Ford v. Ciraolo-Klepper et al

Filing 22

ORDER Denying 21 Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment, signed by District Judge Dale A. Drozd on 6/23/17. (Gonzalez, R)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 MELBA FORD, 12 13 14 15 No. 17-cv-00034-DAD-EPG Plaintiff, v. ORDER DENYING MOTION TO ALTER OR AMEND JUDGMENT CAROLINE CIRAOLO-KLEPPER, et al., (Doc. No. 21) Defendants. 16 17 This case was dismissed by court order on May 18, 2017, after the court determined it 18 lacked jurisdiction under the Anti-Injunction Act (“AIA”). (Doc. No. 19.) Thereafter, on June 19 13, 2017, plaintiff brought a motion to alter or amend the judgment. (Doc. No. 21.) For the 20 reasons set forth below, plaintiff’s motion will be denied. 21 While plaintiff does not identify the relevant rule upon which she relies in moving to alter 22 or amend the judgment in this action, such requests are typically governed by Rule 59 of the 23 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. “A motion to alter or amend a judgment must be filed no later 24 than 28 days after the entry of the judgment.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e). “Under Rule 59(e), a motion 25 for reconsideration should not be granted, absent highly unusual circumstances, unless the district 26 court is presented with newly discovered evidence, committed clear error, or if there is an 27 intervening change in the controlling law.” 389 Orange Street Partners v. Arnold, 179 F.3d 656, 28 665 (9th Cir. 1999). “Clear error” is a “very exacting standard,” in which the court must be 1 1 “more than just maybe or probably wrong; it must be dead wrong.” Teamsters Local 617 Pension 2 & Welfare Funds v. Apollo Grp., Inc., 282 F.R.D. 216, 231 (D. Ariz. 2012) (quoting Campion v. 3 Old Republic Home Prot. Co. Inc., No. 09-cv-748-JMA(NLS), 2011 WL 1935967, at *1 (S.D. 4 Cal. May 20, 2011)). 5 Plaintiff identifies neither new evidence nor an intervening change in controlling law here. 6 Instead, she sets forth seven errors she believes the court made in its prior order dismissing this 7 action, which the court construes as plaintiff’s allegations of “clear error”: (1) the court 8 purportedly “failed to assay how Plaintiff’s revelation IRS’ fails/refuses to prepare returns on any 9 date shown in IRS records . . . might invoke the equitable exception to the Anti-Injunction Act”; 10 (2) the court incorrectly construed her complaint as claiming that the government falsified 11 records; (3) the court incorrectly construed her complaint as claiming that any substituted returns 12 attributed to her were falsified; (4) the court incorrectly construed the relief she sought as seeking 13 to prevent the IRS from using or creating any records of the fact that plaintiff did not file an 14 income tax return, rather than seeking “to stop IRS from using computer fraud to create the 15 appearance that it prepares substituted income tax returns”; (5) the court incorrectly construed the 16 relief she sought as seeking to prevent the IRS from “making substituted returns for people who 17 fail to file their tax returns” instead of “enjoin[ing] IRS from refusing/failing to perform substitute 18 income tax returns on any date shown in IRS-falsified records concerning her, and from using 19 such falsified records for any purpose”; (6) the court should recognize plaintiff’s freestanding 20 right “to ensure the Government does not fabricate false records to be used in a future criminal 21 prosecution of her”; and (7) that because this court construed her claims incorrectly, it failed to 22 adjudicate her real case. (Doc. No. 21 at 4–13.) 23 For many of these alleged errors, the only relief sought by the plaintiff is either a request 24 that the court provide her with additional citations or that it amend the language of its order to 25 reflect her view of the case. (See Doc. No. 21 at 6–9.) Such requests by plaintiff are without 26 merit. See PXRE Reins. Co. v. Lumbermens Mut. Cas. Co., 330 F. Supp. 2d 981, 983 (N.D. Ill. 27 2004) (“Despite what [plaintiff] appears to think, this Court’s opinions are not intended as mere 28 first drafts, subject to revision and reconsideration at a litigant’s pleasure.”) (quoting Quaker 2 1 Alloy Casting Co. v. Gulfco Indus., Inc., 123 F.R.D. 282, 288 (N.D. Ill. 1988)); 389 Orange Street 2 Partners, 179 F.3d at 665 (holding that a motion for reconsideration should not be granted absent 3 a showing of clear error). Plaintiff is not entitled to have a court order phrased in a particular 4 way, and her requests will therefore be denied. 5 To the extent plaintiff challenges the use of certain IRS records as violative of her Fifth 6 Amendment rights in some future criminal prosecution, that issue is clearly not ripe absent 7 criminal charges being filed against her1 and plaintiff therefore lacks standing to raise such a 8 challenge in this action. Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560 (1992) (holding injury 9 for purposes of standing must be “actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical”) (internal 10 quotations omitted); Thomas v. Anchorage Equal Rights Comm’n, 220 F.3d 1134, 1138 (9th Cir. 11 2000) (“[I]n many cases, ripeness coincides squarely with standing’s injury in fact prong.”). The 12 court previously addressed whether plaintiff fell within the equitable exception to the AIA, and 13 concluded that she did not. (See Doc. No. 19 at 8.) As also previously explained by the court, 14 plaintiff lacks standing to challenge the IRS’s record-keeping practices in general. (See id. at 8– 15 9.) Finally, to the extent plaintiff is seeking to challenge the IRS’s record-keeping practices in 16 order to forestall its efforts to collect taxes from her, such an action is barred by the Anti- 17 Injunction Act. (See id. at 6–8.) 18 For all of these reasons, the court concludes plaintiff has not shown any clear error 19 justifying the alteration or amendment of the court’s order dismissing this action or the judgment 20 entered pursuant thereto. Plaintiff’s motion to alter or amend the judgment (Doc. No. 21) is 21 therefore denied. 22 IT IS SO ORDERED. 23 Dated: June 23, 2017 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 24 25 1 26 27 28 Were criminal charges filed against plaintiff, any challenge to the introduction of evidence against her would be an issue to be resolved by the court before which those charges were pending. See Rodriguez v. United States, No. C 97-4392 FMS(PR), 1997 WL 797834, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 11, 1997) (“Plaintiff must challenge the admission of evidence in a pending federal criminal proceeding in that proceeding or, if appropriate, the court of appeals.”) 3

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