Stewart Manago v. Gonzalez et al

Filing 89

ORDER DENYING Reconsideration of Order Dismissing Case as to Defendants Gutierrez and Cantu signed by District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill on 5/29/2014. (Sant Agata, S)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 9 10 STEWART MANAGO, 11 Plaintiff, 12 ORDER DENYING RECONSIDERATION OF ORDER DISMISSING CASE AS TO DEFENDANTS GUTIERREZ AND CANTU v. 13 Case No. 1:11-cv-01269-LJO-SMS S.F. GONZALEZ, former warden; et al., 14 Defendants. (Doc. 87) 15 16 Plaintiff Stewart Manago moves for reconsideration, pursuant to F.R.Civ.P. 59(e), of this 17 18 Court's February 20, 2014 order dismissing this § 1983 civil rights case as to Defendants Gutierrez 19 and Cantu1 as barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). Plaintiff maintains that, contrary 20 to the Court's conclusions of law, his action for damages should stand despite the fact that favorable 21 resolution of the only remaining claim in this case, that Plaintiff was erroneously validated as a 22 23 BGF gang member in violation of his first amendment rights, would necessarily change the 24 duration of Plaintiff's imprisonment. The Court denies Plaintiff's reconsideration motion. 25 Since the factual and procedural background of this case was fully set forth in the 26 Magistrate Judge's findings and recommendations, it will not be repeated here. In summary, 27 28 1 The other Defendants in this matter were dismissed by a December 11, 2013 order. Doc. 66. 1 1 following screening, only one issue remained against Defendants W. Gutierrez and Cantu: whether 2 Defendants Turmezei, Adame, Sigston, Steadman, Bryant, Stelfer, W. Gutierrez, and A. Cantu 3 violated Plaintiff's First Amendment right by validating Plaintiff as a BGF member in retaliation for 4 Plaintiff's filing of grievance complaints against staff and untoward prison conditions. Docs. 42 5 and 47. Plaintiff sought monetary damages and expungement of his allegedly false validation as a 6 member of the BGF. Doc. 42. The gang validation, a disciplinary action, increased Plaintiff's term 7 of imprisonment, delaying his anticipated release date from June 2013 to October 2016. 8 9 Because the requested expungement of the BGF gang validation would necessarily have 10 shortened the term of Plaintiff's imprisonment and resulted in his immediate release, the only 11 appropriate remedy was a writ of habeas corpus. See Heck, 512 U.S. at 486-87. If a prison 12 disciplinary action "'aris[es] out of the same facts stands and is fundamentally inconsistent with the 13 14 unlawful behavior for which section 1983 damages are sought, the 1983 action must be dismissed.'" Cunningham v. Gates, 312 F.3d 1148, 1153 (9th Cir. 2002), cert. denied, 538 U.S. 960 (2003), 15 16 17 quoting Smithart v. Towery, 79 F.3d 951, 952 (9th Cir. 1996). Reconsideration of a court's order is an "extraordinary remedy to be employed sparingly in 18 the interests of finality and conservation of scarce judicial resources." Kona Enterprises, Inc. v. 19 Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000), quoting 12 James Wm. Moore, Moore's Federal 20 Practice § 59.30[4] (3d ed. 2000). "[A] motion for reconsideration should not be granted, absent 21 highly unusual circumstances, unless the district court is presented with newly discovered evidence, 22 committed clear error, or if there is an intervening change in controlling law." Kona Enterprises, 23 24 25 229 F.3d at 890, quoting 389 Orange St. Partners v. Arnold, 179 F.3d 656, 665 (9th Cir. 1999). Plaintiff does not contend that reconsideration is merited based on new evidence or an 26 intervening change in law. He merely reargues the dismissal motion, asserting that his request for 27 an injunction ordering removal of his gang validation, is an exception the Heck bar. His argument 28 2 1 is incorrect. Heck bars a prisoner's suit under § 1983 whenever nullification of disciplinary 2 procedures would result in a reduction of the length of the prisoner's confinement. Wilkinson v. 3 Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 83-84 (2005). 4 5 6 "[A] motion for reconsideration is properly denied when the movant fails to establish any reason justifying relief." Backlund v. Barnhart, 778 F.2d 1386, 1388 (9th Cir. 1985). Using a reconsideration motion to reargue the points that the judge rejected in the original order is 7 improper. American Ironworks & Erectors, Inc. v. North American Constr. Corp., 248 F.3d 892, 8 9 10 11 12 13 899 (9th Cir. 2001). A party cannot have relief merely because he or she is unhappy with the judgment. See, e.g., Khan v. Fasano, 194 F.Supp.2d 1134, 1136 (S.D.Cal. 2001). Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration is hereby DENIED. SO ORDERED Dated: May 29, 2014 /s/ Lawrence J. O’Neill United States District Judge 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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