Watts v. Malak et al.

Filing 25

ORDER DENYING 23 Motion to vacate or set aside Judgment signed by District Judge John A. Mendez on 1/5/18. (Mena-Sanchez, L)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 QUINTON JOEY WATTS, 12 Plaintiff, 13 14 v. No. 2:16-cv-0926 JAM AC P ORDER TAYMOUR E. MALAK, et al., 15 Defendants. 16 On October 18, 2017,1 plaintiff filed a motion to vacate or set aside judgment pursuant to 17 18 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). “Rule 60(b) enumerates specific circumstances in which a party may be relieved of the 19 20 effect of a judgment, such as mistake, newly discovered evidence, fraud, and the like. The Rule 21 concludes with a catchall category—subdivision (b)(6)—providing that a court may lift a 22 judgment for ‘any other reason that justifies relief.’ Relief is available under subdivision (b)(6), 23 however, only in ‘extraordinary circumstances.’” Buck v. Davis, 137 S. Ct. 759 (2017). 24 Through findings and recommendations filed June 16, 2017, the magistrate judge 25 recommended dismissal of this action for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. ECF No. 11. The 26 magistrate judge found that plaintiff had failed to state any federal claims in the complaint and 27 28 1 Since plaintiff is a prisoner proceeding pro se, he is afforded the benefit of the prison mailbox rule. Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266, 276 (1988). 1 1 that any attempt to amend to state claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 would be futile because the 2 defendants were private practitioners and not acting under color of state law. Id. at 2-3. The 3 undersigned adopted the findings and recommendations in full on August 3, 2017. ECF No. 15. 4 In his motion, plaintiff asserts that the judgment should be set aside and he should be 5 given leave to amend the complaint because the defendants were in fact government actors. ECF 6 No. 23. He alleges that they were state and federal actors because even though they were private 7 practitioners, they received payment for their services from Medi-Cal, “California’s state plan for 8 providing medical assistance to qualified persons pursuant to Title XIX of the Social Security 9 Act.” Id. at 5-7. He asserts that he did not provide this information sooner because he did not 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 know it was necessary. Id. Plaintiff’s newly alleged facts do not warrant a different outcome. Extensive case law establishes that a private doctor or hospital cannot be deemed a state actor merely because they are recipients of state or federal funding. Even governmental regulation and the receipt of federal funds, such as Medicare, Medicaid or Hill-Burton funds, are insufficient to establish that an otherwise private hospital or other entity acted under color of state law. Mendez v. Belton, 739 F.2d 15, 18 (1st Cir. 1984); see also Blum [v. Yaretsky], 457 U.S. [991,] 1004, 102 S. Ct. [2777,] 2785-86 [(1982)] (fact that nursing home was extensively regulated was insufficient to establish it as state actor); Rendell-Baker v. Kohn, 457 U.S. 830, 840-43, 102 S. Ct. 2764, 2770-73, 73 L. Ed. 2d 418 (1982) (private school which received 90 percent of funds from government and was extensively regulated was not state actor under section 1983). Jackson v. E. Bay Hosp., 980 F. Supp. 1341, 1357 (N.D. Cal. 1997). Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion to vacate or set aside 21 judgement (ECF No. 23) is denied. 22 DATED: January 5, 2018 23 /s/ John A. Mendez__________________________ 24 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE 25 26 27 28 2

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?