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Adams v. Raske

United States District Court, S.D. California

July 26, 2016

PAUL ADAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
K. RASKE et al., Defendant.

          ORDER

          WILLIAM Q. HAYES United States District Judge.

         The matter before the Court is Plaintiffs Motion to Set Aside Prior Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Procedure 60(b)(6). (ECF No. 24).

         Background

         On February 4, 2011, Plaintiff, a state inmate currently incarcerated at Iron wood State Prison located in Blythe, California, and proceeding pro se, filed a civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1). In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleged that he was denied access to the courts when he was housed at Calipatria State Prison in 2009. Plaintiff also filed a Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis ("IFP") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). (ECF No. 2).

         On March 30, 2011, the Court granted Plaintiffs Motion to Proceed IFP and dismissed his Complaint for failing to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. (ECF No. 3 at 4-5). The Court granted Plaintiff leave to file an Amended Complaint in order to correct the deficiencies of pleading identified by the Court. Id. Plaintiff was also cautioned that any Defendants not named and claims not re-alleged in the Amended Complaint would be deemed to have been waived. Id. (citing King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987).

         On April 21, 2011, Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint ("FAC"). (ECF No. 4). On July 25, 2011, the Court dismissed Plaintiffs FAC for failing to state for failing to state a claim upon which relief could be granted but permitted Plaintiff leave to file a Second Amended Complaint ("SAC"). (ECF No. 7 at 5).

         Plaintiff failed to submit a Second Amended Complaint within the time frame set forth in the Court's Order but the Court permitted Plaintiff to file a Second Amended Complaint ("SAC"), which was filed on September 7, 2012, (ECF No. 9). On February 19, 2013, the Court, once again, conducted the required sua sponte screening and found that Plaintiffs Second Amended Complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted and was frivolous. (ECF No. 10 at 6-7). Plaintiff was granted leave to file an Amended Complaint to correct the deficiencies of pleading identified by the Court. Plaintiff was informed by the Court that he must comply with both the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 8 and Local Rule 8.2, which provides that prisoners must use the Court's form complaint and any additional pages are "not to exceed fifteen (15) in number." Id. at 3.

         On April 19, 2013, Plaintiff filed his Third Amended Complaint ("TAG"), which ' failed to comply with the Court's previous Order, Rule 8, or Local Rule 8.2. (ECF No.12). In addition, Plaintiff filed a "Motion to Disqualify Magistrate Judge." (ECF No. 14). On August 13, 2013, the Court denied Plaintiffs "Motion to Disqualify Magistrate Judge" and dismissed Plaintiff s TAC. The Court ordered:

Plaintiff s Third Amended Complaint is DISMISSED with prejudice for failing to state a claim upon which relief may be granted and as frivolous, for failing to comply with Rule 8 and failing to comply with a Court Order. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) & § 1915A(b); Fed.R.Civ.P. 8. In addition, the Court finds further amendment would be futile. See Cahill V. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 80 F.3d 336, 339 (9th Cir. 1996) (denial of a leave to amend is not an abuse of discretion where further amendment would be futile); see also Robinson v. California Bd. of Prison Terms, 997; F.Supp. 1303, 1308 (CD. Cal. 1998) ("Since plaintiff has not, and cannot, state a claim containing an arguable basis in law, this action should be dismissed without leave to amend; any amendment would be futile.") (citing Newland v. Dalton, 81 F.3d 904, 907 (9th Cir. 1996)).

Id. at 6. On August 13, 2013, the Clerk of Court issued a Judgment in the case. (ECF No. 16).

         On September 20, 2013, Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. (ECF No. 17). On December 19, 2013, the Court of Appeals issued an order dismissing the appeal for lack of jurisdiction because the appeal untimely. (ECF No. 21). On January 13, 2014, the Court of Appeals issued its mandate. (ECF No. 22).

         On April 27, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Set Aside Prior Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Procedure 60(b)(6). (ECF No. 24). Plaintiff requests that the Court reconsider its prior order "which was issued in clear error, and was manifestly unjust, and deprived Plaintiff of his Due Process Rights, and, . . amounted to a gross miscarriage of justice . . . ." Id. at 1. Plaintiff contends that the "Court's orders 'identifying deficiencies' . . . [were] vague, ambiguous, and over breadth in it's sua sponte screening process in which the Court committed clear error, by failing to be more clear about what it ordered the Plaintiff to do. Id. at 3. Plaintiff contends that "[t]he fact. .. that the Court [only] allowed three amendments proves that the Court comprehended that the deficiencies were curable. And only dismissed the case with prejudice, after Plaintiff moved to disqualify the Judge, as being bias[ed] against petitioner . . . ." Id. at 4. Plaintiff requests that the Court "reopen" his case in "the interest of justice." Id.

         Discussion

         "Rule 60(b)(6) . . . permits reopening when the movant shows 'any ... reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment' other than the more specific circumstances set out in Rules 60(b)(1)-(5)." Gonzalez v. Crosby,545 U.S. 524, 528-29 (2005). Rule 60(c) requires that a Rule 60(b) motion be made "within a reasonable time." Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(c). "What constitutes 'reasonable time' depends upon the facts of each case, taking into consideration the interest in finality, the reason for delay, the practical ability of the litigant to learn earlier of the grounds relied upon, and prejudice to the other parties." Lemoge v. United States,587F.3d 1188, 1196(9th Cir. 2009) (ciimg Ashford v. Steuart,657 F.2d 1053, 1055 (9th Cir. 1981) (per curiam)). Relief under 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 prevented a party from taking timely action to prevent or correct an erroneous judgment." Harvest v. Castro,531 F.3d 737, 749 (9th Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks omitted). "A party moving for relief under Rule 60(b)(6) must demonstrate both injury and circumstances beyond his control that prevented him from proceeding with the action in a proper fashion." Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). "A motion for reconsideration should not be ...


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