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Chatman v. Johnson

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


November 12, 2008

CHARLES CHATMAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
R. JOHNSON, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

ORDER

Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel in an action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently pending is plaintiff's October 29, 2008, request for an extension of time to file a pretrial statement. For the reasons explained below, the court gives plaintiff 15 days from the date this order is signed to file a pretrial statement.

On September 30, 2008, plaintiff was directed to file a pretrial statement within 30 days. On October 29, 2008, plaintiff requested an additional 30 days to comply with that order. He asserts that since his May 29, 2008, placement in administrative segregation, unidentified prison officials have denied him access to the legal materials relevant to this case. He asserts that he has filed administrative appeals complaining of this circumstance, but the result has been retaliatory assaults, interception of his mail, tampering with this food and confiscation of his eyeglasses, medications, stamps, paper and envelopes. He does not attach copies of the appeals.

Neither does he identify the alleged perpetrators of these acts.

Plaintiff has not asserted facts that warrant an extension of time. Other than his conclusory allegations, there is no basis for finding that any prison official has deprived plaintiff of access to his legal materials that would be adequate to litigate this matter or retaliated against him. Plaintiff requests an additional 30 days, thereby implying that within this time he will have access to his legal materials sufficient to file a pretrial statement. However, he does not explain what will change such that he can accomplish this task. Although plaintiff states that he has been deprived of paper, envelopes and stamps, the docket shows that he has been litigating this action. On September 24, 2008, plaintiff filed a three-page request for an extension of time to object to findings and recommendations. On October 6, 2008, he filed a 14-page request that the undersigned recuse himself and a one-page certification that the request was made in good faith. The instant request is three pages long.

Plaintiff has not shown a factual basis for finding good cause to grant the 30-day extension plaintiff seeks. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(b). Nonetheless, the court grants plaintiff one more chance in the form of an additional 15 days to file a pretrial statement. Plaintiff shall comply with that deadline.

Plaintiff is, again, admonished that a party's failure to comply with any order or with the Local Rules "may be grounds for imposition of any and all sanctions authorized by statute or Rule or within the inherent power of the Court." Local Rule 11-110. The court may recommend that an action be dismissed with or without prejudice, as appropriate, if a party disobeys an order or the Local Rules. See Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1252 (9th Cir. 1992) (district court did not abuse discretion in dismissing pro se plaintiff's complaint for failing to obey an order to re-file an amended complaint to comply with Federal Rules of Civil Procedure); Carey v. King, 856 F.2d 1439, 1440-41 (9th Cir. 1988) (dismissal for pro se plaintiff's failure to comply with local rule regarding notice of change of address affirmed). Here, on December 21, 2006, the court informed plaintiff that his failure to comply with the orders and rules of this court would result in a recommendation that this action be dismissed. On August 21, 2007, the court informed plaintiff that in the event this matter were to go to trial, he would have to file a pretrial statement as described in Local Rule 16-281 and outlined the procedures for calling witnesses. As noted, the court has ordered plaintiff to file a pretrial statement. He has not done so and, as explained above, he has not provided an acceptable explanation for this failure. If plaintiff fails to file a pretrial statement as directed in this order, the court will recommend that this action be dismissed.

Accordingly, it is ORDERED that:

1. Plaintiff's October 29, 2008, request for an extension of time is denied.

2. In the interest of justice, the court grants plaintiff 15 days from the date this order is signed to file a pretrial statement. Failure to comply with this order will result in a recommendation that this action be dismissed.

3. The Clerk of the Court is directed to terminate number 113 on the docket.

20081112

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