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Trustees of the Bricklayers Local No. 3 Pension Trust, Et. v. S Kenneth Huddleston

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


May 23, 2012

TRUSTEES OF THE BRICKLAYERS LOCAL NO. 3 PENSION TRUST, ET. AL., PLAINTIFF ,
v.
S KENNETH HUDDLESTON,
DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jacqueline Scott Corley United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO STRIKE DEFENDANT'S ANSWER (Dkt. No. 47)

Now pending before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike Defendant's Answer to Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint. *fn1 (Dkt. No. 47.) Plaintiffs assert that striking 20

Defendant's answer is justified because Defendant has abandoned defense of this suit by 21 failing to provide court-ordered discovery. After carefully considering the argument 22 submitted by Plaintiffs, and in light of Defendant's continued failure to respond, including 23 failing to respond to Plaintiffs' motion to strike, the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs' motion. 24

DISCUSSION

When a party "fails to obey an order to provide or permit discovery," the Court may 26 strike pleadings. Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(b)(2)(A)(iii). On November 3, 2011, Defendant, who 27 represents himself pro se, failed to appear at a scheduled Case Management Conference. On 2 January 5, 2012, Defendant again did not appear in court for a scheduled hearing. Plaintiffs 3 represent that they have been unable to contact Defendant since August 18, 2011, when the 4 parties participated in a telephonic settlement conference. Since that time, Defendant's phone 5 number is no longer in service, mail sent to both of Defendant's mailing addresses, including 6 the address he provided to the Court, is returned by the U.S. Post Office, and Defendant does 7 not respond to email correspondence. 8

Plaintiffs' discovery requests by February 3, 2012, noting that Defendant would have "one 10 final opportunity to supplement previously submitted discovery and provide pertinent and 11 signed responses to all of Plaintiffs' discovery requests as required by the Federal Rules of 12

Civil Procedure." (Dkt. No. 45.) Defendant was warned that if he failed to comply, his 13 answer could be stricken, and he might be found in default. On January 23, 2012, service on

Defendant was again returned as undeliverable. (Dkt. No. 46.) More than three months after 15 the court-ordered discovery deadline, Defendant still has not complied. 16

17 unavailability, and apparent disinclination to defend this action, Plaintiffs' motion to strike 18

Defendant's Answer to the Second Amended Complaint is GRANTED. The Court concludes 19 that oral argument is unnecessary and vacates the hearing scheduled for May 31, 2012. 20

On January 6, 2012, the Court ordered Defendant to submit responsive materials to In light of Defendant's failure to comply with a court order, protracted absence and

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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