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Blaurock v. State

United States District Court, D. Kansas

November 18, 2014

ROBERT D. BLAUROCK, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF KANSAS, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

SAM A. CROW, Senior District Judge.

This pro se civil action was filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by Mr. Blaurock while he was confined at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility, Hutchinson, Kansas (HCF).[1] Because plaintiff is a prisoner suing government officials, the court was required by federal statute to screen his original complaint. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a) and (b); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). D.Kan. Rule 9.1 requires that pro se prisoner pleadings be submitted upon court-approved forms. Upon initial review of plaintiff's filings and motions, the court entered an Order requiring plaintiff to submit his "first amended complaint" upon court-approved forms in compliance with court rules.

This matter is before the court upon plaintiff's "Objection to Ruling or Order" (Doc. 12), plaintiff's First Amended Complaint (Doc. 13), and plaintiff's duplicate "Objection to Ruling and Order" (Doc. 14) submitted again later and docketed as his "Response".[2]

OBJECTION TO RULING OR ORDER

Plaintiff inappropriately relies upon Rule 46 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as the legal authority for his "Objection." Rule 46 generally requires objections during trial proceedings to preserve questions for appeal. This motion is not construed as one to alter or amend a judgment under FRCP Rule 59(e) or as a motion for relief from judgment under FRCP Rule 60(b) because no final judgment has been entered in this case. This motion is construed as seeking reconsideration of a non-dispositive order, which is governed by District of Kansas Rule 7.3(b). The legal standards applicable to a Rule 59(e) motion and/or a motion to reconsider a non-dispositive order under D.Kan. Rule 7.3 are essentially identical. A motion seeking reconsideration "must be based on: (1) an intervening change in controlling law, (2) the availability of new evidence, or (3) the need to correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice." D. Kan. Rule 7.3(b); see also Servants of Paraclete v. Does, 204 F.3d 1005, 1012 (10th Cir. 2000). Relief under Rule 59(e) is "extraordinary and may be granted only in exceptional circumstances." Allender v. Raytheon Aircraft Co., 439 F.3d 1236, 1242 (10th Cir. 2006). Rule 59(e) does not permit a losing party to rehash or restate arguments previously addressed or to present supporting facts that could have been included in plaintiff's earlier filings. Servants, 204 F.3d at 1012. The party seeking relief from a judgment bears the burden of demonstrating that he satisfies the prerequisites for such relief. Van Skiver v. U.S., 952 F.2d 1241, 1243-44 (10th Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 506 U.S. 828 (1992).

Mr. Blaurock does not allege an intervening change in the law or present new evidence. Nor does he show a need to correct clear error. Instead, he argues that he has "more than adequately" stated his claims, reargues some of those claims, expresses his objection to the findings and rulings of the court, and complains regarding the screening process and the undersigned judge.[3] The court finds that plaintiff fails to demonstrate the existence of any extraordinary circumstance that would justify alteration of the court's prior rulings.[4]

FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

Because Mr. Blaurock is a prisoner suing government officials, the court is required by federal statute to screen his First Amended Complaint and to dismiss the complaint or any portion thereof that is frivolous, fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks relief from a defendant immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a) and (b); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Plaintiff's objections to the statutorily-mandated screening process that has applied in federal courts nationwide for 18 years are without factual or legal basis. Local court rule requires that pro se prisoner pleadings be submitted upon court-approved forms, and this too is the practice in most if not all federal courts. These rules are in place for very good reasons. Mr. Blaurock's filings in this case exemplify the necessity for these rules.

Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief...." Mr. Blaurock initiated this action by filing a 34-page pro se civil rights complaint that is not on forms together with a 42-page Brief in Support (Doc. 2), both single-spaced. Next he filed 183 pages of exhibits.[5] He also filed motions containing 38 pages. Plaintiff alleges in his response that he presents 9 or 10 counts. By no stretch of the imagination are 260 pages of initial filings a "short and plain statement" of 10 counts. Thus, the complaint is substantially noncompliant with Rule 8.

As noted, local rules of this court require that the complaint be submitted upon forms, and plaintiff was ordered by this court to submit his complaint upon court-provided forms. Plaintiff objects that the forms lack enough space. The civil rights forms provided by the court permit pages to be attached when space is inadequate for the number of defendants and the number of counts. Furthermore, the complaint forms provide a format that requires a pro se plaintiff to present each claim separately followed by the factual allegations supporting that particular claim. A distinct section is provided for discussion of exhaustion of administrative remedies.

Had Mr. Blaurock utilized the forms and followed the directions for their completion, this court would not be faced with the same morass of often repetitive, irrelevant or conclusory statements regarding myriad claims, factual allegations, exhaustion, and exhibits all jumbled together. It is not the responsibility of the court to parse a running account of an inmate's daily observations and activities over the course of a year or more[6] together with his legal memorandum[7] and a ream of grievances[8] in order to ascertain what claims and supporting facts he may be attempting to present. When a litigant refuses to proceed in the proper manner, as Mr. Blaurock does here, the court has a responsibility to protect its own docket and take action that allows equitable time and fair consideration for all litigants. The time that it would take the court to deconstruct and then reconstruct plaintiff's 260 pages of initial filings is neither his to demand nor the court's to give.

Normally, a pro se litigant is given the opportunity to cure deficiencies in his complaint. However, Mr. Blaurock's refusal to comply with the simple initial order of this court and his own descriptions of the filings he submitted in state courts engender no confidence that he would comply with further detailed orders to cure the numerous deficiencies in his amended complaint. Thus, the court concludes that it would be futile to provide plaintiff with a second opportunity to amend.

Mr. Blaurock was expressly ordered to file his amended complaint "in compliance with court rules" including that it be submitted upon court-approved forms. He made no effort to comply with the court's rules or order. Instead, he submitted a 34-page single-spaced First Amended Complaint that is a duplicate of the original complaint, save for the change of a couple of the 23 defendants. He also prematurely sought reconsideration of court rulings without legal basis. The court finds that plaintiff simply refused to submit his amended complaint upon the court-provided forms and, as a result, the first ...


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