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Daker v. Dozier

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division

March 15, 2019

WASEEM DAKER, Plaintiff,


          J. Randal Hall Chief Judge United States district Court

         Before the Court are thirteen post-judgment motions filed by Plaintiff Waseem Daker. (Docs. 16, 17, 19, 22, 27-35.) Most notable among them are two motions to vacate the Court's January 29, 2018 Order, dismissing this case without prejudice. (Docs. 19, 22.} The Court addresses Plaintiff's numerous motions as follows.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act ("RLUIPA") against dozens of Defendants. (Compl., Doc. 1.) Plaintiff's allegations arise from his confinement at Georgia State Prison ("GSP") where Plaintiff was not permitted to grow lengthy facial hair in contravention of his religious beliefs, prison officials forcibly shaved Plaintiff's beard with unsanitary clippers, and unconstitutionally punished Plaintiff for refusing to submit to grooming.[1] (See id. at 8-13.) This is one of numerous cases Plaintiff has before this Court bringing the same or substantially similar claims. See, e.g., Daker v. Bryson, No. 6:17-CV-079 (S.D. Ga. filed June 9, 2017); Daker v. Dozier, No. 6:18-CV-032 (S.D. Ga. filed Mar. 26, 2018).

         Plaintiff moved to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP") (Doc. 2), so the United States Magistrate Judge screened the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. The Magistrate Judge entered a Report and Recommendation ("R&R") that the Court dismiss Plaintiff's claims without prejudice because (1) the Prison Litigation Reform Act's ("PLRA") "three strikes" provision precluded Plaintiff from proceeding in forma pauperis and he did not qualify for the imminent danger exception; (2) Plaintiff abused the judicial process by failing to adequately disclose his litigation history and for misstating his true assets; and (3) Plaintiff did not exhaust his administrative remedies as required by the PLRA. (R&R, Doc. 4, at 5-20.)

         Plaintiff filed two objections to the R&R (Docs. 8, 11) and a handful of other motions. (Docs. 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13.) The Court conducted a de novo review of the record and entered an Order on January 29, 2018, overruling Plaintiff's objections, adopting the R&R, and denying the rest of Plaintiff's motions. (Order of Jan. 29, 2018, Doc. 14.) Now, Plaintiff has filed two motions to vacate the Court's January 2 9th Order and the resulting Judgment. (Docs. 19, 22.) Plaintiff further moves to amend his complaint (Doc. 17), for access to a law library (Docs. 16, 32, 34, 35), for access to photocopying (Doc. 33), and for a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order (Docs. 27-31).


         A. Motions to Vacate

         Plaintiff s motions to vacate contend the Court committed clear errors in each of the three grounds on which the Magistrate Judge recommended dismissal. It is important to note at the outset, that any one of the three grounds advanced by the Magistrate Judge and adopted by the Court is alone sufficient to dismiss the complaint in its entirety. Accordingly, Plaintiff must show clear error or manifest injustice on all three grounds to prevail on his motions and vacate the Court's January 29th Order.

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), a party may seek to alter or amend a judgment. Reconsideration of a previous order is "an extraordinary remedy, to be employed sparingly." Gold Cross EMS, Inc. v. Children's Hosp. of Ala., 108 F.Supp.3d 1376, 1379 (S.D. Ga. 2015) (quotations omitted). Motions for reconsideration should not be used to raise legal arguments or present evidence that could and should have been made before the judgment was issued. Michael Linet, Inc. v. Vill. of Wellington, Fla., 408 F.3d 757, 763 (11th Cir. 2005); Lockhard v. Equifax, Inc., 163 F.3d 1259, 1267 (11th Cir. 1998).

         While Rule 59(e) does not lay out grounds for relief, district courts in this Circuit have identified three reasons that merit reconsideration of a judgment: (1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence; and (3) the need to correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice. Gold Cross, 108 F.Supp.3d at 1379. To correct clear error "ordinarily requires a showing of clear and obvious error where the interests of justice demand correction." McGuire v. Ryland Grp., Inc., 497 F.Supp.2d 1356, 1358 (M.D. Fla. 2007) (internal quotations omitted). An error, however, is not "clear and obvious" if the legal issues are "at least arguable." Am. Home Assurance Co. v. Glenn Estess & Assocs., Inc., 763 F.2d 1237, 1239 (11th Cir. 1985).

         1. Imminent Danger Exception

         Plaintiff advances two arguments to show the Court erred in denying him the imminent danger exception to the PLRA's three strikes provision. First, GSP's custom of using excessive force to shave inmates places him in imminent danger. Second, GSP's practice of using unclean clippers places Plaintiff at risk of contracting infectious disease, "which ...

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