United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
RECONSIDERATION OF ORDER DENYING INCARCERATED WITNESS (DOC.
Christopher Harbridge, a state prisoner proceeding pro
se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil
rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Jury trial
in this case is scheduled to commence on May 2, 2017.
Plaintiff filed a motion seeking attendance of incarcerated
witnesses at trial which was denied by the magistrate judge
assigned to this case on March 30, 2017. (Doc. Nos. 146,
154.) On April 24, 2017, plaintiff filed a motion seeking
reconsideration of the magistrate judge's order denying
his motion in this regard. (Doc. No. 170.)
court reviews a motion to reconsider a magistrate judge's
ruling under the “clearly erroneous or contrary to
law” standard set forth in 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 2(a). Local Rule 303(f);
see also Grimes v. City and County of San Francisco,
951 F.2d 236, 240 (9th Cir. 1991). A magistrate judge's
factual findings are “clearly erroneous” when the
district court is left with the definite and firm conviction
that a mistake has been committed. Security Farms. v.
International Bhd. of Teamsters, 124 F.3d 999, 1014 (9th
Cir. 1997); Green v. Baca, 219 F.R.D. 485, 489 (C.D.
Cal. 2003). The “clearly erroneous' standard is
significantly deferential.” Concrete Pipe and
Products of California, Inc. v. Construction Laborers Pension
Trust for Southern California, 508 U.S. 602, 623 (1993).
The “contrary to law” standard allows
independent, plenary review of purely legal determinations by
the magistrate judge. See Haines v. Liggett Group,
Inc., 975 F.2d 81, 91 (3d Cir. 1992); Green,
219 F.R.D. at 489; see also Osband v. Woodford, 290
F.3d 1036, 1041 (9th Cir. 2002). “An order is contrary
to law when it fails to apply or misapplies relevant
statutes, case law, or rules of procedure.” Knutson
v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minn., 254 F.R.D.
553, 556 (D. Minn. 2008);; see Adolph Coors Co. v.
Wallace, 570 F.Supp.2d 202, 205 (N.D. Cal. 1983).
proffers several arguments in essentially contending that the
magistrate judge's ruling was clearly erroneous or
contrary to law. First, plaintiff avers that the order
denying attendance of his requested incarcerated witnesses
issued before he filed his reply to defendant's
opposition and that his reply should have been considered.
(Doc. No. 170.) Plaintiff's argument in this regard is
not well-taken. Plaintiff timely filed his motion for
attendance of incarcerated witnesses on March 2, 2017. (Doc.
No. 146.) Defendants timely filed their opposition on March
15, 2017. (Doc. No. 150.) The order denying plaintiff's
motion appropriately issued over two weeks later on March 30,
2017. (Doc. No. 154.) The second scheduling order issued in
this case, which dictated the briefing schedule on motions
for incarcerated witnesses, did not allow for a plaintiff to
file a reply to an opposition to a motion for attendance of
incarcerated witnesses. (See Doc. Nos. 137, 143.)
That order provided plaintiff a description of the
requirements he needed to meet in his moving papers.
(Id.) In any event, plaintiff's reply was not
timely filed under Local Rule 230(l). Rule
230(l) provides for a party to file a reply not more
than seven (7) days after the opposition has been filed in
CM/ECF. Plaintiffs reply was filed three weeks after
defendants' opposition was filed. Though plaintiff offers
many explanations as to why he was unable to file his reply
earlier, he did not request an extension to reply to
plaintiff once again argues that he should be able to call
his first six desired incarcerated witnesses to testify that
defendants' “custom and practice is to be abusive
in ways very similar to that at issue in this case.”
(Doc. No. 170 at 1-2.) However, as the magistrate judge
correctly ruled in the order denying plaintiffs witnesses,
such evidence is inadmissible under the Federal Rules of
Evidence. Plaintiffs stated desire to call his witnesses to
prove defendants' conforming acts (i.e. character), is
expressly prohibited by Rule 404(b). Plaintiffs desire to
call fifty-two witnesses (listed as 7-58) “to show that
defense counsel has a history of suborning perjury” is
carefully reviewed the magistrate judge's order denying
plaintiffs motion for attendance of incarcerated witnesses,
the undersigned concludes that the order was certainly not
clearly erroneous or contrary to law. Accordingly, plaintiffs
motion for reconsideration (Doc. No. 170) is denied.
 Plaintiff's claim that he is
unfamiliar with Local Rule 230(l) and that he should
have been provided with a copy of it is unpersuasive. The
first order in this action specifically referred plaintiff to
Local Rule 230(l) and numerous motions have been
filed and resolved in compliance therewith over the seven
years that this action has remained pending. (Doc. No. 2 at
5, ¶ 9.)
 According to the docket in this case,
plaintiffs reply was received by the court on April 10, 2017.
(Doc. No. 161.) However, his proof of service indicates that
he gave it to prison personnel for mailing on April 5, 2017,
which is accepted as the date of filing under the prison
mailbox rule. See Douglas v. Noelle, 567 F.3d 1103,
1107 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting Houston v. Lack, 487
U.S. 266, 270 (1988) (“notice is deemed filed on the
date the prisoner ‘delivered the notice to prison
authorities for forwarding to the [d]istrict
 Even if the magistrate judge's
order denying plaintiffs motion for attendance of
incarcerated witnesses was reviewed de novo, the
undersigned would uphold it as supported by ...