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Bryant v. Thomas

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


September 28, 2009

KEVIN DARNELL BRYANT, CDCR #D-56620, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SELEAINA ANNE THOMAS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: William Q. Hayes United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION

[Doc. Nos. 9, 11]

On June 19, 2009, Kevin Darnell Bryant, ("Plaintiff"), an inmate currently incarcerated at Kern Valley State Prison located in Delano, California and proceeding pro se, filed a civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In addition, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis ("IFP").

On July 24, 2009, this Court dismissed Plaintiff's civil action as frivolous because the Court found that Plaintiff had already filed an action against the same defendants involving the same claims in Bryant v. Thomas, et al., S.D. Cal. Civil Case No. 06-2573 W (AJB). See July 24, 2009 Order at 2-3.

Plaintiff seeks reconsideration of the Court's Order. See Pl.'s Mot. for Reconsideration filed on August 24, 2009 and September 23, 2009 [Doc. Nos. 9, 11].

I. Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration

A. Standard of Review

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not expressly provide for motions for reconsideration.*fn1 However, a motion for reconsideration may be construed as a motion to alter or amend judgment under Rule 59(e) or Rule 60(b).*fn2 See Osterneck v. Ernst & Whinney, 489 U.S. 169, 174 (1989); In re Arrowhead Estates Development Co., 42 F.3d 1306, 1311 (9th Cir. 1994). In Osterneck, the Supreme Court stated that "a postjudgment motion will be considered a Rule 59(e) motion where it involves 'reconsideration of matters properly encompassed in a decision on the merits.'" Id. at 174 (quoting White v. New Hampshire Dep't of Employ't Sec., 455 U.S. 445, 451 (1982)). Under Rule 59(e), "[r]econsideration is appropriate if the district court (1) is presented with newly discovered evidence, (2) committed clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust, or (3) if there is an intervening change in controlling law. There may also be other, highly unusual, circumstances warranting reconsideration." School Dist. No. 1J v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993) (citations omitted).

B. Discussion

In the Court's July 24, 2009 Order, the Court found that Plaintiff had previously filed an action that contained the same claims against the same defendants. See July 24, 2009 Order at 2-3. Specifically, the Court took judicial notice of the action filed by Plaintiff in Bryant v. Thomas, et al., S.D. Cal. Civil Case No. 06cv2573 W (AJB). Plaintiff's action was dismissed on February 6, 2007. (Id., Feb. 6, 2007 Dismissal Order, Doc. No. 5).

In the matter currently before the Court Plaintiff claims he was unable to follow the Court's Orders to reopen the matter because he was transferred to a different prison, his legal property was withheld from him and he was on "high doses of heavy psychiatric medications" for the last twenty three (23) months. (See Pl.'s Mot., Doc. No. 11, at 3).

Based on the representations in Plaintiff's Motion, the Court will GRANT Plaintiff's Motions for Reconsideration, vacate the Court's July 24, 2009 Order and direct the Clerk of Court to reopen the case. However, the Court will also rule on Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed IFP and conduct a sua sponte screening of Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A in a separate Order.

III. CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Based on the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

(1) Plaintiff's Motions for Reconsideration (Doc. Nos. 9, 11) are GRANTED. The Court also VACATES the Order filed on July 24, 2009.

(2) The Clerk of Court is directed to reopen the file.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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