United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER (1) VACATING ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS (ECF NO. 74) AND (2) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS (ECF NO. 72)
MICHAEL J. SENG, Magistrate Judge.
I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Plaintiff is a federal prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics , 403 U.S. 388 (1971) and 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
On August 15, 2013, the Court screened Plaintiff's seventh amended complaint and found that it stated a cognizable Fifth Amendment due process claim against Defendants A, B, and Gonzaga. (ECF No. 71.) The Court found that Plaintiff had failed to state any other claims against any other defendants; dismissed Defendants Capel, Silva, and the United States; and dismissed with prejudice Plaintiff's First Amendment free speech and Federal Tort Claims Act claims. (Id.)
On August 29, 2013, Plaintiff filed objections to the Court's screening order (ECF No. 72), which the Court construed as a motion for reconsideration and denied on July 14, 2014 (ECF No. 74). The Court's order mistakenly referred to Plaintiff as a state prisoner.
II. PLAINTIFF'S SEVENTH AMENDED COMPLAINT
The allegations in Plaintiff's seventh amended complaint occurred at United States Penitentiary in Atwater, California ("USP-Atwater"), where Plaintiff is currently housed.
The complaint alleges violations of Plaintiff's rights under the First Amendment, Fifth Amendment, and Federal Tort Claims Act. Plaintiff names the following individuals as defendants: 1) Hector Rios, former USP-Atwater Warden, 2) the United States, 3) Defendant A, USP-Atwater mail room employee, 4) Defendant B, USP-Atwater mail room employee, 5) Gonzaga, USP-Atwater mail room supervisor, 6) Capel, correctional counselor for Plaintiff at USP-Atwater, and 7) Silva, correctional counselor for Plaintiff at USP-Atwater.
Plaintiff's allegations may be summarized essentially as follows:
Legal mail related to Plaintiff's criminal appeal was rejected by Defendants A and B. Defendant Gonzaga informed Plaintiff that there was no record of Plaintiff's mail having been rejected by the prison, refused to accept Plaintiff's package authorization form, and informed Plaintiff that no authorization form was required for packages sent by an attorney, even though a package sent by Plaintiff's attorney had been rejected for lack of an authorization form. Plaintiff's criminal appeal ultimately was denied.
Defendants Capel and Silva refused Plaintiff's request for an unmonitored phone line on which to speak to his attorney, and informed Plaintiff that the request should come directly from Plaintiff's attorney. Plaintiff was unable to speak with his attorney while his appellate briefs were drafted. As a result, the appellate record for his appeal was incomplete.
III. LEGAL STANDARDS
1. Motion for Reconsideration
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 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 , ...