Mohammed et al v. City of Morgan Hill et al

Filing 172

ORDER DENYING 169 , 170 MOTION FOR CLARIFICATION. Plaintiff shall file an amended complaint on or before November 30, 2011. Signed by Judge Edward J. Davila on 10/25/2011. (ejdlc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/25/2011) (Additional attachment(s) added on 10/25/2011: # 1 Certificate of Service) (ecg, COURT STAFF).

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 SAN JOSE DIVISION CASE NO. 5:10-cv-05630 EJD ABDURAHAM MOHAMMED, et. al., 11 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR CLARIFICATION Plaintiff(s), For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 13 v. CITY OF MORGAN HILL, et. al., [Docket Item No(s). 169, 170] 14 Defendant(s). 15 / 16 Presently before the court is Plaintiff Jinow Gudal’s (“Gudal”) Motion for Clarification of 17 the order issued by Judge Jeremy Fogel on August 30, 2011. See Docket Item Nos. 169, 170. 18 Having carefully reviewed this matter, Gudal’s motion will be denied for the reasons explained 19 below. 20 I. 21 FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND On December 13, 2010, pro se Plaintiffs Abduraham Mohammed (“Mohammed”) and his 22 mother, Gudal, commenced this civil rights action against a series of municipal and individual 23 Defendants. In the simplest of terms, Plaintiffs allege that Mohammed was wrongfully arrested, 24 charged with a crime he did not commit, and improperly incarcerated for a period of 6 months. See 25 Docket Item No. 1. Although the charges were ultimately dropped and Mohammed released from 26 jail, Plaintiffs allege he was denied proper medical treatment for a brain tumor while incarcerated. 27 See id. As a result, Mohammed’s health deteriorated such that he required constant care by Gudal. 28 See id. 1 CASE NO. 5:10-cv-05630 EJD ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR CLARIFICATION 1 During the early stages of this litigation, the parties filed a miscellaneous collection of 2 motions and requests - some dispositive and some procedural. Eventually, this court’s predecessor 3 (Judge Jeremy Fogel) consolidated the motions into one hearing on April 15, 2011. See Docket Item 4 No. 153. Intending to issue a written ruling, the court submitted the motions for decision. Id. 5 Mohammed thereafter died on August 21, 2011. See Docket Item No. 165. Since all of the 6 previously-submitted motions remained pending at that time, the court issued the following order on 7 August 30, 2011: 8 9 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 The Court recently was informed that Plaintiff Abduraham Mohammed has died. In light of Mr. Mohammed’s death, the Court hereby terminates all pending motions without prejudice. If she wishes to pursue any remaining claims in this action, Plaintiff Jinow Gudal must file an amended complaint within thirty (30) days from the date of this order. 12 13 14 15 Gudal did not amend the complaint as directed. Instead, she filed the instant motion on October 17, 2011, seeking clarification of the August 30th order. II. DISCUSSION “A court may clarify its order for any reason.” Wahl v. Am. Sec. Ins. Co., No. C 08-0555 16 RS, 2010 WL 2867130, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84878, at *9 (N.D. Cal. July 20, 2010). This type of 17 request “invite[s] interpretation, which trial courts are often asked to supply, for the guidance of the 18 parties.” Bordallo v. Reyes, 763 F.2d 1098, 1102 (9th Cir. 1985). From this, it is apparent that the 19 clarification process presumes some legitimate need supporting relief, such as the existence of 20 ambiguity or confusion that can corrected with further explanation. But where an order or direction 21 of the court is clear, it follows that clarification is unnecessary. 22 Here, Gudal request this court clarify the type of amendment contemplated by the order, i.e. 23 an amendment of only the parties or an amendment of the complaint itself. Within the framework 24 stated above, however, the court finds the request misplaced for two reasons. First, nothing in the 25 August 30th order requires clarification. The two simple sentences which constitute the entirety of 26 the order are neither confusing, incomplete nor ambiguous. The court provided only one 27 unequivocal directive - the filing of an amended complaint - within a specific period of time. No 28 further instruction is required for Gudal to determine what she must do to comply. 2 CASE NO. 5:10-cv-05630 EJD ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR CLARIFICATION 1 Second, the specific clarification question posed by Gudal seeks information that cannot be 2 provided by the court. As the August 30th order suggests, Mohammed’s death may have a 3 significant impact on this case in a variety of ways. It is possible that the parties, the causes of 4 action, or potentially both must be amended in order for this case to proceed further. Gudal may 5 wish to investigate and seek direction from qualified individuals in that regard. But the court is not 6 a legal advisor and cannot counsel Gudal on what must be done, if anything. That is her obligation 7 as a party to litigation, regardless of whether she is represented by counsel. 8 9 Although Gudal has not presented a valid basis for clarification of the August 30th order, the court nonetheless finds it appropriate to extend the deadline for the filing of an amended complaint. Accordingly, Gudal shall file an amended pleading on or before November 21, 2011. Gudal is 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 admonished that failure to comply with this order for the second time may result in dismissal of this 12 action upon an order to show cause for failure to prosecute. 13 14 III. ORDER Based on the foregoing: 15 1. Gudal’s Motion for Clarification (Docket Item Nos. 169, 170) is DENIED. 16 2. Gudal shall file an amended complaint on or before November 30, 2011. 17 3. This court also schedules this action for a further Case Management Conference on 18 January 20, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. The parties shall file a Joint Case Management 19 Statement on or before January 13, 2012. 20 IT IS SO ORDERED. 21 22 Dated: October 25, 2011 EDWARD J. DAVILA United States District Judge 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 CASE NO. 5:10-cv-05630 EJD ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR CLARIFICATION

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