Cunningham v. Singer et al

Filing 138

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION by Hon. William Alsup [denying 137 Motion for Reconsideration]. (whasec, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/18/2017)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 9 ARCHIBALD CUNNINGHAM, 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Plaintiff, No. C 14-03250 WHA v. KEVIN SINGER, et al., ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION Defendants. / INTRODUCTION Plaintiff moves for reconsideration of a prior order denying his motion to vacate judgment for fraud on the court. Reconsideration is DENIED. STATEMENT Following a series of frivolous lawsuits and appeals in state court, plaintiff Archibald 21 Cunningham, proceeding pro se, brought the instant action against defendants Kevin Singer, 22 Michael Coombs, and John Scott McKay. His complaint included claims for civil rights 23 violations, retaliatory eviction, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A previous order 24 granted defendants’ motion to dismiss and declared plaintiff a vexatious litigant. Judgment was 25 entered against plaintiff on the same day. Plaintiff moved for reconsideration pursuant to 26 Rule 59(e). That motion was denied. Plaintiff then moved to vacate the judgment for fraud on 27 the court pursuant to Rule 60(d)(3). That motion, too, was denied. Now, two years after entry 28 of judgment, plaintiff moves for reconsideration of the order denying his motion to vacate the 1 judgment. After briefing closed, plaintiff submitted an amended motion. Since only the docket 2 text differs, but the substance of the motion is unchanged, this order references only the original 3 filing. 4 ANALYSIS 5 A motion for reconsideration under Rule 59(e) “should not be granted, absent highly 6 unusual circumstances, unless the district court is presented with newly discovered evidence, 7 committed clear error, or if there is an intervening change in the controlling law.” Orange 8 St. Partners v. Arnold, 179 F.3d 656, 665 (9th Cir. 1999). Plaintiff does not present any newly 9 discovered evidence or intervening change in controlling law that would warrant reconsideration of his motion to vacate the judgment against him. This motion boils down to plaintiff’s 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 disagreement with a prior order denying his motion to vacate the judgment for fraud on the court. 12 As stated in that order, fraud and “fraud on the court” are very different. Fraud on the 13 court is a distinct species of fraud that must be shown by clear and convincing evidence 14 and typically does not arise from “[m]ere nondisclosure of evidence,” “perjury by a party 15 or witness,” or other mere fraud “connected with the presentation of a case to a court.” 16 United States v. Estate of Stonehill, 660 F.3d 415, 443–44 (9th Cir. 2011). In determining 17 whether fraud constitutes fraud on the court, the relevant inquiry is whether it harmed the 18 integrity of the judicial process. Id. at 444. 19 Plaintiff claims he sufficiently alleged fraud on the court and is therefore entitled to 20 an evidentiary hearing to uncover the fraud, which not only Attorney John McKay and Receiver 21 Kevin Stinger, but also — according to plaintiff — numerous judges are involved in (Compl. 22 ¶ 8). 23 First, plaintiff did not present clear and convincing evidence of fraud on the court. 24 This order reminds plaintiff — still a member of the State Bar — that legal conclusions are not 25 evidence. For example, plaintiff claims his strongest argument for this motion is that the state 26 court never litigated and adjudicated his eviction because his eviction occurred pursuant to a 27 “fraudulently obtained EJ-130 writ” (Dkt. No. 135 at 6). Plaintiff’s conclusory assertion that 28 2 1 the eviction occurred pursuant to a “fraudulently obtained EJ-130 writ” does not, however, 2 constitute clear and convincing evidence of fraud on the court. 3 Second, even if plaintiff had clearly and convincingly showed fraud on a state court, 4 plaintiff fails to explain how fraud on a state court would entitle him to an evidentiary hearing 5 or vacate a judgment against him in federal court. 6 Despite plaintiff’s endless list of grievances, there is no clear and convincing evidence 7 in the record supporting plaintiff’s claim of fraud on this Court. This order therefore declines 8 to reconsider his motion to vacate the judgment. The Court has considered plaintiff’s other 9 arguments and they do not disturb the outcome of this order. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, plaintiff’s motion is DENIED. Please, no further motions for reconsideration will be entertained. Plaintiff’s next recourse is to the court of appeals. 13 14 IT IS SO ORDERED. 15 16 Dated: January 17, 2017. WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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