Williams v. Hazel et al

Filing 39

ORDER by Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. DENYING 37 MOTION TO VACATE JUDGMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(ndrS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/1/2017) Modified on 12/1/2017 (vlkS, COURT STAFF).

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 STEPHEN JEROME WILLIAMS, Plaintiff, 8 9 v. 10 E HAZEL, et al., ORDER DENYING MOTION TO VACATE JUDGMENT Re: Dkt. No. 37 Defendants. 11 United States District Court Northern District of California Case No. 16-cv-01136-HSG 12 13 Plaintiff, a California prisoner currently incarcerated at Ironwood State Prison, filed this 14 pro se civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Defendants denied him access to 15 the courts. On September 25, 2017, the Court granted Defendants’ motions to dismiss and 16 dismissed the amended complaint with prejudice. Dkt. Nos. 35 and 36. Final judgment was 17 entered that same day, and Plaintiff did not appeal. Pending before the Court is Plaintiff’s motion 18 titled “Motion to Vacate Judgment Rule 59(e) Fed. R. Civ. P.,” filed on October 16, 2017. Dkt. 19 No. 37. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff’s motion is DENIED. 20 21 DISCUSSION I. Legal Standard 22 The Court construes Plaintiff’s motion to vacate judgment as a motion for reconsideration 23 under Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Such a motion “should not be granted, 24 absent highly unusual circumstances, unless the district court is presented with newly discovered 25 evidence, committed clear error, or if there is an intervening change in the law.” McDowell v. 26 Calderon, 197 F.3d 1253, 1255 (9th Cir. 1999) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). 27 Courts construing Rule 59(e) have noted that a motion to reconsider is not a vehicle permitting the 28 unsuccessful party to “rehash” arguments previously presented, or to present “contentions which 1 might have been raised prior to the challenged judgment.” Costello v. United States, 765 F. Supp. 2 1003, 1009 (C.D. Cal. 1991) (citing cases). These holdings “reflect[ ] district courts’ concerns for 3 preserving dwindling resources and promoting judicial efficiency.” Id. 4 II. 5 Analysis Plaintiff argues that Court committed clear error in dismissing the amended complaint 6 without leave to amend because the Court mischaracterized his allegations and failed to liberally 7 construe the amended complaint. Specifically, Plaintiff argues that the Court should have liberally 8 construed his allegation that Defendants failed to locate and issue him his property in time for him 9 to meet his court deadline as alleging that Defendants deliberately withheld his property with the intent of causing him to miss his deadline; that the Court erroneously applied an inapplicable 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 standard of “malicious intent” to an access to the court claim; and that Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 12 527 (1981), remains good law with respect to property deprivation that is neither random nor 13 unauthorized and that is undertaken without a hearing. Dkt. No. 37. 14 Plaintiff’s first argument is contradicted by the allegations in the amended complaint and 15 the attached exhibits. Specifically, Plaintiff now argues that his property was in the possession of 16 Defendants PBSP Officers Davis and Chandler, and that Defendants deliberately failed to issue 17 him his property in order to prevent him from accessing the courts. However, according to the 18 amended complaint and the attached exhibits, Officers Davis and Chandler came into possession 19 of Plaintiff’s property after the supposed filing deadline. Plaintiff’s property arrived at PBSP on 20 July 15, 2015, Dkt. No. 7 at 7, and Plaintiff had informed PBSP Officers Davis and Chandler that 21 he had a July 12, 2015 deadline, Dkt No. 7 at 4 and Dkt. No. 7-1 at 28 and 33. Even construed 22 liberally, the amended complaint alleged no facts that would plausibly support an inference that 23 PBSP Officers Davis and Chandler knew that Plaintiff had miscalculated his filing deadline, and 24 that they were deliberately withholding Plaintiff’s property so that he would miss the actual filing 25 deadline. 26 Plaintiff’s other two arguments were addressed and rejected in the Court’s Order Granting 27 Motions to Dismiss, see, e.g., Dkt. No. 35 at 9‒10 (setting forth qualified immunity standard); 13 28 (distinguishing between stating a cognizable constitutional claim in motion to dismiss context and 2 1 cle early establis shed law regarding First Amendment violations) 13‒14 (dis nt ); scussing whe ether there is s 2 cle early establis shed law requ uiring prison officials to take affirm n o mative steps t assist in m to meeting court t 3 dea adlines); and 21 (discuss d sing overruli of Parra and the C ing att), Court will no repeat tha analysis ot at 4 her re. 5 6 Plaintif has not sho that the Court comm ff own mitted clear error. Acco ordingly, the Court DE ENIES Plaint tiff’s motion for reconsideration. n 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 CONCLU USION For the foregoing re easons, Plain ntiff’s motio for recons on sideration is DENIED. D No. 37. Dkt. This case rema closed. ains IT IS SO ORDER S RED. Da ated: Decem mber 1, 2017 ___ __________ ___________ __________ ________ HA AYWOOD S GILLIAM JR. S. M, Un nited States D District Judg ge 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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