United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION
OF INJUNCTIVE RELIEF (Docs. 29, 33)
Michael Gonzales, a state prisoner proceeding pro se
and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On February 13,
2017, the order screening Plaintiffs First Amended Complaint
issued in which Plaintiffs request for injunctive relief was
dismissed as Plaintiff was no longer at the facility where
the events underlying his claims occurred. (Doc. 28, p. 8.)
On March 13, 2017, and April 3, 2017, Plaintiff filed motions
for reconsideration of the order dismissing his request for
injunctive relief. (Docs. 29, 33.)
Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6) allows the Court to relieve
a party from an order for any reason that justifies relief.
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 . . ." exist.
Harvest v. Castro, 531 F.3d 737, 749 (9th Cir. 2008)
(internal quotations marks and citation omitted). The moving
party "must demonstrate both injury and circumstances
beyond his control . . . ." Id. (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted). Further, Local Rule
230(j) requires, in relevant part, that Plaintiff show
"what new or different facts or circumstances are
claimed to exist which did not exist or were not shown upon
such prior motion, or what other grounds exist for the
motion, " and "why the facts or circumstances were
not shown at the time of the prior motion."
motion for reconsideration should not be granted, absent
highly unusual circumstances, unless the district court is
presented with newly discovered evidence, committed clear
error, or if there is an intervening change in the
controlling law, " and it "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." Marlyn Nutraceuticals, Inc. v. Mucos
Pharma GmbH & Co., 571 F.3d 873, 880 (9th Cir. 2009)
(internal quotations marks and citations omitted) (emphasis
motions for reconsideration, Plaintiff indicates that he has
been transferred back to California State Prison, Corcoran
("CSP-Cor"), in the precise housing unit where the
facts he alleges in this action occurred. Plaintiff further
states that the defendants in this action are again tainting
his meals as alleged in the Second Amended Complaint. This
amounts to new evidence upon which to reinstate Plaintiffs
request for injunctive relief in the Second Amended
Complaint. Having carefully considered this matter, the Court
finds the screening order to have been supported by proper
analysis and the record before it when it issued, but
Plaintiffs transfer back to CSP-Cor warrants reinstating his
request for injunctive relief.
also, however, possible that Plaintiff filed his motions for
reconsideration to obtain preliminary injunctive relief from
Defendants' offending acts, which must be denied. "A
plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish
that he is likely to succeed on the merits and to suffer
irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that
the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an
injunction is in the public interest." Winter v.
Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20
(2008) (citations omitted). "A preliminary injunction is
an extraordinary remedy never awarded as a matter of right.
In each case, courts must balance the competing claims of
injury and must consider the effect on each party of the
granting or withholding of the requested relief. In
exercising their sound discretion, courts of equity should
pay particular regard for the public consequences in
employing the extraordinary remedy of injunction."
Id., at 24 (citations and quotations omitted). An
injunction may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the
plaintiff is entitled to such relief. Id., at 22.
for prospective relief are further limited by 18 U.S.C.
§ 3626 (a)(1)(A) of the Prison Litigation Reform Act,
which requires that the Court ensure the relief "is
narrowly drawn, extends no further than necessary to correct
the violation of the Federal Right, and is the least
intrusive means necessary to correct the violation of the
inmate seeking an injunction on the ground that there is a
contemporary violation of a nature likely to continue, must
adequately plead such a violation; . . . ." Farmer
v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 845-46 (1994) (citations and
quotations omitted). It is subsequent to screening, such as
in efforts to survive summary judgment, that a plaintiff
"must come forward with evidence from which it can be
inferred that the defendant-officials were at the time suit
was filed, and are at the time of summary judgment, knowingly
and unreasonably disregarding an objectively intolerable risk
of harm, and that they will continue to do so; and finally to
establish eligibility for an injunction, the inmate must
demonstrate the continuance of that disregard during the
remainder of the litigation and into the future."
Id., at 845-46. However, at this stage, the Court is
not in a position to determine questions of a claim's
merits which require submission of evidence as opposed to
merely determining whether a claim has been stated.
Barrett v. Belleque, 544 F.3d 1060 (9th Cir. 2008).
Thus, any request for preliminary injunctive relief in
Plaintiffs motions for reconsideration must be denied without
prejudice at this time.
it is FIEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs motions for
reconsideration of the screening order are GRANTED in part
and his request for injunctive relief in the Second Amended
Complaint is reinstated. To the extent, however, that these