UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
April 16, 2012
TERRIE LEE COOK,
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY,
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO DISMISS THIS ACTION FOR A
FAILURE TO FOLLOW COURT ORDER
Plaintiff Terrie Lee Cook ("Plaintiff") filed this action on March 8, 2012, regarding the denial of her application for disability benefits under Titles II and/or XVI of the Social Security Act. (Doc. 1.)
On March 9, 2012, following a preliminary review of the complaint, this Court issued an order dismissing the complaint with leave to amend. The amended complaint was to be filed within thirty (30) days, or no later than April 9, 2012. (Doc. 3.) Over thirty (30) days have passed, and Plaintiff has not complied with the Court's order, nor has she sought an extension of the deadline imposed.
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 . . . within the inherent power of the Court." District courts have the inherent power to control their dockets and "in the exercise of that power, they may impose sanctions including, where appropriate . . . dismissal of a case." Thompson v. Housing Auth., 782 F.2d 829, 831 (9th Cir. 1986). A court may dismiss an action, with prejudice, based on a party's failure to prosecute an action, failure to obey a court order, or failure to comply with local rules. See, e.g., Ghazali v. Moran, 46 F.3d 52, 53-54 (9th Cir. 1995) (dismissal for noncompliance with local rule); Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1260-61 (9th Cir. 1992) (dismissal for failure to comply with an order requiring amendment of complaint); Carey v. King, 856 F.2d 1439, 1440-41 (9th Cir. 1988) (dismissal for failure to comply with local rule requiring pro se plaintiffs to keep court apprized of address); Malone v. U.S. Postal Service, 833 F.2d 128, 130 (9th Cir. 1987) (dismissal for failure to comply with court order); Henderson v. Duncan, 779 F.2d 1421, 1424 (9th Cir. 1986) (dismissal for lack of prosecution and failure to comply with local rules). In determining whether to dismiss an action for lack of prosecution, failure to obey a court order, or failure to comply with local rules, the court must consider several factors: (1) the public's interest in expeditious resolution of litigation; (2) the court's need to manage its docket; (3) the risk of prejudice to the defendants; (4) the public policy favoring disposition of cases on their merits; and (5) the availability of less drastic alternatives. Ghazali, 46 F.3d at 53; Ferdik, 963 F.2d at 1260-61; Malone, 833 F.2d at 130; Thompson, 782 F.2d at 831; Henderson, 779 F.2d at 1423-24.
In the instant case, the Court finds that the public's interest in expeditiously resolving this litigation and the Court's interest in managing the docket weigh in favor of dismissal because this case has been pending in this Court since March 8, 2012, and it does not appear that Plaintiff has any intent to cure the deficiencies in the complaint. The third factor, risk of prejudice to defendants, also weighs in favor of dismissal because a presumption of injury arises from any unreasonable delay in prosecuting an action. Anderson v. Air West, 542 F.2d 522, 524 (9th Cir. 1976). The fourth factor, public policy favoring disposition of cases on their merits, is greatly outweighed by the factors in favor of dismissal. Finally, a court's warning to a party that her failure to obey the court's order will result in dismissal satisfies the "consideration of alternatives" requirement. Ferdik, 963 F.2d at 1262; Malone, 833 F.2d at 132-33; Henderson, 779 F.2d at 1424. Here, the Court's order to file an amended complaint was clear that dismissal would result from non-compliance with the order. (See Doc. 3 at 6 ["If Plaintiff fails to file an amended complaint, the action will be dismissed for failure to follow a court order"].)
Accordingly, the Court HEREBY RECOMMENDS that this action be DISMISSED for Plaintiff's failure to comply with a court order.
This Findings and Recommendation is submitted to the Honorable Anthony W. Ishii, United States District Court Judge, pursuant to the provisions of Title 28 of the United States Code section 636 (b)(1)(B). Within fifteen (15) days after being served with a copy, any party may file written objections with the court and serve a copy on all parties. Such a document should be captioned "Objections to Magistrate Judge's Findings and Recommendation." The Court will then review the Magistrate Judge's ruling pursuant to Title 28 of the United States Code section 636(b)(1)(C). Finally, Plaintiff is advised that failure to file objections within the specified time may waive the right to appeal the District Court's order. Martinez v. Ylst, 951 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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