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Jackson v. Spaulding

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


March 19, 2009

FRED LEON JACKSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
J. SPAULDING, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Garland E. Burrell, Jr. United States District Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed this civil rights action seeking relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The matter was referred to a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local General Order No. 262.

On February 13, 2009, the magistrate judge found that despite three extensions of time and a warning that he must file an opposition or statement of no opposition to the defendants' motion to dismiss, plaintiff failed to respond to the defendants' motion. Based on these findings, the magistrate judge recommended that this action be dismissed for plaintiff's failure to prosecute and to obey the rules and orders of this court. These findings and recommendations were served on all parties and contained notice to all parties that any objections to the findings and recommendations were to be filed within fourteen days. Neither party has filed objections.

However, on March 12, 2009, plaintiff filed a letter styled "Confidential Legal Communication" which requests an additional 30 days to file objections. He asserts that since his September 16, 2008, transfer to the California Medical Facility, he has been denied access to the law library. Dckt. 33, at 1. He asserts that he has submitted written requests for access to the law library, which have been denied. See Id., at 3. However, he submits no copies of his requests or of any written responses.

Plaintiff also asserts that he previously has complained to the court about being denied library access and that the magistrate judge has ignored him. The court has reviewed the docket, the attachments to plaintiff's letter and the magistrate judge's prior rulings in this action. This court will not repeat all the facts recounted in the magistrate judge's orders and findings and recommendations, but it is clear that the magistrate judge has not ignored plaintiff's filings. Dckt. 25, 29, 31. It is also clear that plaintiff is no novice at filing pleadings in this court.*fn1

Additionally, this court notes that plaintiff has taken to filing his requests for additional time after the relevant deadlines have passed. For example, plaintiff filed his third request for an extension of time to oppose defendants' motion to dismiss after his opposition was due. He did not justify his tardiness. See Dckt. 31. Furthermore, the instant "letter" in which he seeks an extension of time was filed two weeks beyond the deadline for filing objections to the findings and recommendations. Thus, in addition to failing to oppose defendants' motion, he has twice violated the rule requiring a party to request additional time to act before the time to act passes, or else to show good cause for a failure in this regard. Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(b). While plaintiff claims that he is denied access to the law library and to materials such as "paper, envelopes and photocopying," he clearly was able to type the instant letter and supposedly send copies to the magistrate judge and the deputy attorney general representing the defendants. It is incredulous that a plaintiff who is a single court order away of having an action dismissed for failure to oppose a motion would claim systematic denial of access to the law library and various services in a letter which demonstrates that he in fact has access to those things. Furthermore, plaintiff does not need to go to the law library to file a timely request for additional time, and, as noted, he is able to obtain paper, envelopes and photocopying services when necessary. Also, he has not explained why he filed his recent letter after the time to object expired. In light of this pattern of violating the local rules and orders to timely file opposition briefs and plaintiff's current failure to justify his delay, the court finds that he has not shown good cause for an extension of time to file objections to the findings and recommendations.

The court has reviewed the file de novo and finds the findings and recommendations to be supported by the record and by the magistrate judge's analysis.

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. The findings and recommendations filed February 13, 2009, are adopted in full; and

2. This action is dismissed. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b).


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