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Hearns v. Commissioner of Social Security
August 15, 2008
NICKISHA HEARNS, PLAINTIFF,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Craig M. Kellison United States Magistrate Judge
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Plaintiff, who is proceeding with retained counsel, brings this action for judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). On November 1, 2007, the court issued a scheduling order which required plaintiff to file a dispositive motion within 45 days of service of defendant's response to the complaint and certified administrative record. Plaintiff was warned that failure to comply may result in dismissal of this action for lack of prosecution and failure to comply with court orders and rules. See Local Rule 11-110. A review of the docket reflects that the answer and certified administrative record were served on or about May 14, 2008. To date, plaintiff has not filed a dispositive motion.
The court must weigh five factors before imposing the harsh sanction of dismissal. See Bautista v. Los Angeles County, 216 F.3d 837, 841 (9th Cir. 2000); Malone v. U.S. Postal Service, 833 F.2d 128, 130 (9th Cir. 1987). Those factors are: (1) the public's interest in expeditious resolution of litigation; (2) the court's need to manage its own docket; (3) the risk of prejudice to opposing parties; (4) the public policy favoring disposition of cases on their merits; and (5) the availability of less drastic sanctions. See id.; see also Ghazali v. Moran, 46 F.3d 52, 53 (9th Cir. 1995) (per curiam). A warning that the action may be dismissed as an appropriate sanction is considered a less drastic alternative sufficient to satisfy the last factor. See Malone, 833 F.2d at 132-33 & n.1. The sanction of dismissal for lack of prosecution is appropriate where there has been unreasonable delay. See Henderson v. Duncan, 779 F.2d 1421, 1423 (9th Cir. 1986).
In this case, the court finds that dismissal of the action is appropriate for plaintiff's failure to prosecute this action by filing a dispositive motion as directed in the scheduling order.
Based on the foregoing, the undersigned recommends that this action be dismissed, without prejudice, for lack of prosecution and failure to comply with court rules and orders.
These findings and recommendations are submitted to the United States District Judge assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within 20 days after being served with these findings and recommendations, any party may file written objections with the court. The document should be captioned "Objections to Magistrate Judge's Findings and Recommendations." Failure to file objections within the specified time may waive the right to appeal. See Martinez v. Ylst, 951 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991).
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