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Paxton v. Schillings

United States District Court, D. Idaho

September 24, 2018

WILLIAM ELDRIDGE PAXTON, Plaintiff,
v.
CORPORAL SCHILLINGS, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER ON POST-JUDGMENT MOTION

          B. LYNN WINMILL JUDGE.

         Pending before the Court in this closed matter is Plaintiff's “Post-Judgment Motion for Reconsideration, ” filed on December 7, 2017. (Dkt. 94.) Defendants were emailed a copy of the motion by the ECF system on December 8, 2017, but they did not file a response. (See ECF Receipt for Dkt. 94.) Having reviewed the briefing and having considered the argument of Plaintiff, the Court enters the following Order.

         CONSIDERATION OF PLAINTIFF'S MOTION

         1. Background

         Plaintiff, an elderly prisoner confined in an Idaho Department of Correction facility, filed suit in 2012 to try to remedy conditions of confinement including extreme winter temperatures inside the Idaho State Correctional Institution's Medical Annex. (Dkts. 3, 45.) Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss on procedural grounds, which was denied. (Dkts. 19, 24.) Defendants later filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, which was denied in part. (Dkts. 37, 43.) The Court then referred the remainder of the claims for a settlement conference with the Honorable Dee Benson, United States District Judge for the District of Utah. (Dkt. 56.)

         The parties entered into a settlement agreement. Jurisdiction in the federal court was not reserved, and the case was dismissed with prejudice on June 3, 2014. (Dkt. 70.) On May 27, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Contempt, asserting that Defendants had breached the agreement. (Dkt. 73.)

         On March 23, 2016, the Court entered an Order denying the Motion for Contempt for lack of jurisdiction. (Dkt. 80.) The Court also entered a final judgment dismissing the case with prejudice. (Dkt. 81.) Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration on March 31, 2016, and several subsequent notices of violations of the agreement. (Dkts. 83, 84-90.)

         On December 7, 2016, the Court entered an Order on Plaintiff's first set of post-judgment motions, which included the following analysis:

Plaintiff [earlier] requested that the Court hold Defendants in contempt for failing to abide by the settlement agreement terms. (Dkt. 73.) The Court denied the motion for contempt for lack of jurisdiction, because the parties did not request that the Court retain enforcement jurisdiction in the case. (Dkt. 70.) The Court alternatively concluded that Rule 60(b)(6) relief was not warranted because Plaintiff did not show the breach of the Settlement Agreement deprived him of all benefits of the agreement or that no other remedies for the breach existed. See Tweed v. Schueltzle, 2009 WL 874609, at *5 n.2 (D. N.D. 2009). Plaintiff is left with a written contract between himself and state prison officials. He may desire to try to enforce the contract on state-law grounds in state court, but the Court is unable to entertain his post-judgment claims in federal court without an independent basis for federal court jurisdiction.

(Dkt. 91, pp. 1-2.)

         After the Court issued the Order, Plaintiff returned to state court to file a breach of contract suit. In his current motion, Plaintiff reports:

The Plaintiff did follow the directive of this Court (attached). However, the State would not waive service- Attorney General-violating Idaho Code § 3-201, and judicial duties to aid in fair administration of justice.
The Court would not assist the Plaintiff who was indigent and could not afford ...

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