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Tamara Lynn Futrell v. Sacramento County Department

June 7, 2011

TAMARA LYNN FUTRELL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SACRAMENTO COUNTY DEPARTMENT
OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, ET AL. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

By this order, the undersigned: (1) vacates the proposed findings and recommendations entered on May 26, 2011, (2) denies plaintiff's motion to reinstate two of her cases that were previously consolidated with the above-captioned case, and (3) denies plaintiff's apparent request for disqualification of the undersigned.*fn1 Much of the background of this action is set forth in previously entered orders and findings and recommendations and, therefore, is not recounted here in great detail. (See Order, Apr. 4, 2011, Dkt. No. 5; Order to Show Cause, May 6, 2011, Dkt. No. 6; Findings & Recommendations, May 26, 2011, Dkt. No. 7.)

I. BACKGROUND

In an order s igned on April 1, 2011, and entered on April 4, 2011, the court consolidated three actions filed by plaintiff, which were numbered 2:10-cv-02424 JAM KJN PS; 2:10-cv-02425 JAM KJN PS; and 2:10-cv-03475 JAM KJN PS (TEMP). (See Order, Apr. 4, 2011.) The court administratively closed the two latter-referenced actions. The court further ordered plaintiff to file, within 30 days of April 1, 2011, "a first amended complaint that is complete in itself and addresses all of [plaintiff's] claims against all defendants." (Id. at 3.) Plaintiff was required to file her first amended complaint in the consolidated action on or before May 4, 2011. Plaintiff failed to file any amended pleading.

As a result of plaintiff's failure to file a timely first amended complaint in conformity with the court's order, the undersigned entered an order to show cause that required plaintiff to "show cause in writing, no later than May 20, 2011, why her lawsuit should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute and failure to follow the court's orders." (OSC at 2.) The OSC included an admonition that plaintiff's failure to timely respond to the OSC would result in a recommendation that her case be dismissed. (Id. at 2-3.)

Plaintiff failed to file a timely response to the OSC, and the undersigned subsequently recommended that "Plaintiff's consolidated action be dismissed with prejudice pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) and Local Rules 110 and 183(a)." (Findings & Recommendations at 6.)

On May 27, 2011, plaintiff filed a late response to the OSC, which could also be construed as objections to the pending findings and recommendations. (See Response, Dkt. No. 8.) Plaintiff's response is largely difficult to understand, but arguably includes requests:

(1) that the court reinstate the two previously-closed actions, and (2) disqualification of the undersigned. The suggested statutory and factual bases for such relief are not clear from plaintiff's filing.

II. THE PENDING FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS

Although the undersigned already recommended the dismissal of plaintiff's action with prejudice as a result of plaintiff's failure to prosecute her action and repeated failures to follow the court's orders, the undersigned vacates the pending findings and recommendations. The undersigned is under no obligation to vacate the pending recommendation of dismissal and has little confidence that plaintiff will be able follow the court's orders in the future. However, plaintiff has indicated-even if in an untimely manner-that she still wishes to prosecute her action. Because of the policies favoring disposition of cases on the merits, and out of an abundance of caution, the undersigned vacates the pending recommendation of dismissal and permits plaintiff a final opportunity to comply with the court's orders and file an amended complaint.

III. REINSTATEMENT OF THE ALREADY-CLOSED ACTIONS

Plaintiff requests the reinstatement of the cases numbered 2:10-cv-02425 JAM KJN PS, and 2:10-cv-03475 JAM KJN PS (TEMP), which were administratively closed. (Response at 6.) She provides no legal or factual basis for such relief. The undersigned concludes that the consolidation of plaintiff's three cases was appropriate and denies plaintiff's request.

IV. REQUEST FOR DISQUALIFICATION

The statutory basis for plaintiff's apparent request for disqualification is not clear from her response. Nor is it entirely clear which acts of the undersigned provide the factual basis for plaintiff's request for disqualification. However, it is clear that plaintiff takes issue with the handling of her three cases by the court, and her grounds for disqualification relate only to the manner in which the undersigned has presided over ...


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