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Dillingham v. Johnson

United States District Court, N.D. California

June 2, 2017

JERRY DILLINGHAM, Plaintiff,
v.
T. JOHNSON, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

          YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS United States District Judge.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff, a state prisoner, filed this pro se action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 stemming from alleged constitutional violations in connection with a cell fight that occurred at SVSP.

         In an Order dated October 28, 2014, this Court screened the complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and found that Plaintiff had stated multiple cognizable claims, including Eighth Amendment claims resulting from the January 18, 2013 incident in which he was attacked by his cellmate, inmate Lozano. Dkt. 15 at 2. The Court specifically found two section 1983 claims: (1) the alleged mishandling of Plaintiff's inmate appeals constituted deliberate indifference to his safety; and (2) the denial of access to the courts. Id. The Court served the following Defendants: (1) California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) Secretary J. Beard; and (2) the following persons at SVSP: Correctional Officers T. Johnson and D. Moon; Sergeants E. Howard and Warren; Lieutenants R. A. Kessler and E. Medina; Captains V. Solis and R. Mojica; Clinical Psychologist C. Sanders; Appeals Coordinator Mejia; and Warden Randy Grounds. Id. at 2-3.

         On February 27, 2015, all of the aforementioned Defendants except for Defendant Mejia (hereinafter “Defendants”), filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. Dkt. 34. They argued that (1) the undisputed facts established that none of the named Defendants were constitutionally liable for the injuries that Plaintiff sustained from the January 18, 2013 incident; (2) Plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative remedies under the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (“PLRA”), 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), as to his claims against Defendants Grounds and Warren; (3) there were no triable disputes regarding Defendants' subjective intent or participation in any alleged constitutional deprivations; and (4) even if constitutional violations had occurred, Defendants were entitled to qualified immunity because they acted reasonably under the circumstances. Id. at 1-2.

         On September 23, 2015, the Court granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment based on Plaintiff's failure to exhaust administrative remedies as to his claims against Defendants Grounds and Warren, and granted the motion for summary judgment on the merits as to his remaining claims.

         Before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration. Dkt. 100. Specifically, Plaintiff moves for reconsideration of the Court's September 23, 2015 Order pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Id. at 1-3. Plaintiff argues that the Court erred in granting summary judgment in Defendants' favor.[1] Dkt. 100 at 3. He also alleges that over the past several months he has been taking “psych[iatric] medication” for his “severe ongoing mental health illness[es] and mental disorders, ” which prevented him from seeking reconsideration earlier. Id. at 14. In support of his motion, Plaintiff has submitted copies of two declarations and a separate statement of undisputed facts, which were previously filed along with his opposition to Defendants' February 27, 2015 motion for summary judgment. Dkts. 101-102. Plaintiff has also submitted various exhibits, including the transcript of his deposition taken on January 21, 2015. See id.

         Having read and considered the papers filed in connection with this matter and being fully informed, the Court hereby DENIES Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration for the reasons set forth below.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b), a party may seek relief from a judgment and to re-open his case in limited circumstances. The Rule provides:

(b) Grounds for Relief from a Final Judgment, Order, or Proceeding. On motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party or its legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons:
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct ...

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