IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
April 4, 2011
CHARLENE KRAMER, PLAINTIFF,
FREEDOM CAPITAL MORTGAGE; WORLD SAVINGS BANK, FSB; WACHOVIA MORTGAGE, FSB; GOLDEN WEST SAVINGS; CAL-WESTERN RECONVEYANCE; WELLS FARGO, N.A.; AND DOES I-XX, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge
On February 22, 2011, defendant Wachovia Mortgage, a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., which was formerly known as Wachovia Mortgage, FSB and World Savings Bank, FSB (collectively, "Wachovia"), removed plaintiff's case to federal court.*fn1 (See Notice of Removal at 1, Dkt. No. 1.) On March 1, 2011, Wachovia and defendant Golden West Savings (the "Moving Defendants") filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and 12(b)(9), and noticed that motion for a hearing before the undersigned to take place on April 14, 2011. (See Mot. to Dismiss, Dkt. No. 5.) The Moving Defendants also filed, on March 1, 2011, a separate motion to strike portions of plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f), and noticed a hearing date of April 14, 2011. (See Mot. to Strike, Dkt. No. 6.)
Pursuant to this court's Local Rules, plaintiff was obligated to file
and serve written oppositions or statements of non-opposition to the
Moving Defendants' motions at least fourteen days prior to the hearing
date, or March 31, 2011. See E. Dist. Local Rule 230(c).*fn2
The court's docket reveals that plaintiff, who is proceeding
without counsel, failed to file written oppositions or statements of
non-opposition with respect to the Moving Defendants'
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.*fn3
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 Moving Defendants' motions to dismiss and strike plaintiff's complaint (Dkt. Nos. 5, 6), which are presently set for April 14, 2011, is continued until May 19, 2011.
2. Plaintiff shall file written oppositions to the motion to dismiss and motion to strike, or statements of non-opposition thereto, on or before April 14, 2011. Plaintiff's failure to file written oppositions will be deemed statements of non-opposition to the pending motions and consent to the granting of the motion to dismiss and motion to strike, and shall constitute an additional ground for the imposition of appropriate sanctions, including a recommendation that plaintiff's case be involuntarily dismissed with prejudice pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b).
3. The Moving Defendants may file written replies to plaintiff's oppositions, if any, on or before May 5, 2011.
IT IS SO ORDERED.