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W.O., A Minor, By and Through Her Guardian Ad Litem, Shanna Overcast v. United States of America

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


January 25, 2012

W.O., A MINOR, BY AND THROUGH HER GUARDIAN AD LITEM, SHANNA OVERCAST,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND DOES 1-100, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Michael M. Anello United States District Judge

ORDER DISMISSING PROSECUTE PLAINTIFF'S ACTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE FOR FAILURE TO

Plaintiff W.O., a minor proceeding through her guardian ad litem, Shanna Overcast, initiated this action on March 24, 2010 for injuries she allegedly sustained while visiting Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery when a tombstone collapsed on her leg and ankle. [Doc. No. 1.] On August 18, 2011, Frantz Law Group filed a motion to withdraw as Plaintiff's counsel of record. [Doc. No. 51.] Ms. Overcast consented to the firm's request to withdraw. [Id. ¶6.] On September 21, 2011, the Court granted Frantz Law Group's motion to withdraw, and granted Ms. Overcast 30 days to obtain new counsel.*fn1 [Doc. No. 56.] On October 19, 2011, Ms. Overcast filed an ex parte application requesting additional time to retain an attorney. [Doc. No. 58.] The Court granted Ms. Overcast's request on October 20, 2011, giving her an additional 60 days to retain counsel.

Ms. Overcast's time to retain new counsel has expired. The Court twice cautioned Ms. Overcast that if new counsel did not file a notice of appearance within the time permitted, the Court may dismiss her action without further notice. [Doc. Nos. 56, 59.] Although public policy generally favors disposition of cases on their merits, a case cannot move forward toward resolution on the merits when the plaintiff's conduct impedes or completely prevents progress in that direction. See, e.g., Hernandez v. City of El Monte, 138 F.3d 393, 399 (9th Cir. 1998); In re Eisen, 31 F.3d 1447, 1454 (9th Cir. 1994).

Accordingly, upon due consideration, and given the procedural posture of this case, the Court hereby DISMISSES the above-captioned action WITHOUT PREJUDICE. The Clerk of Court is instructed to close the case file.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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