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Parsons v. Alameda County Sheriff Department

United States District Court, N.D. California

July 18, 2016

AARON ATLEE PARSONS, Plaintiff,
v.
ALAMEDA COUNTY SHERIFF DEPARTMENT, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION RE: DKT. NO. 44

          HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. United States District Judge

         Plaintiff, a California prisoner currently incarcerated at Mule Creek State Prison, filed this pro se civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On March 31, 2016, the Court dismissed as untimely Plaintiff’s claims against District Attorneys Lowe, Wiley, and Ford; Deputy Turner; the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department; the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office; and Alameda County.[1] Docket No. 41 at 9-13. The Court dismissed the remaining defendant Judith Browne because she had not been served. Id. Final judgment was entered that same day, and Plaintiff did not appeal. Pending before the Court is Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration filed on April 14, 2016. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff’s motion is DENIED.[2]

         DISCUSSION

         I. Legal Standard

         The denial of a motion for reconsideration under Rule 59(e) is construed as a denial of relief under Rule 60(b). See McDowell v. Calderon, 197 F.3d 1253, 1255 n.3 (9th Cir. 1999). Motions for reconsideration should not be frequently made or freely granted. See generally Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. v. Dunnahoo, 637 F.2d 1338, 1341 (9th Cir. 1981). “‘[T]he major grounds that justify reconsideration involve an intervening change of controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice.’” Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of Indians v. Hodel, 882 F.2d 364, 369 n.5 (9th Cir. 1989) (quoting United States v. Desert Gold Mining Co., 433 F.2d 713, 715 (9th Cir. 1970)). Courts construing Rule 59(e) have noted that a motion to reconsider is not a vehicle permitting the unsuccessful party to “rehash” arguments previously presented, or to present “contentions which might have been raised prior to the challenged judgment.” Costello v. United States, 765 F.Supp. 1003, 1009 (C.D. Cal. 1991) (citing cases). These holdings “reflect[ ] district courts’ concerns for preserving dwindling resources and promoting judicial efficiency.” Id.

         II. Analysis

         In asking the Court to reconsider the judgment, Plaintiff raises the new argument that his claims accrued in December 2012 because he was barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), and by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) from filing this action until the constitutional violations caused him to suffer a physical injury in December 2012. Docket No. 44 at 2-3. A motion for reconsideration under either Rule 59(e) or Rule 60(b) is an improper vehicle for bringing new claims not previously raised. See Zimmerman v. City of Oakland, 255 F.3d 734, 740 (9th Cir. 2001) (“A district court does not abuse its discretion when it disregards legal arguments made for the first time on a [Rule 59(e)] motion to amend.”); see also Kona Enter., Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000) (motion for reconsideration “may not be used to raise arguments or present evidence for the first time when they could reasonably have been raised earlier in the litigation”); 389 Orange St. Partners v. Arnold, 179 F.3d 656, 665 (9th Cir. 1999) (Ninth Circuit held that its “abuse of discretion review preclude[d] reversing the district court for declining to address an issue raised for the first time in a motion for reconsideration”). The Court therefore DENIES Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration.[3]

         CONCLUSION

         For the foregoing reasons, Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration (Docket No. 44) is DENIED. This case remains closed.

         IT IS SO ORDERED.

---------

Notes:

[1] Because the Court found that Plaintiff’s claims were untimely, the Court declined to address Defendants’ alternative arguments that District Attorneys Lowe, Wiley and Ford were entitled to absolute or qualified immunity for their actions. Docket No. 41 at 12.

[2] Plaintiff has also moved for reconsideration pursuant to Rule 52(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which is inapplicable here. Rule 52(b) applies to “action[s] tried on the facts without a jury or with an advisory jury, ” i.e. a bench trial, and requests that a court amend its findings of fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 52(a)(1), ...


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