(PS) Sheikh v. Medical Board of California, et al, No. 2:2010cv00213 - Document 93 (E.D. Cal. 2010)

Court Description: ORDER denying 78 Motion for Reconsideration signed by Judge Frank C. Damrell, Jr on 10/20/2010. (Matson, R)
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(PS) Sheikh v. Medical Board of California, et al Doc. 93 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 ----oo0oo---FARZANA SHEIKH, M.D., NO. CIV. S-10-213 FCD/GGH PS 12 13 14 Plaintiff, v. MEMORANDUM AND ORDER MEDICAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA, and STATE OF CALIFORNIA, 15 Defendants. 16 ----oo0oo---- 17 This matter is before the court on plaintiff Farzana 18 Skeikh’s (“Skeikh” or “plaintiff”) motion for relief from the 19 court’s final judgment1 granting defendants Medical Board of 20 California and the State of California’s (collectively 21 “defendants”) motion to dismiss plaintiff’s amended complaint. 22 23 1 24 25 26 27 28 The document filed by plaintiff on September 21, 2010 is entitled “Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave for Motion for Reconsideration; Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration on Premature Dismissal of: Plaintiff’s Request For Declaratory Relief on Constitutionality of California B&P Section 2335 & Plaintiff’s Petition for Review of Denial of Her Application for Physician’s License.” (Docket # 78). The court construes Docket #78 as a motion for relief from final judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) and will hereinafter refer to it as such. 1 Dockets.Justia.com 1 Defendants oppose plaintiff’s motion. 2 plaintiff’s motion for relief from judgment is DENIED.2 For the forgoing reasons, 3 BACKGROUND 4 On January 27, 2010 a petition for “Writ of Review” was 5 filed on behalf of plaintiff, by her non-attorney husband, 6 against defendants. (Docket #2). 7 filed an amended petition for review (“amended complaint”). 8 (Docket #14). 9 complaint and a request for judicial notice on March 4, 2010. On February 17, 2010 plaintiff Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the amended 10 (Docket ## 18, 20). 11 plaintiff, which was construed as a complaint, was ultimately 12 striken by Magistrate Judge Gregory G. Hollows on March 18, 13 2010.3 14 request for reconsideration of Judge Hollows’ March 18, 2010 15 order, claiming that she had not consented to the jurisdiction of 16 the magistrate judge and that the court erred in disallowing her 17 husband to represent her. 18 plaintiff’s request on April 28, 2010. 19 20 (Docket #22). The original petition filed on behalf of On March 28, 2010, plaintiff filed a (Docket #27). This court denied (Docket #39). The hearing on defendants’ motion to dismiss was held before Judge Hollows and submitted on June 10, 2010.4 Plaintiff filed a 21 2 22 23 Because oral argument will not be of material assistance, the court orders this matter submitted on the briefs. E.D. Cal. L.R. 230(g). 3 24 25 26 Judge Hollow denied as moot defendants’ motion to strike, filed January 29, 2010, and defendants’ request for an extension of time to respond to the complaint, filed February 12, 2010. Plaintiff’s amended motion for e-filing access, filed on February 17, 2010, was conditionally granted. 4 27 28 Defendants filed an amended motion to dismiss on April 29, 2010. (Docket #40). Plaintiff did not file an opposition to defendants’ motion or to defendants’ request for judicial notice. Additionally, at the hearing on June 10, 2010, plaintiff did not 2 1 letter addressed to Judge Hollows on June 21, 2010, wherein she 2 asserted that Judge Hollows had no authority to rule on 3 defendants’ motion to dismiss and plaintiff again requested that 4 her husband be allowed to represent her. 5 14, 2010 Judge Hollows filed his order, recommending that 6 defendants’ request for judicial notice and amended motion to 7 dismiss be granted, thereby dismissing plaintiff’s action. 8 (Docket #55). 9 Judge Hollows’ findings and recommendations. (Docket #50). On July Plaintiff had fourteen days to file objections to (Docket #55). On 10 July 28, 2010, plaintiff filed a document entitled “Revised 11 Notice of Motion- Plaintiff’s Motion to Dismiss Defendants’ 12 Motion for Dismissal of Plaintiff’s Petition for Administrative 13 Review.” 