United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND
DENYING IN PART MOTION TO REOPEN AND FIND DEFENDANTS IN
CONTEMPT OF THIS COURT'S ORDER
MATTER is before the Court on the pro se Motion filed by
Plaintiff, Jesse Trujillo, asking the Court to reopen this
case and find the Defendants in contempt of court (Doc. 147),
the Defendants' Response (Doc. 149), Plaintiff's
Reply (Doc. 150), Defendants' Surreply (Doc. 151), and
Plaintiff's Answer to Surreply (Doc. 152). The Court will
grant, in part, and deny, in part, the Motion to reopen this
case and will direct the Defendants to continue to comply
with the Court's September 30, 2011 Order Adopting
Postage Plan (Doc. 129).
Jesse Trujillo, is a prisoner under control of the New Mexico
Corrections Department but housed, under contract, in the
State of Virginia. Plaintiff Trujillo is proceeding pro se
and in forma pauperis. Plaintiff Trujillo filed his
Civil Rights Complaint commencing this action on June 4,
2004. (Doc. 1). In his Complaint, Plaintiff Trujillo alleged
his constitutional right of meaningful access to the New
Mexico state courts, where he was sentenced, was being
infringed, in part due to having to pay postage in order to
send his filings to New Mexico (Doc. 1 at 4, 11). On
September 8, 2004, the Court entered a Memorandum Opinion and
Order and a Judgment dismissing the case for failure to state
a claim for relief. (Doc. 8, 9). Plaintiff Trujillo appealed
from the dismissal, and the Tenth Circuit reversed, in part,
and remanded the case to this Court for further proceedings.
(Doc. 11, 14).
filed an Amended Complaint on April 4, 2007, adding an equal
protection claim against the Defendants. (Doc. 19). The
Magistrate Judge entered Proposed Findings and Recommended
Disposition (“PFRD”) on July 13, 2009. (Doc. 62).
Plaintiff Trujillo objected to the PFRD. (Doc. 64). On
September 30, 2009, the Court entered its Order granting, in
part, motions to dismiss filed by the Defendants, overruling
Plaintiff's objections, and adopting the Magistrate
Judge's PFRD. (Doc. 67). Trujillo appealed to the Tenth
Circuit and the appeal was placed in abeyance due to the lack
of a final order. (Doc. 69).
Trujillo filed a second Amended Complaint on November 9,
2009, claiming that he was not being provided postage in
order to be able to access the New Mexico Department of
Corrections grievance system and the New Mexico courts. (Doc.
72). In response to an Order of the Court, the Defendants
filed a Martinez Report on May 7, 2010. (Doc. 91). On May 21,
2010, the Court then granted Trujillo in forma
pauperis status under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 and
certified its September 30, 2009 Order for appeal under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b). (Doc. 95). Trujillo filed an Amended
Notice of Appeal on September 27, 2010, and, on appeal, the
Tenth Circuit affirmed this Court's dismissal. (Doc. 97,
Magistrate Judge then issued a PFRD on Plaintiff's second
Amended Complaint on October 5, 2010, recommending that a
plan be adopted to provide Plaintiff with access to the New
Mexico Corrections Department grievance system and the New
Mexico Courts. (Doc. 105). Plaintiff Objected to the PFRD on
November 29, 2011. (Doc. 109). On August 3, 2011, the Court
overruled the objections, adopted the Magistrate Judge's
Report and Recommendations, and ordered that the Defendants
file a plan with the Court to enable Plaintiff to send legal
requests and grievances to the NMCD at no expense to himself.
(Doc. 120). Plaintiff Trujillo filed a Notice of Appeal,
appealing from the Court's August 3, 2011 Order. (Doc.
120). The appeal was, again, held in abeyance due to the lack
of a final order.
filed their Plan to Allow Postage Free Legal Request by
Plaintiff to NMCD on August 17, 2011. (Doc. 121). The Plan
“1. NMCD will provide to Plaintiff in Virginia three
(3) standard business envelopes stamped and addressed to NMCD
for legal requests and grievances upon acceptance of this
plan by the Court.
2. In the response or reply sent to Trujillo, a new, stamped,
pre-addressed envelope will be include for the use of
Trujillo in making further requests.”
(Doc. 121). The Court adopted Defendants' Plan in its
September 30, 2011 Order and entered Final Judgment. (Doc.
129, 130). The Tenth Circuit issued its Mandate, affirming
the rulings of this Court, on March 12, 2012. (Doc. 133).
then filed a Motion for Order, asking the Court to enter an
order on his request for an award of filing fees and costs on
April 24, 2013. (Doc. 139). The Magistrate Judge entered a
third PFRD on October 9, 2013. (Doc. 141). The Court adopted
the PFRD over objections filed by Plaintiff Trujillo. (Doc.
142, 143). Plaintiff Trujillo also filed a Motion for a
temporary restraining Order on February 24, 2014. (Doc. 144).
The Court entered an Order and Corrected Order noting that
Plaintiff's Motion sought relief on matters beyond the
scope of the original complaint and ordering that the Motion
be re-docketed as a pleading commencing a new civil rights
case. (See Doc. 145, 146; See, also, No. CV
Trujillo filed his Motion to Reopen Case on August 4, 2016.
(Doc. 147). In his Motion, Plaintiff claims that Defendants
are no longer complying with the September 30, 2011 Order and
seeks to have the Court reopen this case, require the
Defendants to comply with the Court's September 30, 2011
Order, and hold Defendants in contempt. (Doc. 147).
motion to reopen a case following final judgment proceeds
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b). In order to set aside a final order
or judgment and reopen a case, a plaintiff must establish one
of six enumerated reasons:
“(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable
diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for