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Hamilton v. Yates

United States District Court, E.D. California

September 17, 2014

PAUL C. HAMILTON, Plaintiff,
v.
J.A. YATES, et al., Defendants.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO DENY PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS (ECF No. 50)

MICHAEL J. SENG, Magistrate Judge.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Paul C. Hamilton, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, initially filed this action in the Fresno County Superior Court on July 14, 2008. (ECF No. 1.) After it became apparent that Plaintiff was proceeding on civil rights claims brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983, the action was removed to this Court. (ECF Nos. 1, 11, 15.) This matter proceeds against Defendants Mattingly, Trimble, Spearman and Yates on Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment conditions of confinement claim. (ECF Nos. 23, 24.)

On October 3, 2013, the Court issued a discovery and scheduling order, setting an August 14, 2014 deadline for filing dispositive motions. (ECF No. 44.) Defendants sought and were granted an extension of time to September 22, 2014. (ECF Nos. 48, 49.)

Before the Court is Plaintiff's August 12, 2014 motion for judgment on the pleadings. (ECF No. 50.) Defendants opposed the motion (ECF No. 51) and Plaintiff filed a reply (ECF No. 52). Although Plaintiff requested a hearing on his motion, the matter is deemed submitted pursuant to Local Rule 230( l ).

II. LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Judgment on the Pleadings

A motion for judgment on the pleadings is a means to challenge the sufficiency of the opposing party's pleading and provides a vehicle for summary adjudication on the merits after the pleadings are closed. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c); Alexander v. City of Chicago , 994 F.2d 333, 336 (7th Cir. 1993). The pleadings are closed when all required pleadings have been served and filed. Norcal Gold, Inc. v. Laubly , 543 F.Supp.2d 1132, 1135 (E.D. Cal. 2008).

The court applies the same standard as on 12(b)(6) motion for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Cafasso, U.S. ex rel. v. Gen. Dynamics C4 Sys., Inc. , 637 F.3d 1047, 1055 n.4 (9th Cir. 2011).

A plaintiff may bring the motion if the answer fails to controvert material facts alleged in the complaint. "A plaintiff is not entitled to judgment on the pleadings when the answer raises issues of fact that, if proved, would defeat recovery. Similarly, if the defendant raises an affirmative defense in his answer it will usually bar judgment on the pleadings." General Conference Corp. of Seventh-Day Adventists v. Seventh-Day Adventist Congregational Church , 887 F.2d 228, 230 (9th Cir. 1989).

If matters outside the pleadings are presented the motion for judgment on the pleadings is converted to a Rule 56 summary judgment motion. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d); Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner & Co., Inc. , 896 F.2d 1542, 1550 (9th Cir. 1989).

B. Summary Judgment

Any party may move for summary judgment, and the Court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Wash. ...


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