14 (Docket #57). On August 23, 2010, after construing plaintiff’s filing as 15 objections, this court adopted Judge Hollows’ findings and 16 recommendations in full (the “final judgment”). 17 Defendants’ motion to dismiss was granted and the case was 18 closed. 19 continued to file a number of documents with the court, including 20 various purported requests for judicial notice and requests for 21 admissions. 22 plaintiff’s various post-judgment submissions on September 21, 23 2010, which is also the day plaintiff filed her motion for relief 24 from final judgment and her notice of appeal. (Docket ## 58, 59). (Docket # 58). Despite the case closing, plaintiff (See Docket ## 70-77). Defendants filed a reply to (Docket ## 80-83). 25 26 27 28 respond to Judge Hallows’ questions or make any oral arguments. (Defs.’ Opp’n. [“Opp’n”], filed Sep. 30, 2010, at 3 n.4). At the hearing, plaintiff noted that she was not an attorney and she needed her husband to address the court. (Id.). 3 1 STANDARD 2 Where the court’s ruling has resulted in a final judgment or 3 order, a motion for reconsideration may be based either on Rule 4 59(e) (motion to alter or amend judgment) or Rule 60(b) (motion 5 for relief from judgment) of the Federal Rules of Civil 6 Procedure. 7 Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1262 (9th Cir. 1993). 8 reconsideration is treated as a motion to alter or amend judgment 9 under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) if it is filed within 10 twenty-eight days of entry of judgement; otherwise, it is treated 11 as a rule 60(b) motion for relief from a judgment or order. 12 American Ironworks & Erectors, Inc. v. North Am. Const. Corp., 13 248 F.3d 892 (9th Cir. 2001). 14 See School Dist. No. 1J, Multnomah County v. ACandS, A motion for Absent “highly unusual circumstances,” reconsideration of a 15 final judgment under Rule 59(e) is appropriate only where (1) the 16 court is presented with newly-discovered evidence, (2) the court 17 committed “clear error or the initial decision was manifestly 18 unjust,” or (3) there is an intervening change in the controlling 19 law. 20 Zimmerman v. City of Oakland, 255 F.3d 734, 740 (9th Cir. 2001). 21 A district judge may provide relief from final judgment, under 22 Rule 60(b), if the moving party can show: “(1) mistake, 23 inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly 24 discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not 25 have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 26 59(b); (3) fraud . . ., misrepresentation, or misconduct by an 27 opposing party; (4) the judgment is void; (5) the judgment has 28 been satisfied, released, or discharged; it is based on an School Dist. No. 1J, Multnomah County, 5 F.3d at 1263; 4 1 earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or applying 2 it prospectively is no longer equitable; or (6) any other reason 3 that justifies relief.” 4 Worldwide, Inc., 555 F.3d 772, 780 (9th Cir. 2009)(citing Fed. R. 5 Civ. Pro. 60(b)). United Nat’l Ins. Co. v. Spectrum 6 ANALYSIS 7 Defendants argue plaintiff’s motion, whether brought under 8 Rule 59(e) or 60(b),5 has no merit and must be denied. 9 2). (Opp’n at Specifically, defendants contend plaintiff’s motion is 10 untimely under Rule 59(e), and that her contentions under Rule 11 60(b) are grounded only in “her disagreement with [the court’s] 12 rulings, findings, and conclusions of law,” which does not merit 13 relief from the court’s judgment.6 14 (Opp’n at 5-6). A Rule 60(b) motion is “not a vehicle to reargue a motion or 15 present evidence which should have been raised before.” 16 Westlands Water Dist., 134 F. Supp.2d 1111, 1131 (E.D. Cal. 17 2001)(quoting Bermingham v. Sony Corp. of Am., Inc., 820 F. Supp. 18 834, 856 (D. N.J. 1992)). 19 show more than a disagreement with the Court's decision, and 20 recapitulation of the cases and arguments considered by the court U.S. v. “A party seeking reconsideration must 21 22 23 24 25 5 Defendants note that plaintiff did not provide any procedural authority for the instant motion, and on that basis alone the court could properly deny the motion. (Opp’n at 2). Defendants nonetheless substantively respond to the motion, citing the relevant provisions of law governing motions for reconsideration after the entry of judgment. (Id.) 6 26 27 28 Because plaintiff filed her motion for reconsideration 29 days after the entry of judgment, and not within the 28 days required under Rule 59(e), the court will only consider plaintiff’s motion under Rule 60(b). (See Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(b), 59(e); Advisory Committee Notes for 2009 Amendments to Rule 59(e)). 