United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DISMISSING THE ACTION FOR PLAINTIFF’S
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE COURT’S ORDERS
JENNIFER L. THURSTON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Debra Anglin asserts Defendants are liable for violations of
the Americans with Disabilities Act, California’s Unruh
Civil Rights Act, and California’s Disabled
Person’s Act. (Doc. 1) Because Plaintiff has failed to
prosecute the matter and failed to comply with the
Court’s orders, as discussed below, the complaint is
DISMISSED with prejudice.
January 4, 2016, the Court signed the parties’ proposed
consent decree. (Doc. 29.) The consent decree resolved all
matters except for “the amount of Plaintiff’s
claims for damages or the amount of attorneys’ fees,
litigation expenses and costs in this Action.”
(Id. at 4.) On April 26, 2016, Plaintiff informed
the Court that the parties agreed to engage in mediation but
did not have a date scheduled for the mediation to occur.
(Doc. 32.) Accordingly, the Court ordered the parties to file
a joint status report “[n]o later than May 27, 2016 and
every 60 days thereafter” related to the mediation
proceedings, including information regarding the scheduled
mediation. (Doc. 33 at 2, emphasis omitted.)
parties failed to file a status report or otherwise comply
with the Court’s order, and the Court issued an order
to show cause directing the parties to file a joint status
report regarding the mediation proceedings. (Doc. 34) In
response, the parties filed a Joint Status Report indicating
they “still intend to complete mediation with mediator
Lee Jacobson, ” but the mediation was not yet set.
(Doc. 35 at 1) Instead, the parties indicated they planned to
“follow up with Mr. Jacobson’s case manager and
aim to have a date confirmed.” (Id.)
delay in seeking the resolution, despite notifying the Court
in January that the consent decree resolved all matters
except for the amount of damages, fees, and expenses to be
paid, the Court again ordered the parties “to show
cause … as to why the matter should not be
dismissed.” (Doc. 36 at 2) However, the parties did not
respond to the Court’s order, and Plaintiff has not
taken any further action to prosecute the matter.
Failure to Prosecute and Obey the Court’s
Local Rules, corresponding with Fed.R.Civ.P. 11, provide:
“Failure of counsel or of a party to comply 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.” LR 110. “District courts
have inherent power to control their dockets, ” and in
exercising that power, a court may impose sanctions including
dismissal of an action. Thompson v. Housing Authority of
Los Angeles, 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 or failure to
obey a court order, or failure to comply with local rules.
See, e.g. Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963
F.2d 1258, 1260-61 (9th Cir. 1992) (dismissal for failure to
comply with an order); Malone v. U.S. Postal
Service, 833 F.2d 128, 130 (9th Cir. 1987) (dismissal
for failure to comply with a court order); Henderson v.
Duncan, 779 F.2d 1421, 1424 (9th Cir. 1986) (dismissal
for failure to prosecute and to comply with local rules).
Discussion and Analysis
determine whether to dismiss an action for failure to
prosecute and failure to obey a Court order, the Court must
consider several factors, including: “(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 sanctions.”
Henderson, 779 F.2d at 1423-24; see also
Ferdik, 963 F.2d at 1260-61; Thomspon, 782 F.2d
case at hand, the public’s interest in expeditiously
resolving this litigation and the Court’s interest in
managing the docket weigh in favor of dismissal. See
Yourish v. Cal. Amplifier, 191 F.3d 983, 990 (9th Cir.
1999) (“The public’s interest in expeditious
resolution of litigation always favors dismissal”);
Ferdik, 963 F.2d at 1261 (recognizing that district
courts have inherent interest in managing their dockets
without being subject to noncompliant litigants). Judges in
the Eastern District of California carry the heaviest
caseload in the nation, and this Court cannot, and will not
hold, this action in abeyance given Plaintiff’s failure
to comply with the Court’s orders and failure to
prosecute. The risk of prejudice to the defendants also
weighs in favor of dismissal, since a presumption of injury
arises from the occurrence of unreasonable delay in
prosecution and resolution of an action. See Anderson v.
Air West, 542 F.2d 522, 524 (9th Cir. 1976).
the Ninth Circuit determined a court’s warning to a
party that failure to obey the court’s order will
result in dismissal satisfies the requirement that less
drastic sanctions be considered. Malone, 833 F.2d at
131; see also Ferdik, 963 F.2d at 1262. As the Ninth
Circuit explained, “a plaintiff can hardly be
surprised” by a sanction of dismissal “in
response to willful violation of a [court] order.”
Malone, 833 F.2d at 133. Here, Plaintiff was first
warned the “court may dismiss an action with prejudice,
based on a party’s failure to prosecute an action or
failure to obey a court order” on April 13, 2016. (Doc.
31 at 2) Plaintiff was again reminded the failure to comply
with the Court’s orders could result sanctions,
including the dismissal of the action in the orders to show
cause dated June 7, 2016 (Doc. 34 at 1-2) and July 14, 2016
(Doc. 36 at 2). Thus, Plaintiff received adequate warning
that dismissal would result from her noncompliance with the
Court’s orders, which satisfies the Court’s
obligation to consider lesser sanctions. See Malone,
833 F.2d at 131. Given these facts, the policy favoring
disposition of cases on their merits is outweighed by the
factors in favor of dismissal.
Conclusion and Order
failed to comply with, or otherwise respond to, the
Court’s second order to show cause dated July 14, 2016
(Doc. 36). Consequently, Plaintiff also ...