole, 929 F.2d 396,
398-99 (8th Cir. 1991).
served his federal sentence and then, pursuant to the
detainer, he was returned to the custody of Missouri. It is
unclear what happened next; presumably Missouri initiated
parole-revocation proceedings. See Id. at 401 n.12
(noting that Missouri had initiated parole revocation
proceedings “[b]ecause Thompson left the state of
Missouri in 1987 and thereafter failed to report to his
rate, Thompson now moves under Rule 60(d)(3) for this Court
to set aside its 28-year-old ruling that the Missouri
detainer was valid because, Thompson says, “the
Missouri Attorney General’s Office perpetrat[ed]
‘a fraud on the Court.’” ECF No. 65 at
Court does not appear to have jurisdiction over
Thompson’s motion. Thompson challenges the 1989
judgment upholding the validity of the 1988 Missouri
detainer. But Thompson was long ago released from federal
custody and returned to Missouri pursuant to that detainer.
The Court does not understand how a ruling that the 1988
Missouri detainer was invalid would have any impact on
Thompson. See Thompson v. Terrell, 209 F.
App’x 852, 854-55 (10th Cir. 2006). This case appears
to be moot.
said, Thompson is proceeding pro se, and his papers are far
from clear. It is possible that declaring the 1988 Missouri
detainer invalid would have some impact on Thompson that is
not apparent to the Court. It also appears that Thompson may
be seeking relief from more than just the 1988 Missouri
detainer. The Court will therefore address Thompson’s
motion on the merits.
60(d)(3) allows a court to set aside a judgment for
“fraud on the court.” But “‘not all
fraud is fraud on the court.’” United States
v. Sierra Pac. Indus., Inc., 862 F.3d 1157, 1167 (9th
Cir. 2017) (citation omitted). “In order to show fraud
on the court, [the movant] must demonstrate, by clear and
convincing evidence, an effort by [the other party] to
prevent the judicial process from functioning ‘in the
usual manner.’” United States v. Estate of
Stonehill, 660 F.3d 415, 445 (9th Cir. 2011) (citation
omitted). Mere nondisclosure of evidence generally is not
enough to constitute fraud on the court. See Tyler v.
Purkett, 413 F.3d 696, 700 n.7 (8th Cir. 2005)
(“Claims that a party did not disclose to a court
certain facts allegedly pertinent to the matter before it,
however, do not normally constitute fraud on the
court.”). Rather, “a finding of fraud on the
court . . . ‘is justified only by the most egregious
misconduct directed to the court itself, such as bribery of a
judge or jury or fabrication of evidence by
counsel.’” United States v. Smiley, 553
F.3d 1137, 1145 (8th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted).
claims that the Missouri Attorney General’s Office (the
“AG”) “deliberately perpetrated ‘a
fraud on the Court’” when the AG argued that
§ 558.011.4 did not apply to crimes committed before
1979 and when the AG “deliberately concealed”
another Missouri statute (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 557.011.1)
and a “1979 Legislative Manual” that specifically