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Yolanda Arreola v. County of Lassen

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


November 5, 2012

YOLANDA ARREOLA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COUNTY OF LASSEN, ET AL. DEFENDANTS.

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

ORDER

On October 9, 2012, defendants High Desert State Prison; California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; State of California; Mike McDonald; C. Gripp; B. Fleming; and P. Fackrell (the "California State Defendants") filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), noticed for hearing on November 29, 2012. (Dkt. No. 10.)*fn1

That same day, defendant County of Lassen also filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), noticed for hearing on November 15, 2012. (Dkt. No. 11.) On the court's own motion, by a minute order issued October 9, 2012, the hearing on the California State Defendants' motion to dismiss was advanced to November 15, 2012 so that the motions could be heard together. (Dkt. No. 12.)

Pursuant to this court's Local Rules, plaintiff was obligated to file and serve a written opposition or statement of non-opposition to the pending motions at least fourteen (14) days prior to the hearing date, or November 1, 2012. See E.D. Cal. L.R. 230(c).*fn2 The court's docket reveals that plaintiff, who is proceeding without counsel, failed to file a written opposition or statement of non-opposition with respect to the motions to dismiss.

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, judgment by default, 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") (overruled on other grounds). 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 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"); 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"); 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 or default).

In light of the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. The hearing on the County of Lassen and the California State Defendants' motions to dismiss (Dkt. Nos. 10, 11), which is presently set for November 15, 2012, is CONTINUED until December 13, 2012, at 10:00 a.m.

2. Plaintiff shall file a written opposition to the motions to dismiss, or a statement of non-opposition thereto, on or before November 29, 2012. Plaintiff's failure to file a written opposition will be deemed a statement of non-opposition to the pending motions and consent to the granting of the motions to dismiss, and shall constitute an additional ground for the imposition of appropriate sanctions, including a recommendation that plaintiff's case be involuntarily dismissed with prejudice pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b).

3. Defendants may file any written reply to plaintiff's opposition on or before December 6, 2012.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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