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Ervin v. Soto

United States District Court, C.D. California

April 7, 2015

OTIS FITZGERALD ERVIN, Petitioner,
v.
J. SOTO, Warden, Respondent.

ORDER RE SUMMARY DENIAL OF PETITIONER'S MOTIONS TO ALTER OR AMEND THE COURT'S ORDER

JAMES V. SELNA, District Judge.

On March 18, 2015, Petitioner Otis Fitzgerald Ervin ("Petitioner"), proceeding pro se, filed ten Motions to Alter or Amend the Court's Order ("Motions"), pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). The Motions appear to seek an amendment of the Court's February 19, 2015 Judgment denying Petitioner's Amended Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus ("Amended Petition"). For the reasons set forth below, the Court summarily denies the Motions.

I.

PROCEDURAL SUMMARY

On June 12, 2013, Petitioner filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in this Court ("Petition"), raising nine grounds challenging his June 2010 conviction in Los Angeles County Superior Court for attempting to dissuade a witness, in violation of California Penal Code section 136.1(a)(2). (ECF Docket No. ("dkt.") 1). On February 4, 2014, Respondent filed an Answer to the Petition ("Answer"), with an accompanying Memorandum of Points and Authorities. (Dkt. 23). On April 16, 2014, Petitioner filed a Traverse to Respondent's Answer. (Dkt. 29).

On May 2, 2014, Petitioner filed an Amended Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus ("Amended Petition"), supplementing the original nine claims in the original Petition with a tenth claim. (Dkt. 31). On July 1, 2014, Respondent filed a Supplemental Answer to the Amended Petition and an accompanying Memorandum of Points and Authorities, responding to the newly-added tenth claim. (Dkt. 38). On August 20, 2014, Petitioner filed a Supplemental Traverse to Respondent's Supplemental Answer. (Dkt. 49).

Concurrently, on August 6, 2014, Petitioner filed a Motion for Summary Judgment and a supporting Request for Judicial Notice, arguing Respondent failed to file an Opposition to a separate summary judgment motion he had allegedly presented to prison officials for mailing on May 20, 2014. (Dkt. 46, 47). On August 14, 2014, the assigned U.S. Magistrate Judge ("Magistrate Judge") denied Petitioner's Motion for Summary Judgment, stating the Court did not receive the alleged May 20, 2014 summary judgment motion, and hence, the motion was "not properly before [the] Court." (Dkt. 48).

On August 28, 2014, the Court received another Motion for Summary Judgment from Petitioner, contending there were no genuine disputes of material fact at issue. (Dkt. 52). On September 9, 2014, the Magistrate Judge ordered the Motion not to be filed, but instead rejected because the matter stood submitted. (Id.). On September 23, 2014, Petitioner filed Objections to the Magistrate Judge's rejection of the Motion. (Dkt. 53).

On January 5, 2015, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation that all of Petitioner's claims be denied as meritless. (Dkt. 56). On February 4, 2015, Petitioner filed Objections to the Report and Recommendation, including a new argument in support of his tenth claim. (Dkt. 58). On February 10, 2015, the Magistrate Judge issued a Final Report and Recommendation, specifically addressing Petitioner's new argument in regard to Claim Ten. (Dkt. 60). On February 19, 2015, the Court issued an Order accepting the Final Report and Recommendation and entered Judgment denying the Amended Petition. (Dkt. 61, 62).

On March 18, 2015, Petitioner filed the ten instant Motions, each designated in consecutive numerical order. (Dkt. 64, 64-1, 64-2, 64-3, 64-4, 64-5, 64-6, 64-7, 64-8, 64-9). In the Motions, Petitioner appears to seek an amendment of the Court's February 19, 2015 Judgment.

II.

LEGAL STANDARD

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) permits parties to file a "motion to alter or amend a judgment, " no later than 28 days after the entry of judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). Rule 59(e) does not list "specific grounds for a motion to amend or alter" and thus, "the district court enjoys considerable discretion in granting or denying the motion." Allstate Ins. Co. v. Herron, 634 F.3d 1101, 1111 (9th Cir. 2011) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). "In general, there are four basic grounds upon which a Rule 59(e) motion may be granted: (1) if such motion is necessary to correct manifest errors of law or fact upon which the judgment rests; (2) if such motion is necessary to present newly discovered or previously unavailable evidence; (3) if such motion is necessary to prevent manifest injustice; or (4) if the amendment is justified by an intervening change in controlling law." Id . (internal citation omitted). "[O]ther, highly unusual circumstances, " also may "warrant[] reconsideration." Sch. Dist. No. 1J, Multnomah County, Or. v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993).

"[A]mending a judgment after its entry remains an extraordinary remedy[.]" Herron, 634 F.3d at 1111 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). The Ninth Circuit thus has repeatedly cautioned that such a remedy "should be used sparingly." Id . (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Amendment of judgment is used sparingly to serve the dual "interests of finality and conservation of judicial resources." See Kona Enterprises, Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000). Hence, "a party seeking reconsideration must show more than a disagreement with the Court's decision, and recapitulation of the cases and arguments considered by the court before rendering its original decision fails to ...


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