IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
April 23, 2012
MARC AND ROBERTA GALLIANI, PLAINTIFFS,
CITIMORTGAGE, INC., DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge
On March 20, 2012, defendant filed a motion to dismiss plaintiffs'
complaint, or transfer the matter to the Middle District of North
Carolina in the alternative, pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) and 12(b)(3), respectively (Dkt. No. 8).*fn1
Defendant noticed its motion for a hearing to take place
before the undersigned on May 3, 2012. Pursuant to this court's Local
Rules, plaintiffs were obligated to file and serve a written
opposition or statement of non-opposition to the pending motion at
least fourteen days prior to the noticed hearing date, or April 19,
2012. See E. Dist. Local Rule 230(c).*fn2 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 defendant's
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 (c) Opposition and Non-Opposition. Opposition, if any, to the granting of the motion shall be in writing and shall be filed and served not less than fourteen (14) days preceding the noticed (or continued) hearing date. A responding party who has no opposition to the granting of the motion shall serve and file a statement to that effect, specifically designating the motion in question. No party will be entitled to be heard in opposition to a motion at oral arguments if opposition to the motion has not been timely filed by that party. . . . 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."), cert. denied, 516 U.S. 838 (1995); 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."), cert. denied, 506 U.S. 915 (1992); 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), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 829 (1986).
In light of the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. The hearing on defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiffs' complaint or to transfer the action in the alternative (Dkt. No. 8), which is presently set for May 3, 2012, is continued until June 7, 2012.
2. Plaintiffs shall file a written opposition to the motion to dismiss, or a statement of non-opposition thereto, on or before May 17, 2012. Plaintiffs' failure to file a written opposition will be deemed a statement of non-opposition to the pending motion and plaintiffs' 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 with prejudice pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b).
3. Defendant may file a written reply to plaintiffs' opposition, if any, on or before May 24, 2012.
IT IS SO ORDERED.