5 1 before rendering its original decision fails to carry the moving 2 party's burden.” 3 are committed to the discretion of the trial court. 4 Nick Garin Trucking, 825 F.2d 437, 441 (D.C. Cir. 1987); Rodgers 5 v. Watt, 722 F.2d 456, 460 (9th Cir. 1983), en banc. 6 Id. Ultimately, motions for reconsideration Combs v. Although the bases for plaintiff’s motion are not readily 7 apparent from her papers, the court construes plaintiff’s motion 8 as asserting two primary grounds for relief from final judgment.7 9 First, plaintiff asserts she should be granted relief from 10 judgment under Rule 60(b)(4) because she did not consent to the 11 jurisdiction of a magistrate judge. 12 § 636(b)(1)(B) a magistrate judge, such as Judge Hollows, may 13 “conduct hearings, including evidentiary hearings, and submit to 14 a judge of the court proposed findings of fact and 15 recommendations for the disposition, by a judge of the court, of 16 any motion excepted in subparagraph (A).” 17 of California directs all civil actions where the plaintiff or 18 defendant is proceeding in propria persona to a magistrate judge, 19 for dispositive and non-dispositive motions and matters. 20 Cal. L.R. 302(c)(21). 21 this matter and submit proposed findings of fact and 22 recommendations to the court; therefore, this court’s dismissal 23 of plaintiff’s action, based on its adoption of Judge Hollows’ However, under 28 U.S.C. The Eastern District E.D. Judge Hollows thus had authority to hear 24 25 26 27 28 7 Defendants oppose plaintiff’s motion under all subsections of Rule 60(b); however, the court finds plaintiff only clearly alleges grounds for relief under Rule 60(b)(2) and Rule 60(b)(4), in asserting this court should consider the additional documentation she submitted post-judgment and it erred in adopting the findings of fact and recommendation of the magistrate judge. 6 1 findings of fact and recommendation, is not void under Rule 2 60(b)(4). 3 As to plaintiff’s second claimed basis for relief, plaintiff 4 argues the documents she submitted post-judgment are “newly 5 discovered evidence” under Rule 60(b)(2). (See Docket ## 70, 71, 6 74, 75, 76, 77)8. 7 judicial notice of the documents submitted post-judgment, 8 plaintiff has not demonstrated that these documents are “newly 9 discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not However, even if the court were to take 10 have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 11 59(e).” 12 indicated by the dates, each document was in existence well 13 before the time required for plaintiff to make a Rule 59(e) 14 motion. 15 the documents are “newly discovered” as required by Rule 16 60(b)(2), she is not entitled to relief from final judgment on 17 this ground. 18 (See Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(2)). To the contrary, as Therefore, because plaintiff has not demonstrated that Because plaintiff has not demonstrated that there is “newly 19 discovered evidence” in her action or that the final judgment was 20 void, she is not entitled to relief under Rule 60(b)(2) or Rule 21 60(b)(4). 22 judgment must be denied. Therefore, plaintiff’s motion for relief from final 23 24 25 26 27 28 8 The post-judgment submissions include a portion of a Medical Board newsletter, a memorandum of points and authorities originally filed in San Joaquin County Superior Court, and various communications between plaintiff and the California Medical Board or the Attorney General’s Office. 7 1 2 3 4 5 CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, plaintiff’s Rule 60(b) motion for relief from final judgment (Docket ## 58, 59) is DENIED.9 IT IS SO ORDERED. DATED: October 20, 2010 6 7 FRANK C. DAMRELL, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 9 To the extent plaintiff seeks to effectuate a motion to the court through her various post-judgment filings, referenced above (Docket ## 70-77), her motions/requests are denied as procedurally defective and/or substantively without merit for the reasons set forth herein. 8