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Aranda v. Martel

July 29, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: David O. Carter United States District Judge


Before the Court is Plaintiff Fernando Aranda's Objection to this Court's previous Order dismissing his Complaint. Because Plaintiff objects to a previous Order, the Court treats the objection as a Motion for Reconsideration pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). After considering the papers, the Court hereby DENIES the Motion.


Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the California Department of Corrections ("CDCR") Facility at Mule Creek State Prison. Plaintiff filed his original Complaint on June 10, 2008. Plaintiff alleged that legal mail he submitted for delivery to the United States House of Representatives on January 10, 2008, was intentionally kept from delivery. Plaintiff alleged that the CDCR intentionally failed to deliver his mail and as a result, his constitutional rights were violated. The CDCR keeps records of legal mail that has been sent out, and Plaintiff claimed that because his mail was not recorded, it was not sent. Plaintiff filed several grievances, all of which concluded that Plaintiff's mail could not be found. Dissatisfied with the result, he sought compensatory and punitive damages. Plaintiff also asked this Court to make an inquiry into whether his mail was actually delivered to the intended party.

Plaintiff asserted his claim against the CDCR and John M. Martel ("Martel"), the Warden of Mule Creek Prison, under a theory of respondeat superior. Plaintiff's claims alleged a specific, isolated incident, in which his mail was not recorded as delivered. This Court found that Plaintiff's complaint did not make it clear if the mail was actually delivered and employees of the CDCR simply neglected to record the delivery, or if the mail was misplaced. Although Plaintiff alleged an intentional failure to deliver his mail, he did not appear to know if his mail actually went undelivered. Therefore, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's Complaint with leave to amend. In addition, Plaintiff had also filed a Motion to proceed In Forma Pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). This Court denied Plaintiff's request without prejudice, due to his failure to submit a declaration that met the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).

Following this Court's Order Dismissing Plaintiff's Complaint, Plaintiff filed an objection to the Court Order on July 7, 2009. After filing his objection, Plaintiff also filed an Amended Complaint and a Motion to proceed In Forma Pauperis on July 10, 2009.


Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) "provides for reconsideration only upon a showing of (1) mistake, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence; (3) fraud; (4) a void judgment; (5) a satisfied or discharged judgment; or (6) 'extraordinary circumstances' which would justify relief." School Dist. No. 1J, Multnomah County v. Acands, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993) (quoting Fuller v. M.G. Jewelry, 950 F.2d 1437, 1442 (9th Cir. 1991)).

Additionally, Local Rule 78-230(k) states, "Whenever any motion has been granted or denied in whole or in part, and a subsequent motion for reconsideration is made upon the same or any alleged different set of facts, it shall be the duty of counsel to present to the Judge or Magistrate Judge to whom such subsequent motion is made an affidavit or brief, as appropriate, setting forth the material facts and circumstances surrounding each motion for which reconsideration is sought, including: (1) when and to what Judge or Magistrate Judge the prior motion was made, (2) what ruling, decision or order was made thereon, (3) what new or different facts or circumstances are claimed to exist or were not shown upon such prior motion, or what other grounds exist for the motion, and (4) why the facts or circumstances were not shown at the time of the prior motion." Local R. 78-230(k).


Plaintiff fails to show in his Motion a solid basis for why the Court's prior order should be reconsidered. Plaintiff does not meet any of the factors required by Rule 60(b) to allow for reconsideration. Plaintiff makes no statement to show that there has been newly discovered evidence, fraud, a void judgment, a satisfied or discharged judgment, or extraordinary circumstances which would justify relief. Nor do the facts set out in the Motion indicate that any one of these factors have been met. The only factor for reconsideration that the Plaintiff does address is the first factor requiring a showing of mistake, surprise, or excusable neglect with respect to his Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. Plaintiff, however, has already filed an Amended Complaint and has also filed another Motion to proceed In Forma Pauperis. As such, that issue is not appropriate for discussion in this instant Motion for Reconsideration and will instead be addressed along with the Amended Complaint in a separate order.

Additionally, Plaintiff's Motion does not actually address why this Court should reconsider its previous Order to Dismiss. Rather, Plaintiff's long and convoluted Motion states various different legal standards and attempts to apply them to the facts of Plaintiff's case. This type of analysis is more suited for the Amended Complaint that Plaintiff has already filed and does not belong in this Motion for Reconsideration. Plaintiff has made no showing as to why this Court should reconsider its previous order and as such, Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED.


For the foregoing reasons, the Court hereby DENIES Plaintiff Aranda's Motion ...

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