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Oliver v. State

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

January 14, 2019

JUSTIN MITCHELL OLIVER, #A4015015, Plaintiff,


          Leslie E. Kobayashi, United States District Judge.

         Before the court is pro se Plaintiff Justin Mitchell Oliver's Motion for Reconsideration, ECF No. 8, of the December 5, 2018 Dismissal Order, ECF No. 6, which dismissed Oliver's Complaint and this action without prejudice but without leave to amend, for Oliver's failure to state a colorable claim for relief.

         For the following reasons, Oliver's Motion for Reconsideration is GRANTED. The Dismissal Order and judgment are VACATED.

         Oliver's Complaint, however, is again DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a), for his continued failure to state a colorable claim for relief. Because amendment is again futile, this dismissal is with prejudice.


         Pursuant to Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “[o]n motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party . . . from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence []; (3) fraud []; (4) the judgment is void; (5) the judgment has been satisfied, released or discharged []; or (6) any other reason that justifies relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b). Where none of these factors is present the motion is properly denied. Fuller v. M.G. Jewelry, 950 F.2d 1437, 1442 (9th Cir. 1991). “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, ” and it “may not be used to raise arguments or present evidence for the first time when they could reasonably have been raised earlier in the litigation.” Marlyn Nutraceuticals, Inc. v. Mucos Pharma GmbH & Co., 571 F.3d 873, 880 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotations marks, citations, and emphasis omitted).

         In his Complaint, Oliver seeks compensation for malicious prosecution and false imprisonment against the Honorable Shackley Raffetto, Circuit Judge of the Second Circuit Court, State of Hawaii, for Judge Raffetto's alleged failure to dismiss Oliver's state criminal case for an alleged violation of his right to a speedy trial. This Court mistakenly assumed that Oliver was challenging Judge Raffetto's actions in his state criminal conviction in State v. Oliver, 1PC16-1-000004 (Haw. 1st Cir. 2016), under which Oliver is currently incarcerated for a probation violation. Based on this, the Court held that Oliver's speedy trial claims were barred under Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), because his criminal conviction had not been reversed, expunged, set aside, or otherwise called into question, and a judgment in his favor in this civil rights action would undermine his state court conviction. Heck, 512 U.S. at 486-87.

         Oliver now clarifies that he is not challenging any constitutional infirmities in his current criminal conviction for which he is incarcerated, which would be barred under the Heck Doctrine, but is challenging actions allegedly taken by Judge Raffetto in State v. Oliver, 2PC02-1-000563 (Haw. 2d Cir. 2002), in which Oliver was acquitted by reason of insanity on April 10, 2003. Oliver says that he did not waive his speedy trial rights in that case and was held for more than two years before his acquittal by reason of insanity. He states that he was then held in the Hawaii State Hospital for another two years until he was released.

         Based on these clarifications and the Court's mistake regarding the criminal proceeding that formed the basis for its decision, the Motion for Reconsideration is GRANTED. The Clerk is DIRECTED to VACATE the December 5, 2018 Dismissal Order and judgment and reopen this case.


         Based on Oliver's clarification and the reopening of this case, the Court must again screen Oliver's Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a). Claims that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim for relief, or seek damages from defendants who are immune from suit must be dismissed. See Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (discussing § 1915(e)(2)); Rhodes v. Robinson, 621 F.3d 1002, 1004 (9th Cir. 2010) (discussing § 1915A(b)).

         A complaint must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations are not required, but a complaint must allege enough facts to provide both “fair notice” of the claim asserted and “the grounds upon which [that claim] rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 & n.3 (2007) (citation and quotation marks omitted). A complaint must “contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks omitted); Wilhelm v. Rotman, 680 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2012). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         Pro se pleadings must be liberally construed and all doubts should be resolved in the pro se plaintiff's favor. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 (9th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted). If the defects in the complaint can be corrected, leave to amend must be granted, Lopez, 203 F.3d at 1130; if a claim or complaint cannot be saved by amendment, dismissal without leave to amend or with prejudice is appropriate, Sylvia Landfield Tr. v. City of L.A., 729 F.3d 1189, 1196 (9th Cir. 2013).

         III. ...

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