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Janoe v. Raske

June 8, 2009

BOBBY SHAWN JANOE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
K. RASKE, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cathy Ann Bencivengo United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

[Doc. No. 12.]

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Bobby Shawn Janoe, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against Defendant K. Raske, an employee of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at Calipatria State Prison. Plaintiff alleged a claim for denial of access to courts in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. On March 25, 2009, Defendant moved to dismiss the First Amended Complaint. Plaintiff submitted an opposition on May 28, 2009. Defendant filed a on June 5, 2009. The Court finds this matter suitable for submission without oral argument pursuant to Local Civil Rule 7.1(d). For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion is GRANTED.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

At all relevant times, Plaintiff was incarcerated at Calipatria State Prison ("Calipatria"). Defendant Raske, a library technical assistant, was responsible for the administration of the law library program on A-Facility Yard at Calipatria. (First Amended Complaint at ¶ 4.) Her duties included processing law library request slips from prisoners and assigning a date and time for prisoners to access the law library based on these requests. (Id.) Defendant Raske was also responsible for ensuring the legal materials in the law library were in good condition. (FAC at ¶ 14.)

On June 21, 2006, Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal from Imperial County Superior Court Case No. L-01506. (FAC at ¶ 13.) Plaintiff's opening appellate brief was due on October 4, 2006. (FAC at ¶ 17.) Defendant Raske did not grant Plaintiff access to the law library for the entire month of August. at ¶ 15.) Although Plaintiff was able to access the law library in September and October, his research sessions were not productive due to the poor condition of the law books. (FAC at ¶ 17.)

On October 11, 2006, Plaintiff received notice from the Superior Court that his appeal was in default because he had not filed an opening brief. (FAC at ¶ 18.) On October 26, 2006, Plaintiff received notice of his failure to clear the default. (FAC at ¶ 20.) On November 16, 2006, Plaintiff received an order dismissing his appeal due to his failure to file an opening appellate brief. (FAC at ¶ 22.) Plaintiff's failure to file an opening appellate brief was the direct result of the denial of library access during the month of August as well as the poor condition of the law books. (Id.)

III. JUDICIAL NOTICE

A court may take judicial notice of "matters of public record" without converting a motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment. MGIC Indem. Corp. v. Weisman, 803 F.2d 500, 504 (9th 1986). On a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, when a court takes judicial notice of another court's opinion, it may do so "not for the truth of the facts recited therein, but for the existence of the opinion, which is not subject to reasonable dispute over its authenticity." Lee v. City of Los Angeles, 250 F.3d 668, 690 (9th Cir. 2001) (quoting Southern Cross Overseas Agencies, Inc. v. Wah Kwong Shipping Group Ltd., 181 F.3d 410, 426-27 (3rd Cir.1999)). Accordingly, the Court takes judicial notice of the following court records from Janoe v. Cebreros, et al., Case No. L-01506, filed in the Imperial County Superior Court as a limited civil action:

(1) Complaint filed by Plaintiff Bobby Janoe on July 15, 2003 (Defendant's Exhibit A);

(2) First Amended Complaint, filed January 8, 2004 (Defendant's Exhibit B);

(3) Order Denying Reconsideration from the Appellate Division of the Imperial County Superior Court, filed on April 4, 2006 (Defendant's Exhibit F); and

(4) Order and Judgment, filed May 15, 2006, granting the defendant's motion for judgment on the ...


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