UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
April 20, 2013
RAUL VARGAS, PLAINTIFF,
ANTHONY S. LONIGRO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING DISMISSAL OF ACTION FOR FAILURE TO OBEY COURT ORDER AND FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM ECF Nos. 19, 21 OBJECTIONS DUE WITHIN 14 DAYS
Plaintiff Raul Vargas ("Plaintiff") is a prisoner in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed his Complaint on July 15, 2011. On May 15, 2012, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. On January 22, 2013, Defendants' motion was granted, and the Complaint was dismissed for failure to state a claim, with leave to amend within thirty days. ECF No. 19. Plaintiff did not file a response. On March 5, 2013, the Court issued an order to show cause why this action should not be dismissed for failure to obey a court order and failure to state a claim. ECF No. 21. Plaintiff was provided fourteen days by which to respond. As of the date of this order, Plaintiff has not responded or otherwise complied.
Local Rule 110 provides that "failure of counsel or of a party to comply with these Local Rules or with any order of the Court may be grounds for the 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)
(per curiam). 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 apprised of 8 address); Malone v. U.S. Postal Service, 833 F.2d 128, 130 (9th Cir. 1987) (dismissal for failure to 9 comply with court order); Henderson v. Duncan, 779 F.2d 1421, 1424 (9th Cir. 1986) (dismissal for failure to 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. Thompson, 782 F.2d at 831; Henderson, 779 F.2d at 1423-24; Malone, 833 F.2d at 130; Ferdik, 963 F.2d at 1260-61; Ghazali, 46 F.3d at 53.
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 The third factor, risk of prejudice to defendants, also weighs in favor of dismissal, since a presumption of injury arises from the occurrence of 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 discussed herein. Finally, a court's warning to a party that his 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. The Court's order expressly stated: "Failure to timely respond or otherwise show cause will result in dismissal of this action for failure to obey a court order and failure to state a claim." Thus, Plaintiff had adequate warning that dismissal would result from his noncompliance with the Court's order.
Accordingly, it is HEREBY RECOMMENDED that
1. This action be DISMISSED for failure to obey the Court's March 5, 2013 Order and for failure to state a claim; and
2. The Clerk of the Court be directed to close this action.
These Findings and Recommendations will be submitted to the United
States District Judge
assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1). Within fourteen (14) days after being served with these
Findings and Recommendations, the parties may file written objections
with the Court. The document should be captioned "Objections to
Magistrate Judge's Findings and
Recommendations." A party may respond to another party's objections by
filing a response within fourteen (14) days after being served with a
copy of that party's objections. The parties are 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,
1157 (9th Cir. 1991).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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