IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
January 21, 2011
SEAN PATRICK SOLOMON, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
E-LOAN, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge
On December 21, 2010, defendants Wells Fargo Bank, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems and John Kennerty ("Wells Fargo defendants") filed a motion to dismiss and a motion to strike.*fn1 (Dkt. Nos. 21, 22.) On December 28, 2010, defendant E-Loan, Inc. renoticed a motion to dismiss, which had previously been set for hearing in the Bankruptcy Court.*fn2 (Dkt. no. 24.) Both motions to dismiss were noticed for a hearing to take place on January 26, 2011. By minute orders, filed on January 11, 2011, and January 12, 2011, and served on plaintiffs, the motions were reset before the undersigned for hearing on February 3, 2011. (Dkt. Nos. 27, 28.) Pursuant to this court's Local Rules, plaintiffs were obligated to file and serve a written opposition or statement of non-opposition to the motion to dismiss and motion to strike filed by the Wells Fargo defendants at least fourteen days prior to the hearing date, or in other words by January 20, 2011.*fn3 See E. Dist. Local Rule 230(c).*fn4 The court's docket reveals that plaintiffs, who are proceeding without counsel, failed to file a written opposition or statement of non-opposition with respect to the Wells Fargo defendants' motion to dismiss and motion to strike.
Eastern District Local Rule 110 provides that "[f]ailure 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." Moreover, Eastern District Local Rule 183(a) provides, in part:
Any individual representing himself or herself without an attorney is bound by the Federal Rules of Civil or Criminal Procedure, these Rules, and all other applicable law. All obligations placed on "counsel" by these Rules apply to individuals appearing in propria persona. Failure to comply therewith may be ground for dismissal . . . or any other sanction appropriate under these Rules.
See also King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987) ("Pro se litigants must follow the same rules of procedure that govern other litigants."). Case law is in accord that a district court may impose sanctions, including involuntary dismissal of a plaintiff's case pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b), where that plaintiff fails to prosecute his or her case or fails to comply with the court's orders, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or the court's local rules.*fn5
See Chambers v. NASCO, Inc., 501 U.S. 32, 44 (1991) (recognizing that a court "may act sua sponte to dismiss a suit for failure to prosecute"); Hells Canyon Preservation Council v. U.S. Forest Serv., 403 F.3d 683, 689 (9th Cir. 2005) (stating that courts may dismiss an action pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) sua sponte for a plaintiff's failure to prosecute or comply with the rules of civil procedure or the court's orders); Ghazali v. Moran, 46 F.3d 52, 53 (9th Cir. 1995) (per curiam) ("Failure to follow a district court's local rules is a proper ground for dismissal."); Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1260 (9th Cir. 1992) ("Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b), the district court may dismiss an action for failure to comply with any order of the court."); Thompson v. Housing Auth. of City of L.A., 782 F.2d 829, 831 (9th Cir. 1986) (per curiam) (stating that district courts have inherent power to control their dockets and may impose sanctions including dismissal).
In light of the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 1. The hearing on the motions to dismiss and motion to strike (Dkt. Nos. 21, 22, 24), which is presently set for February 3, 2011, is continued until March 3, 2011.
2. Plaintiffs shall file a written opposition to the Wells Fargo defendants' motion to dismiss and motion to strike, or a statement of non-opposition thereto, on or before February 17, 2011. Plaintiffs' failure to file a written opposition will be deemed a statement of non-opposition to the pending motion and consent to the granting of the motion to dismiss, and shall constitute an additional ground for the imposition of appropriate sanctions, including a recommendation that plaintiffs' case be involuntarily dismissed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b).
3. The Wells Fargo defendants may file a written reply to plaintiffs' opposition, if any, on or before February 24, 2011.
IT IS SO ORDERED.