This case is before the undersigned pursuant to Eastern District of California Local Rule ("Local Rule") 72-302(c)(21). See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). On May 28, 2009, plaintiff filed a complaint and motion to proceed in forma pauperis in this action, and on June 4, 2009, this court granted plaintiff's motion. Dckt. Nos. 1-3. The court ordered that service of process be made by the U.S. Marshal, and directed the Clerk of Court to send plaintiff the necessary forms for completion and return to the U.S. Marshal. Plaintiff was ordered to send the requisite forms to the U.S. Marshal within 15 days. Dckt. No. 3at 3.
In a separate order issued on June 4, 2009, this court cautioned plaintiff "that this action may be dismissed if service of process is not accomplished within 120 days from the date that the complaint is filed." Dckt. No. 5 at 1 (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(m)). The court also set a scheduling conference for October 7, 2009 and directed the parties to file status reports no later than fourteen days prior to the conference (by September 23, 2009). The order further cautioned that failure to obey the Federal Rules, Local Rules, or orders of the court could result in sanctions, including a recommendation that the case be dismissed.
On September 25, 2009, plaintiff filed a request for a continuance of the October 7, 2009 status conference and a status report. Dckt. Nos. 7, 8. On September 28, 2009, plaintiff filed a notice, indicating that she attempted to provide the required documents to the U.S. Marshal but was instructed by someone in the Marshal's Office that she needed to provide additional documents. Dckt. No. 9. On September 30, 2009, the court confirmed with the U.S. Marshal that plaintiff has provided all of the required documents for service.
Although plaintiff failed to comply with the court's June 4, 2009 orders, the court will grant plaintiff's request for a continuance of the October 7 status conference, and will permit plaintiff to have the U.S. Marshal serve defendant outside the 120 day period prescribed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m) (here, by September 25, 2009). Plaintiff is warned, however, that such failures in the future could result in sanctions. See Local Rule 11-110 ("Failure of counsel or of a party to comply with these Rules or with any order of the Court may be grounds for imposition by the Court of any and all sanctions authorized by statute or Rule or within the inherent power of the Court."); see also Local Rule 83-183 ("Any individual representing himself or herself without an attorney is bound by the Federal Rules of Civil or Criminal Procedure and by these Local Rules."); Ghazali v. Moran, 46 F.3d 52, 53 (9th Cir. 1995) ("Failure to follow a district court's local rules is a proper ground for dismissal.").
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. The October 7, 2009 status conference is continued to February 24, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 25;
2. No later than February 10, 2010, all parties shall file status reports (or a joint status report), discussing the matters addressed in the court's June 4, 2009 order, Dckt. No. 5;
3. The Clerk of the Court is directed to serve a copy of this order on the U.S. Marshal, 501 "I" Street, Sacramento, Ca., 95814, Tel. No. (916) 930-2030; and
4. The U.S. Marshal is directed to serve defendant with process, as well as with copies of the June 4, 2009 status order and related documents, Dckt. No. 5, and a copy of this order, within 60 days of this order. The U.S. Marshal shall, within 10 days thereafter, file a statement with the court that said documents have been served. If the U.S. Marshal is unable, for any reason, to effect service of process on defendant, the Marshal shall promptly report that fact, and the reasons for it, to the undersigned.
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