Fowler v. Social Security Administration et al

Filing 18

ORDER denying 15 Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration; because this case is closed, all other pending motions (including Doc. 17) are denied as moot. Signed by Judge James A Teilborg on 7/10/12.(LSP)

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1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 ) ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) vs. ) ) Social Security Administration; Social) Security Administration Office of) ) Hearings and Appeals, ) ) Defendants. ) David Lionel Fowler, No. CV 12-628-PHX-JAT ORDER 16 17 18 Plaintiff filed his “Motion for Emergency Appeal” (Doc. 15) on June 19, 2012. The Court construes this as a Motion for Reconsideration, and now rules on the Motion. 19 I. BACKGROUND 20 Plaintiff David Lionel Fowler filed a Complaint on March 23, 2012. (Doc. 1). In that 21 Complaint, Plaintiff appears to allege that Defendants improperly denied him social security 22 benefits. He also appears to allege that Berrien County Probate Court (mentioned but not 23 named in the Complaint) improperly concealed records of his adoption. 24 This Court granted Plaintiff in forma pauperis status on March 27, 2012, and ordered 25 Plaintiff to return documents necessary for service to the Clerk’s office within 30 days. (Doc. 26 6). When Plaintiff failed to comply, the Court ordered Plaintiff to appear before the Court 27 to show cause why this case should not be dismissed. (Doc. 9). The Court dismissed the case 28 when Plaintiff did not attend the hearing, scheduled for May 21, 2012. (Doc. 11). Plaintiff 1 now argues that difficult living circumstances led to problems with receiving mail, and that 2 this warrants reconsideration of dismissal. (Doc. 15). LEGAL STANDARD 3 II. 4 Although Plaintiff did not indicate which Federal Rule of Civil Procedure governed 5 his Motion, a motion for reconsideration is appropriately brought under either Rule 59(e) or 6 Rule 60(b). Fuller v. M.G. Jewelry, 950 F.2d 1437, 1442 (9th Cir. 1991). If a motion for 7 reconsideration is filed more than twenty-eight days after judgment, it will be construed as 8 a Rule 60(b) motion for relief from a judgment or order. See Coyaso v. Bradley Pac. 9 Aviation, Inc., CIV. 11-00267 JMS, 2012 WL 1883718 (D. Haw. May 21, 2012); citing Am. 10 Ironworks & Erectors, Inc. v. N. Am. Constr. Corp., 248 F.3d 892, 899 (9th Cir. 2001) (same 11 rule under the pre-amendment ten day limit). The Court may grant a 60(b) motion for the 12 following reasons: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly 13 discovered evidence; (3) fraud, misrepresentation or other misconduct of the adverse party; 14 (4) a void judgment; (5) a satisfied, released or discharged judgment, or (6) “extraordinary 15 circumstances” which would justify relief. Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b); see Fuller, 950 F.2d at 16 1442 (citing Taylor v. Knapp, 871 F.2d 803, 805 (9th Cir. 1989)). 17 III. 18 Plaintiff’s argument that his circumstances justify reconsideration could conceivably 19 fall only under the first or sixth reasons. If Plaintiff’s neglect in failing to comply with the 20 Court’s Order was excusable, reconsideration is appropriate. “[T]he determination of whether 21 neglect is excusable is an equitable one that depends on at least four factors: (1) the danger 22 of prejudice to the opposing party; (2) the length of the delay and its potential impact on the 23 proceedings; (3) the reason for the delay; and (4) whether the movant acted in good faith.” 24 Bateman v. U.S. Postal Serv., 231 F.3d 1220, 1223-24 (9th Cir. 2000). Plaintiff does not 25 present any evidence relevant to the four factors. Cf. id. at 1224 (failure to discuss any of the 26 factors could be grounds for denial of relief). Moreover, balancing the equities, relief would 27 be inappropriate given Plaintiff’s repeated failure to comply with the Court’s orders. 28 ANALYSIS Relief under the sixth reason requires a finding of “extraordinary circumstances.” -2- 1 McConnell v. MEBA Med. & Benefits Plan, 759 F.2d 1401, 1407 (9th Cir. 1985). This case 2 is not one of extraordinary circumstances and, accordingly, the Court will not reconsider its 3 prior Order. 4 IV. 5 Based on the foregoing, 6 IT IS ORDERED denying Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration. (Doc. 15). 7 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that because this case is closed, all other pending 8 9 CONCLUSION motions (including Doc. 17) are denied as moot. DATED this 10th day of July, 2012. 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -3-

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