United States District Court, D. Arizona
G. Campbell, Senior United States District Judge.
Plaintiff Michael Davis has moved to set aside the
Court's judgment entered more than 10 years ago. Doc. 36.
The motion is fully briefed. Docs. 38, 42. Plaintiff has
filed two additional motions seeking related relief. Docs.
40, 46. Defendant Allen Miser has filed response briefs
(Docs. 43, 47), and Plaintiff filed one reply (Doc. 45).
Plaintiff requests a hearing, but oral argument will not aid
in the Court's decision. Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b); LRCiv
7.2(f). The Court will deny Plaintiff's motions.
April 7, 2008, Plaintiff - an ADOC inmate and Seventh Day
Adventist - filed a civil rights complaint against Defendant
Miser - a chaplain for the Arizona Department of Corrections
(“ADOC”) - alleging that he was denied a
vegetarian religious diet. Doc. 1 at 4. The parties entered
into a settlement agreement (“the Settlement”)
whereby the ADOC agreed to provide Plaintiff a
lacto-vegetarian diet, but reserved its “right to
revise its dietary plans.” Doc. 38-1 at 7. The parties
stipulated to dismissal with prejudice of Plaintiff's
suit. Doc. 27. In a January 2009 order, the Court stated:
“This matter having come before the Court on the
stipulation of the parties; IT IS ORDERED dismissing this
action with prejudice.” Doc. 28.
moves to set aside or reopen the Court's judgment
pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6) because his lacto-vegetarian diet
has been changed to a vegan diet. Doc. 36 at 1. He claims
that the switch is a breach of the Settlement. Id.
Rule 60(b)(6), the Court may relieve a party of final
judgement for any “reason that justifies relief.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(6). “Only ‘extraordinary
circumstances' justify relief under Rule 60(b)(6).”
Hermetic Order of Golden Dawn, Inc. v. Griffin, 400
Fed.Appx. 166, 167 (9th Cir. 2010) (brackets omitted);
see also United States v. Sparks, 685 F.2d 1128,
1129 (9th Cir. 1982). Repudiation of a settlement agreement
constitutes an extraordinary circumstance and justifies
vacating the court's prior dismissal order.”
Keeling v. Sheet Metal Workers Int'l Ass'n, Local
Union 162, 937 F.2d 408, 410 (9th Cir. 1991). To obtain
relief, however, the repudiation must amount to
“complete frustration” of the agreement.
Id. at 410-11.
alleges that the ADOC did away with his lacto-vegetarian diet
and instead provided him with a vegan “Muslim”
diet, which is not the diet the ADOC agreed to provide. Doc.
36 at 2. According to Plaintiff, this change does not
constitute a revision of dietary plans, consistent with the
Settlement. Id. The ADOC responds that the vegan
diet is the religious diet designed for those inmates who
avoid meat or animal products for religious reasons. Doc. 38
at 4. The ADOC also asserts that it changed the diet in
accordance with the Settlement provision that reserved its
right to change dietary plans. Id. The disagreement
between Plaintiff and the ADOC over interpretation of the
Settlement, particularly the meaning of ADOT's right to
change dietary plans, does not amount to a complete
repudiation of the Settlement that warrants relief under Rule
60(b)(6). See Hermitic Order of Golden Dawn, 400
Fed.Appx. at 167; Naylon v. Wittrig, No.
3:08-cv-00625-LRH-WGC, 2017 WL 1745033, at *1 (D. Nev. May 3,
2017); Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. v. Rangee, No.
2:13-cv-00939-MCE-CKD, 2013 WL 6859001, at *3 (E.D. Cal. Dec.
no law “provides for jurisdiction of the court over
disputes arising out of an agreement that produces a
[stipulated dismissal].” Kokkonen v. Guardian Life
Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 378 (1994). “[A]
federal court has jurisdiction to enforce a settlement
agreement in a dismissed case when the dismissal order
incorporates the settlement terms, or the court has retained
jurisdiction over the settlement contract[, ]” and a
party alleges a violation of the settlement. Id.
Under those circumstances, a breach of the agreement is a
violation of the court's order and the court has
jurisdiction to enforce the agreement. Kokkonen, 511
U.S. at 381. In this case, however, the Court did not
incorporate the terms of the Settlement in its dismissal
order. See Doc. 28. Nor did the Court retain
jurisdiction over the settlement agreement. Id; Doc.
38-1 at 6-10.
other motions will be denied as well. Plaintiffs motion for
an order to make legal calls, and his motion for an order to
allow Plaintiff the proper paperwork to exhaust
administrative remedies, cannot be made without a pending
action in this court and would be, in any event, beyond the
scope of the issues raised in Plaintiffs previous lawsuit.
1. Plaintiffs motion to set aside the Court's judgment
(Doc. 36) is denied.
2. Plaintiffs other motions (Docs. 40, 46) are
3. This case is closed. Plaintiff shall not file further