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Matthew G. Jennings v. A. Mooreland

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


April 15, 2011

MATTHEW G. JENNINGS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
A. MOORELAND, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

ORDER

On February 14, 2011, plaintiff filed a request for reconsideration of the Magistrate Judge's February 2, 2011 order denying plaintiff's motion "requesting six months priority legal library use." Pursuant to E.D. Local Rule 303(f), a magistrate judge's orders shall be upheld unless "clearly erroneous or contrary to law." For the reasons described below, plaintiff's request is granted.

On December 7, 2009, plaintiff filed a motion requesting that the court order Mule Creek State Prison to place plaintiff on the priority library list for 180 days so that plaintiff could "prosecute this case, do legal research, and have access to make copies of legal documents pertaining to this case." Doc. No. 57. Magistrate Judge Robert A. McQuaid granted plaintiff's motion on December 10, 2009. Doc. No. 58.

On June 8, 2010, plaintiff filed a motion requesting a six month extension of his priority legal library use. Doc. No. 93. Plaintiff informed the court that "rolling lock down" procedures were put into effect at Mule Creek State Prison, causing inmates without priority access to be denied entry into the library on lock down days. Magistrate Judge McQuaid granted plaintiff's motion on July 9, 2010. Doc. No. 104.

On December 21, 2010, this case was reassigned to this court and to Magistrate Judge Kimberly J. Mueller. On January 6, 2011, this case was temporarily assigned to Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan due to the elevation of Judge Mueller to District Judge.

On January 13, 2011, plaintiff again sought extension of his priority access to the legal library. Doc. No. 152. In his motion, plaintiff cited the rolling lock down program implemented at Mule Creek Prison due to budget cuts, and his disadvantage in pursuing this case if he is not provided priority access. On February 2, 2011, Magistrate Judge Brennan denied the motion because plaintiff failed to show that the amount of library time provided to him was inadequate. Doc. No. 157.

On February 14, 2011, plaintiff filed objections to the denial, seeking reconsideration of the Magistrate Judge's decision. Doc. No. 160. In his objections, plaintiff describes in detail the limited access provided to inmates who do not have priority access and why he needs such access in order to adequately litigate his case. In light of the prior grants to plaintiff's nearly identical motions and in the interest of justice, the court grants plaintiff's motion and reverses the decision of the Magistrate Judge.

Therefore, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that, upon reconsideration, the order of the magistrate judge filed February 2, 2011 is reversed. Plaintiff Matthew Jennings, CDC No. K-53172 shall be allowed six (6) months priority legal library use effective April 18, 2011 through October 18, 2011.

20110415

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