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Roles v. Armfield

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

January 2, 2014

RAYMOND ROLES, Plaintiff,
v.
MELODEE ARMFIELD, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

EDWARD H. LODGE, District Judge.

Pending before the Court in this prisoner civil rights matter is Plaintiff's Motion for Relief from Judgment, Rule 60B. (Dkt. 20.) Plaintiff argues that the Court mistakenly dismissed his Complaint, for reasons of the statute of limitations, in its Memorandum Decision and Order, dated May 14, 2013, (Dkt. 18). Plaintiff argues that his prior state court lawsuit tolled the statute of limitations for the present lawsuit, his Complaint is timely given the date he discovered his injury and the harm caused by Defendants is continuing in nature. Plaintiff further argues that the Court was wrong to dismiss his due process claim concerning the self-defense theory.

The parties having adequately stated the facts and arguments in their briefing, the Court will resolve these matters on the record without oral argument. D. Idaho L. Civil R. 7.1.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff is an inmate at the Idaho Correctional Center. (Dkt. 3, Appendix, p. 1.) He was involved in an altercation with another inmate on April 20, 2010, after the other inmate came into Plaintiff's cell uninvited. ( Id. ) The two men started to argue, and Plaintiff struck the inmate on the left side of his jaw with a pencil, which broke in half. ( Id. ) They then exchanged punches and wrestled on the floor until correctional officers arrived and stopped the fight. ( Id. )

On May 4, 2010, Plaintiff was charged with "aggravated battery" in a prison disciplinary offense report (a "DOR"). (Dkt. 3, p. 20.) A discipline hearing was held on May 5, 2010. ( Id. ) At the hearing, Plaintiff contested the claim, but Defendant found him guilty and imposed 17 days of punishment. ( Id. at 11.) In addition, on May 13, 2013, Plaintiff's security level was increased and he was moved into close custody, where he is locked down 22-23 hours a day. ( Id. at 22.) Plaintiff appealed the DOR on May 5, 2010, but his appeal was denied on June 17, 2010, and the denial was forwarded to Plaintiff on June 21, 2010. ( Id. at 6.)

As a result of this DOR, which was the first one Plaintiff had received in 15 years, the Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole declined to grant him parole and instead determined that another hearing would not be held for five years. (Dkt. 3, p. 2.)

On July 18, 2012, Plaintiff filed his Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Dkt. 3.) On December 3, 2012, the Court issue its Initial Review Order under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and found that Plaintiff stated a colorable claim for relief that his due process rights were violated because the DOR was not supported by "some evidence." (Dkt. 9, p. 10.) The Court dismissed Plaintiff's claim that Defendant's refusal to allow him to assert self-defense cduring the DOR hearing violated his due process rights. ( Id. at 3-8.)

On January 16, 2013, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss on the basis that Plaintiff's Complaint was barred by the applicable statute of limitations. (Dkt. 12.) The Court dismissed Plaintiff's Complaint, because it was not filed within Idaho's statute of limitations of two years. (Dkt. 18, pp. 4-5.) The Court reasoned that Plaintiff's cause of action accrued, at the very latest, when his appeal denial was forwarded to him on June 21, 2010. ( Id. at 5.) Plaintiff's Complaint was not filed until July 18, 2012. ( Id. )

On May 24, 2013, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Relief from Judgment, Rule 60B. (Dkt. 20.)

STANDARD OF LAW

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(1) provides that the court may relieve a party from final judgment for "mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect." Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1). The Ninth Circuit has recognized that Rule 60(b) may be used to reconsider legal issues and to reconsider the court's own mistake or inadvertence. See Liberty Mut. Ins. Co. v. E.E.O.C., 691 F.2d 438, 441 (9th Cir. 1982) (holding that the "law in this circuit is that errors of law are cognizable under Rule 60(b)"); see also Kingvision Pay-Per-View Ltd. v. Lake Alice Bar, 168 F.3d 347, 350 (9th Cir. 1999) ("the district court can correct its own mistake months after judgment, under Rule 60(b)"). The disposition of a motion for reconsideration under Rule 60(b)(1) is within the broad discretion of the district court. Lolli v. County of Orange, 351 F.3d 410, 411 (9th Cir. 2003); Latshaw v. Trainer Wortham & Co., Inc., 452 F.3d 1097, 1100 (9th Cir. 2006).

DISCUSSION

1. State Court ...


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