United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ARTHUR C. HAMILTON, Plaintiff,
JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., et al., Defendants.
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT AND
PERMISSION TO REOPEN CASE [RE: ECF 18]
LAB SON FREEMAN, United States District Judge.
the Court is pro se Plaintiff, Arthur
Hamilton’s Motion for Relief from Judgment and
Permission to Reopen Case. Motion, ECF 18. The Court
construes Plaintiff’s motion as being filed pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6) and hereby DENIES
filed the instant action on June 26, 2019, accusing
Defendants JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., Old Republic Default
Management Services, and Shirley Franklin of fraudulently
evicting Plaintiff from his home and taking possession of the
property, all while making it look like “a simple
trustee’s sale.” Compl. at 4, ECF 1. The
complaint asserted four causes of action: (1)
“Fraudulent Use of the Process”; (2)
“Fraudulent Transfer, Fraudulent Conversion, and
Violation of Antifraud Rule: 10b-5”; (3)
“Fraudulent Alienation, Fraudulent Inducement”;
and (4) “Intentional Infliction of Emotional
Distress.” See Id . at 7–8.
15, 2019, the Court, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e),
dismissed Plaintiff’s complaint with prejudice because
Plaintiff’s claims were barred by res judicata. ECF 16.
Plaintiff had previously filed a separate action in this
district involving the same parties, the same alleged facts,
and the same causes of action-the only apparent difference
being the signature date. Compare generally Compl.
at ECF 1 with ECF 1 in Hamilton v. JP Morgan Chase Bank,
N.A., et al., Case No. 5:18-cv-05164-BLF
(“Hamilton I”). Plaintiff’s earlier-filed
complaint was dismissed with prejudice on January 14, 2019.
ECF 20 in Hamilton I.
time the Court dismissed this case on July 15, 2019, none of
the Defendants were served. One of the defendants, JP Morgan
Chase Bank, N. A., was served over three weeks later, on
August 9, 2019. See ECF 17. On September 19, 2019,
Plaintiff filed the present motion to be relieved from
judgment and for permission to reopen the case. Motion, ECF
18. The Court does not anticipate a response from any of the
Defendants to Plaintiff’s motion because two of the
defendants were never served and JP Morgan Chase Bank, N. A.
was only served after the case was dismissed with
prejudice and therefore, was not required to answer.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b), a court may relieve a
party from a final judgment for six reasons upon a showing of
“(1) mistake, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly
discovered evidence; (3) fraud; (4) a void judgment; (5) a
satisfied or discharged judgment; or (6) ‘extraordinary
circumstance’ which would justify relief.”
Fuller v. M.G. Jewelry, 950 F.2d 1437, 1442 (9th
Cir. 1991); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). Mere
dissatisfaction with the Court’s order, or belief that
the Court is wrong in its decision, are not grounds for
relief under Rule 60(b). Beckway v. DeShong, No.
C07-5072 TEH, 2012 WL 1355744, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 18,
2012) (citing Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. v.
Dunnahoo, 637 F.2d 1338, 1341 (9th Cir. 1981)).
Plaintiff claims that “this case was prematurely closed
due to [his] lack of understanding of proper rules and
procedures.” Motion at 1. The Court construes this
argument as one for mistake, surprise, or excusable neglect
under Rule 60(b)(1) and holds that Plaintiff is not entitled
to relief under this theory. Plaintiff’s complaint in
this case was not dismissed due to a mistake, surprise, or
excusable neglect on the part of Plaintiff-it was dismissed
because it should have never been filed. “The doctrine
of res judicata provides that ‘a final judgment on the
merits bars further claims by parties or their privies based
on the same cause of action.’” In re
Schimmels, 127 F.3d 875, 881 (9th Cir. 1997) (quoting
Montana v. United States, 440 U.S. 147, 153–54
(1979)). Because Plaintiff had filed an identical complaint
earlier, Plaintiff’s claims in this case were barred by
res judicata at the time they were filed and “proper
understanding of rules and procedures” would not have
saved them from dismissal.
Plaintiff claims that a magistrate judge “extended his
own grasp on this case with setting an inaccurate frame of
reference” and complains that those “references
were not vacated upon reassignment.” Motion at 1. The
Court notes that this case was never assigned to a magistrate
judge. The Court assumes that Plaintiffs reference to a
magistrate judge relates to his earlier-filed (and also
dismissed) case and thus is entirely irrelevant to this
action. See ECF 7 in Hamilton I In any event,
Hamilton I was dismissed because Plaintiff repeatedly refused
to comply with the undersigned judge’s orders. ECF 20
in Hamilton I at 2.
Plaintiff makes conclusory assertions such as “this was
never a frivolous case” and “delays and
postponement have been defendants)’ only defense
against irreconcilable facts.” Motion at 1. Such
statements do not present any newly-discovered facts or
evidence that would save Plaintiffs claims under Rule 60(b).
none of the Rule 60(b) reasons are present here. Plaintiff
has not pointed to any extraordinary circumstances to justify
relief. Plaintiffs complaint was never a valid one because
his claims were always barred by res judicata.
foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs Motion for Relief from Judgment