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Charles Jones v. District Attorney

June 5, 2012

CHARLES JONES,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (Doc. 9.) ORDER FOR CLERK TO REOPEN CASE ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM, WITH LEAVE TO AMEND THIRTY DAY DEADLINE

I. BACKGROUND

Charles Jones ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed the Complaint commencing this action on December 19, 2011. (Doc. 1.) On January 20, 2012, Plaintiff consented to the jurisdiction of a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1), and no other parties have appeared. (Doc. 5.)

The Court screened the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and entered an order on April 24, 2012, dismissing the Complaint for failure to state a claim, with leave to file a petition for writ of habeas corpus. (Doc. 7.) On May 17, 2012, Plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration of the order dismissing this action. (Doc. 9.)

II. MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

Rule 60(b)(6) allows the Court to relieve a party from an order for any reason that justifies relief. Rule 60(b)(6) "is to be used sparingly as an equitable remedy to prevent manifest injustice and is to be utilized only where extraordinary circumstances . . ." exist. Harvest v. Castro, 531 F.3d 737, 749 (9th Cir. 2008) (internal quotations marks and citation omitted). The moving party "must demonstrate both injury and circumstances beyond his control . . . ." Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). In seeking reconsideration of an order, Local Rule 230(k) requires Plaintiff to show "what new or different facts or circumstances are claimed to exist which did not exist or were not shown upon such prior motion, or what other grounds exist for the motion."

"A motion for reconsideration should not be granted, absent highly unusual circumstances, unless the district court is presented with newly discovered evidence, committed clear error, or if there is an intervening change in the controlling law," Marlyn Nutraceuticals, Inc. v. Mucos Pharma GmbH & Co., 571 F.3d 873, 880 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotations marks and citations omitted, and "[a] party seeking reconsideration must show more than a disagreement with the Court's decision, and recapitulation . . . " of that which was already considered by the Court in rendering its decision," U.S. v. Westlands Water Dist., 134 F.Supp.2d 1111, 1131 (E.D. Cal. 2001).

Plaintiff argues that his case should not have been dismissed, because he requested an injunction due to violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), which was not addressed by the Court, and because the claim concerning his state court case is a due process claim which was appropriately brought in a section 1983 action.

Claims arising from State Court Proceedings

Plaintiff argues that the claims arising from his state court proceedings were appropriately brought in a § 1983 action as a claim for violation of his rights to due process. Plaintiff alleged in the Complaint that during his state court proceedings, the trial court refused to appoint counsel; the District Attorney refused to turn over evidence; and his defense attorneys allowed evidence to be presented that they knew was false, allowed perjured testimony, and aided the prosecutor in allowing perjured testimony.

When a prisoner challenges the legality or duration of his custody, or raises a constitutional challenge which could entitle him to an earlier release, his sole federal remedy is a writ of habeas corpus. Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475 (1973); Young v. Kenny, 907 F.2d 874 (9th Cir. 1990), cert. denied 11 S.Ct. 1090 (1991). "[A] state prisoner's § 1983 action is barred (absent prior invalidation) - no matter the relief sought (damages or equitable relief), no matter the target of the prisoner's suit (state conduct leading to conviction or internal prison proceedings) - if success in that action would necessarily demonstrate the invalidity of confinement or its duration." Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 81-2, 125 S.Ct. 1242, 1248 (2005).

Plaintiff's allegations in the Complaint clearly challenge the validity of his underlying criminal conviction and, therefore, Plaintiff's sole federal remedy is a writ of habeas corpus. Thus, Plaintiff fails to state a claim under § 1983 for the violation of his rights during his state court proceedings. The Court finds that the deficiencies outlined above are not capable of being cured by amendment. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii); Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000). Therefore, with respect to this claim, Plaintiff has not demonstrated that the Court committed clear error, or presented the Court with new information of a strongly convincing nature, to induce the Court to reverse its prior decision.

ADA Claim

Plaintiff argues that he requested an injunction due to violation of the ADA in his Complaint, which the Court did not address in the screening order. The Court has examined the Complaint and finds that Plaintiff is correct. Plaintiff alleges in the Complaint that on December 14, 2011, he was told he could not be transferred from Salinas Valley State Prison ("SVSP") to another facility because he is mobility impaired. Plaintiff uses a cane for walking and requires level terrain with no obstruction in his path of travel. Plaintiff alleges that many other prisons have better terrain than SVSP, and that other inmates without disabilities are being transferred to other prisons. ...


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