United States District Court, E.D. California
LESLIE J. GAINES, JR., Plaintiff
STU SHERMAN (Warden), et al ., Defendants.
ORDER DENYING MOTION AT DOCKET 16
R. BEISTLINE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Docket 16 Plaintiff Leslie J. Gaines, Jr., a California state
prisoner appearing pro se and in forma
pauperis has moved the Court to reconsider its prior
Dismissal Order to the extent it dismissed the Claim under
the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
the law of the case doctrine a court is generally precluded
from reconsidering an issue that has already been decided by
the same or a higher court in the same case.However, the law
of the case doctrine is not a shackle without a key.
Rule Civil Procedure 59 governs post-judgment motions to
amend judgment or for new trial, not interlocutory orders. If
the court enters an interlocutory order without entering a
final judgment, e.g., an order granting summary judgment but
no final judgment is entered under Federal Rule Civil
Procedure 54, Rule 59 does not apply. Likewise, Rule 60(b) by its
very terms applies solely to final judgments. However, as long
as a district court retains jurisdiction over a case, it has
inherent power to reconsider and modify an interlocutory
order for sufficient cause.
inherent power is not unfettered: a court may depart from the
law of the case doctrine where: “(1) the decision is
clearly erroneous and its enforcement would work a manifest
injustice, (2) intervening controlling authority makes
reconsideration appropriate, or (3) substantially different
evidence was adduced at a subsequent
trial.” In this case only the first ground may be
Court reiterates that nothing in the Complaint alleges that
the actions of any of the Defendants imposed a substantial
burden on Gaines’ exercise of his religious beliefs.
Nor does his allegation that the so-called conspiracy to
cause him harm started as the act of Defendant Dr. Bonilla
based solely on Dr. Bonilla’s opposition to
Gaines’ religious belief create a RLUIPA violation. If
there was in fact a conspiracy to cause Gaines harm that
resulted in Gaines suffering some harm, that fact alone gives
rise to Gaines’ right to obtain relief. On the other
hand, if there was no conspiracy to cause Gaines harm or he
suffered no harm, the RLUIPA does not provide Gaines with any
avenue to obtain relief. In short, taken as a whole,
Gaines’ RLUIPA claim is predicated upon an alleged
deliberate mis- diagnosis by Dr. Bonilla based upon the
doctors’ hostility to Gaines’ religious beliefs.
How this imposes a substantial burden on the ability of
Gaines to exercise his religious beliefs is both unexplained
and inexplicable. If Dr. Bonilla deliberately mis-diagnosed
Gaines’ condition that fact, standing alone, creates a
violation of the Eighth Amendment. On the other hand, if Dr.
Bonilla did not misdiagnose Gaines’ condition, Dr.
Bonilla’s hostility to Gaines’ religious beliefs
could not have in any way interfered with the exercise of
those religious beliefs.
the Motion for Reconsideration at Docket 16 is hereby DENIED.
 Dismissal Order, Dkt. 15.
 Thomas v. Bible, 983 F.2d
152, 154 (9th Cir. 1993).
 United States v. Martin, 226
F.3d 1042, 1048 (9th Cir. 2000).
See Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545
U.S. 524, 528 (2005); Jones v. Ryan, 733 F.3d 825,
833 (9th Cir. 2013); Prudential Real Estate Affiliates,
Inc. v. PPR Realty, Inc., 204 ...