Jones v. Burwell
ORDER by Magistrate Judge Laura Fashing re 77 and 78 Letters from John Paul Jones. (cda)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO
JOHN PAUL JONES,
SYLVIA MATTHEWS BURWELL,
Secretary, Department of Health
and Human Services,
THIS MATTER comes before the Court on pro se plaintiff John Paul Jones, III’s letters
dated May 29, 2017 (Doc. 77) and June 3, 2017 (Doc. 78). These letters were not addressed to
the opposing party in this case and it appears Mr. Jones did not provide a copy of the letters to
defendant. As such, the letters constitute improper ex parte communications.
“Attorneys and pro se parties are prohibited from all ex parte communication with the
judge or judge’s staff. Ex parte communication occurs when one of the parties to a lawsuit
exchanges information with the assigned judge (1) without the opposing party being present, or
(2) without the knowledge and consent of the opposing party.” Acheff v. Lazare, 2013 WL
12129277, at *1 (D.N.M. Oct. 18, 2013) (quoting Martinez-Jones v. Dulce Indep. Sch., 2008
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42320, at *12 (D.N.M. March 5, 2008)). Mr. Jones’ pro se status does not
provide an exception to this rule or excuse him from following the same rules of procedure as
any other litigant. See Kay v. Bemis, 500 F.3d 1214, 1218 (10th Cir. 2007) (noting that the Tenth
Circuit has “repeatedly insisted that pro se parties follow the same rules of procedure that govern
other litigants”) (internal quotation marks omitted).
In his letter dated June 3, 2017, Mr. Jones requests a meeting with the Court to “make a
real credibility determination in regard to [Mr. Hoses’] behavior . . . .” Doc. 78 at 9. The Court
construes this as a request for a hearing and will deny the request. The Court granted summary
judgment in favor of defendant on all of Mr. Jones’ claims and dismissed this lawsuit. Doc. 70.
The Court further denied Mr. Jones’ motion for sanctions against Mr. Hoses. Doc. 71. Mr.
Jones has appealed this case to the Tenth Circuit (Doc. 72), and this Court no longer has
jurisdiction. “The filing of a notice of appeal is an event of jurisdictional significance—it
confers jurisdiction on the court of appeals and divests the district court of its control over those
aspects of the case involved in the appeal.” Griggs v. Provident Consumer Disc. Co., 459 U.S.
56, 58 (1982); see, also United States v. Madrid, 633 F.3d 1222, 1226 (10th Cir. 2011). This
Court lacks jurisdiction to proceed and does not have the ability to grant Mr. Jones any relief.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Mr. Jones’ request for a hearing is DENIED.
The Court notifies Mr. Jones that any future ex parte communications from him may
result in sanctions.
United States Magistrate Judge
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?