United States District Court, E.D. California
DARRELL E. HARRIS, Plaintiff,
S. ESCAMILLA, in his individual capacity, Defendant.
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S REQUEST FOR
RECONSIDERATION OF DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS OR
STRIKE PLAINTIFF'S SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT (DOC. NO.
Darrell E. Harris is a state prisoner proceeding with counsel
in this civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. This matter was referred to a United States
Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B)
and Local Rule 302.
the court is defendant's request for reconsideration of
the assigned magistrate judge's order denying
defendant's motion to dismiss or strike plaintiff's
second amended complaint. (Doc. No. 208.)
court has reviewed the magistrate judge's order, as well
as the parties' briefing, and for the reasons set forth
below, will deny defendant's motion for reconsideration.
court previously granted summary judgment in favor of
defendant Escamilla on plaintiff's Free Exercise and
Equal Protection claims and dismissed plaintiff's
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
(“RLUIPA”) and Bane Act claims. On appeal, the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the
grant of summary judgment on the Free Exercise and Equal
Protection claims and affirmed the RLUIPA and Bane Act
dismissals but remanded to this court with instruction to
grant plaintiff leave to amend his Bane Act claim. Harris
v. Escamilla, 736 Fed.Appx. 618 (9th Cir. 2018).
remand, plaintiff's new counsel filed a second amended
complaint (“SAC”) on September 7, 2018. (Doc. No.
191.) The magistrate judge noted that “the amendments
were substantial, but did not include a Bane Act
claim.” (Doc. No. 206.) On September 21, 2018,
defendant filed a motion to dismiss or strike the SAC on the
grounds that (1) the amendments exceeded the mandate provided
by the court of appeals, and (2) contained
“impertinent, immaterial and scandalous matter”
that should be struck under Rule 12(f) of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure. (Doc. No. 192) On August 12, 2019, the
magistrate judge denied defendant's motion to strike or
dismiss the SAC. (Doc. No. 206) Defendant now requests
reconsideration of the magistrate judge's order.
request for reconsideration, a district court reviews a
magistrate judge's ruling under the “clearly
erroneous or contrary to law” standard. E.D. Cal. L.R.
303(f) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and Fed.R.Civ.P.
finding is clearly erroneous when although there is evidence
to support it, the reviewing [body] on the entire evidence is
left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has
been committed.” Concrete Pipe & Prods. of
Cal., Inc. v. Constr. Laborers Pension Tr. for S. Cal.,
508 U.S. 602, 622 (1993) (citation and quotations omitted).
“[R]eview under the ‘clearly erroneous'
standard is significantly deferential, ” id.
at 623, and “the reviewing court may not simply
substitute its judgment for that of the deciding
court.” Grimes v. City & Cty. of San
Francisco, 951 F.2d 236, 241 (9th Cir. 1991).
‘contrary to law' standard allows independent,
plenary review of purely legal determinations by the
magistrate judge.” Estate of Stephen E. Crawley v.
Robinson, 2015 WL 3849107, at *2 (E.D. Cal. June 22,
2015). “An order is contrary to law when it fails to
apply or misapplies relevant statutes, case law, or rules of
procedure.” Id. (citation omitted).
challenges, however, are a question of law and are reviewed
de novo; this includes the question of whether a
magistrate judge complied with the rule of mandate. See
United States v. Thrasher, 483 F.3d 977, 982 (9th Cir.
2007). “The rule of mandate provides that any district
court that has received the mandate of an appellate court
cannot vary or examine that mandate for any purpose other
than executing it. The district court, may, however, decide
anything not foreclosed by the mandate. But the district
court commits jurisdictional error if it takes actions that
contradict the mandate.” Stacy v. Colvin, 825
F.3d 563, 567-68 (9th Cir. 2016) (citations and quotations
court's discretionary ruling is only reversed for an
abuse of discretion when the court is “firmly convinced
that the reviewed decision lies beyond the pale of reasonable
justification under the circumstances.” McCollough
v. Johnson, Rodenburg & Lauinger, LLC, 637 F.3d 939,
953 (9th Cir. 2011).
The Scope of the Court of ...