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Slaughter v. Glebe

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

November 15, 2017

PATRICK R. GLEBE, et al., Defendants.


          J. Richard Creatura United States Magistrate Judge.

         This 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights matter has been referred to Magistrate Judge J. Richard Creatura pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 636 (b)(1)(A) and (B) and Local Magistrate Judge Rules MJR 1, MJR 3, and MJR 4.

         Plaintiff Ossie Lee Slaughter asks the Court to reconsider its previous rulings denying his motions for appointment counsel and for injunctive relief. However, plaintiff has not provided new evidence that would alter the Court's prior determinations and has not otherwise shown that the Court's decisions were incorrect. Therefore, the Court declines to reconsider its previous determinations. Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration is denied.


         Plaintiff is a Washington state prisoner in the custody of the Department of Corrections and is currently housed at the Washington State Penitentiary (“WSP”). Dkt. 154. At the time plaintiff filed his original complaint, he was housed at the Stafford Creek Corrections Center (“SCCC”). Dkt. 109 at 2. Plaintiff alleged that his constitutional rights were violated when he was cited for an infraction on June 11, 2015, and when he was subsequently placed in administrative segregation before being transferred to the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center (“CRCC”). He filed his original complaint and an application to proceed in forma pauperis in July of 2015. Dkt. 1. Pursuant to Court order, plaintiff filed an amended complaint in November of 2016. Dkt. 109. Defendants filed an answer (Dkt. 146) and the Court entered a pretrial scheduling order (Dkt. 148) that was subsequently extended (Dkts. 156, 164). Prior to his present motion, plaintiff requested injunctive relief, appointment of counsel, and reconsideration of this Court's determinations several times. See Dkts. 57, 74, 87, 98, 128, 135, 136, 142, 156.

         In October of 2017, plaintiff filed a letter titled “Re: Appointment of Counsel and (TRO) Provided Exigently, ” which the Court interprets as a motion for reconsideration. Dkt. 166. He requests that the Court reinstate and grant his previous motion for appointment of counsel and motion for injunctive relief. Id. at 1.[1] He further asks the Court to grant him relief “without further delay because as it stands, [his] present peril[ous] predicament” is becoming worse. Id. Defendants filed a response to this motion (Dkt. 167) and plaintiff filed a reply (Dkt. 168).


         The Court interprets plaintiff's letter as a motion to reconsider its previous decisions denying plaintiff a temporary restraining order and denying plaintiff court appointed counsel. Dkt. 64, 164. Motions for reconsideration are governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60 and LCR 7(h). LCR 7(h) provides:

Motions for reconsideration are disfavored. The Court will ordinarily deny such motions in the absence of a showing of manifest error in the prior ruling or a showing of new facts or legal authority which could not have been brought to its attention earlier with reasonable diligence.

         The Ninth Circuit has described reconsideration as an “extraordinary remedy, to be used sparingly in the interests of finality and conservation of judicial resources.” Kona Enters., Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000) (quoting 12 James Wm. Moore et al., Moore's Federal Practice § 59.30[4] (3d ed. 2000)). “[A] motion for reconsideration should not be granted, absent highly unusual circumstances, unless the district court is presented with newly discovered evidence, committed clear error, or if there is an intervening change in the controlling law.” Id. (quoting 389 Orange Street Partners v. Arnold, 179 F.3d 656, 665 (9th Cir. 1999)).

         Defendants state that the Honorable Benjamin H. Settle has already forbidden plaintiff from filing additional motions for reconsideration pertaining to his motion for preliminary injunction. Dkt. 167 at 2. It is true that Judge Settle ordered plaintiff to cease filing additional motions for reconsideration relating to a motion for preliminary injunction. Dkt. 150 at 3. However, this restriction appears to be limited only to motions for reconsideration on one particular motion for preliminary injunction, not for subsequent motions for preliminary injunction. Id. Therefore, it appears plaintiff's current motion is not barred by Court order and the Court will analyze the motion on the merits.

         I. Reconsideration of Motion for Preliminary Injunction

         Plaintiff has not provided a legitimate reason for this Court to reconsider its previous denial of his motion for injunctive relief. Both this Court and the District Court have denied plaintiff injunctive relief on a number of occasions. See Dkts. 77, 133, 150, 164. As the Court noted in its most recent denial, plaintiff's motion for injunctive relief was unrelated to his underlying claims:

Plaintiff asks that a restraining order be entered against CRCC and WSP, seemingly because of harm he faced in those facilities. Dkt. 156 at 3. However, plaintiff's amended complaint focuses on an alleged wrongful infraction plaintiff received while housed at SCCC and his subsequent placement in administrative segregation. Dkt. 109 at 14-16. Though his complaint alleges actions taken against him while at CRCC (Id. at 16-17), plaintiff's motion only alleges vindictive action by “defendant's coworker's [sic]” rather than action by defendants themselves (Dkt. 160 at 2). Because of this, plaintiff's motion for an injunction is based on claims not contained in ...

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