United States District Court, E.D. California
HARRISON L. BURTON, Plaintiff,
MIKE McDONALD, et al., Defendants.
KENDALL J NEWMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is a state prisoner, proceeding pro se. Plaintiff consented
to proceed before the undersigned for all purposes.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). On October 27, 2017,
plaintiff filed a petition for writ of mandate. Plaintiff
claims he was transferred to R.J. Donovan Correctional
Facility ("RJD") on or about September 26, 2012,
and was provided a religious diet, purportedly pursuant to
the settlement agreement entered in this action, until August
20, 2017, when he was removed from the diet roster at RJD
without explanation. Plaintiff claims he presented the
settlement agreement to various officials at RJD to no avail.
In his accompanying declaration, plaintiff suggests that the
religious meals became inconsistent after he filed lawsuits
against prison officials in the Southern District of
California, suggesting that prison staff may be retaliating
against plaintiff for his protected conduct of filing civil
rights complaints in violation of the First Amendment. (ECF
No. 19 at 8.) As set forth below, the petition is denied.
civil rights action was closed on November 7, 2012, following
an early settlement conference and voluntary dismissal of
this action with prejudice. In the underlying complaint,
plaintiff sought relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
and 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-l, the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act ("RLUTPA"). His
claims arose from his alleged inability to practice his
religion at High Desert State Prison based on his allegations
that he was denied access to Jumu'ah services and Halal
meals. Plaintiff only sought injunctive relief.
first question is whether federal jurisdiction exists.
Generally, when a district court dismisses an action with
prejudice, federal jurisdiction ends and a dispute arising
under the settlement agreement is a separate contract dispute
that requires its own independent basis for jurisdiction.
Kelly v. Wengler. 822 F.3d 1085, 1094 (9th Cir.
2016). However, courts do have the authority to enforce a
settlement agreement while the litigation is still pending or
when the settlement agreement is referenced in the dismissal
order or the court has retained jurisdiction to enforce the
agreement. In re City Equities Anaheim. Ltd.. 22
F.3d 954, 957 (9th Cir. 1994); Kelly, 822 F.3d at
1085. But such ancillary jurisdiction exists only if the
settlement agreement was "made part of the order of
dismissal, " by retaining jurisdiction over the
agreement, "or by incorporating the terms of the
settlement agreement in the order." Kokkonen v.
Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America, 511 U.S. 375,
the parties entered into a stipulation of dismissal with
prejudice, and this action was terminated on November 7,
2012. The court did not retain jurisdiction. The order of
dismissal does not append a settlement agreement, incorporate
the terms of the settlement, or even reference a settlement
agreement. (ECFNo. 17.) Rather, the stipulation stated that
the parties"stipulate that the above-entitled
action shall be dismissed with prejudice." (Id.
at 1.) Therefore, plaintiffs motion is dismissed for lack of
Motion Under Rule 60(b)
even assuming this court has jurisdiction, plaintiffs filing
fails. Rule 60(b) provides as follows:
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 ...