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Barrett v. State

United States District Court, D. Oregon

June 19, 2015


Jacob Barrett Santa Rosa Correctional Institution Milton, FL, Plaintiff Pro Se.

Shannon M. Vincent, OREGON DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Trial Division, CLS, Salem, OR, Attorney for Defendants.


MARCO A. HERNNDEZ, District Judge.

Plaintiff Jacob Barrett has filed a motion for reconsideration under Rule 60(b) asking the Court to revisit this case for two reasons. First, Plaintiff asserts that a recent Supreme Court case sets forth an intervening change in the controlling law that would subject his Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 USC §§ 2000cc-2000cc-5 (2000) (hereinafter, RLUIPA), claim to a stricter standard of review. Second, Plaintiff asks the Court to reconsider its preclusion analysis. Plaintiff argues that he was not given proper opportunity to file a response in his state habeas case and, therefore, was not fully heard. For the following reasons, the motion for reconsideration is denied.


Pro se Plaintiff Jacob Barrett brought an action on July 28, 2014 against Defendants State of Oregon; Kate Brown, Governor of Oregon; Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC); Collette Peters, Director of ODOC; Karin Potts, Interstate Compact Coordinator (ICC) for ODOC; and R. Schmidt, ICC Coordinator. Plaintiff is an ODOC inmate currently housed in the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) pursuant to the Interstate Corrections Compact (ICC). See Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 421.245, 421.250. In his complaint, Plaintiff alleged that Defendants violated his rights under the United States Constitution's First and Fourteenth Amendments and Article I, Section 8 of the Oregon Constitution; and RLUIPA.

On January 9, 2015, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's amended complaint, arguing, among other reasons, that Plaintiff's case was precluded by a prior state court opinion. This Court granted Defendants' motion to dismiss on May 7, 2015, holding that Plaintiff's pending Oregon State court case, Barrett v. Peters ("Plaintiff's state habeas case"), Marion County Circuit Court Case No. 13C20437, precluded Plaintiff from bringing his claims.


A party may seek reconsideration of a ruling under Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. "Rule 60(b) provides for extraordinary relief and may be invoked only upon a showing of exceptional circumstances." Engleson v. Burlington N.R. Co., 972 F.2d 1038, 1044 (9th Cir. 1994) (citation and quotation marks omitted). Under Rule 60(b), a court may grant reconsideration based on: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence which by due diligence could not have been discovered before the court's decision; (3) fraud by the adverse party; (4) the judgment is void; (5) the judgment has been satisfied; or (6) any other reason justifying relief. Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b). However, "[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." Marlyn Nutraceuticals, Inc. v. Mucos Pharma GmbH & Co., 571 F.3d 873, 880 (9th Cir. 2009) (citing 389 Orange St. Partners v. Arnold, 179 F.3d 656, 665 (9th Cir. 1999)).



Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal on the same day that he filed the present motion for reconsideration. As a general rule, a notice of appeal transfers jurisdiction over the matters appealed to the appellate court, and divests the district court of jurisdiction over those aspects of the case. Griggs v. Provident Consumer Discount Co., 459 U.S. 56, 58 (1982) (per curiam); Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(4)(B)(i). This Court, however, maintains jurisdiction over this case because Plaintiff's pending motion for reconsideration suspended his notice of appeal, which will not take effect until this Court has ruled on the motion. See Miller v. Marriott Int'l, Inc., 300 F.3d 1061, 1064 (9th Cir. 2002) ("Under [Appellate] Rule 4(a)(4)(A), the [plaintiffs'] Rule 60(b) motions prevented the [plaintiffs'] notices of appeal from becoming effective until the district court ruled on the merits of those motions.").

Furthermore, on June 4, 2015, the Ninth Circuit issued an order stating that:

The notice of appeal was filed during the pendency of a timely filed motion listed in Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(4). The notice of appeal is therefore ineffective until entry of the order disposing of the last such motion outstanding. See Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(4). Accordingly, proceedings in this court shall be held in abeyance pending the district court's resolution of the pending June ...

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