United States District Court, Northern District of California
July 14, 2003
JAMES C BOBB, II, PLAINTIFF,
FBI, ET AL, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Vaughn Walker, District Judge
Plaintiff, acting pro se, commenced this civil rights litigation against defendants the Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI and one or more FBI agents on October 29, 2001. Doc # 1. Magistrate Judge Zimmerman granted plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis on November 16, 2001, and summons were issued on November 21, 2001. Doc # 5.
Beginning December 28, 2001, all mail from the court to plaintiff was returned as undeliverable See Docs ## 8, 12, 13, 17, 19. Because he failed to apprise the court of his new address, plaintiff remained unaware of two scheduled case management conferences and so failed to attend them. See Doc # 15. As a result, Magistrate Judge Zimmerman ordered that the case be reassigned to a federal district judge and recommended that the assigned district judge issue an order to show cause why plaintiff's action should not be dismissed, pursuant to FRCP 41(b), for failure to prosecute. See Mag Jud 04/02/02 Order (Doc # 15).
Upon reassignment of this matter to the undersigned, the court issued an order to show cause why the matter should not be dismissed on April 19, 2002. Doc # 18. Plaintiff was directed to file a response to the court's show cause order on or before May 9, 2002, which he did not. Doc # 18 at 1. The court's April 19, 2002, was one of the documents returned to the court as undeliverable. See Doc # 19. On June 5, 2003, over a year after the deadline had passed for him to file a return to the court's show cause order, plaintiff filed a notice of change of address. Doc # 20.
Civil Local Rule 3-11(a) requires that "a party proceeding pro se whose address changes while an action is pending must promptly file with the Court and serve upon all opposing parties a Notice of Change of Address specifying the new address." Id. Civil Local Rule 3-11(b) authorizes the court to dismiss a complaint without prejudice if "(1) Mail directed to the * * * pro se party by the Court has been returned as not deliverable; and (2) [t]he Court fails to receive within 60 days of this return a written communication from the * * * pro se party indicating a current address." Id.
"Plaintiff should be aware that although he is * * * representing himself in this action, he is nevertheless obligated to follow the same rules as represented parties." See King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987). Lack of awareness of the applicable rules and procedures is no excuse for failure to comply with those rules. See Swimmer v. IRS, 811 F.2d 1343, 1344 (9th Cir. 1987). This is particularly true of a rule that includes a specific directive to pro se litigants.
Plaintiff's late-filed notice of change of address does not alter the fact that, in violation of Civ LR 3-11, plaintiff failed to inform the court of his new address for well over a year.
Pursuant to Civ LR 3-11(b), the complaint in this action is DISMISSED without prejudice. The clerk is directed to close the file and terminate all pending motions.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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