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Flagg v. Berryhill

United States District Court, C.D. California

May 25, 2017

MICHELLE REED FLAGG, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Social Security Commissioner, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER AND OPINION

          ROZELLA A. OLIVER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         On July 27, 2016, Plaintiff Michelle Reed Flagg (“Plaintiff”), represented by counsel, filed a complaint appealing the denial of social security benefits. (Dkt. No. 1.) Thereafter, the parties consented to the undersigned handling this matter for all purposes.

         On February 22, 2017, counsel for Plaintiff moved to withdraw as attorney of record. (Dkt. No. 19.) Counsel for Plaintiff made the motion based on Plaintiff's failure to respond to counsel's numerous communication attempts. (Id. at 1-2.) On March 31, 2017, the Court granted counsel's motion and ordered counsel to serve a copy of the Court's Order on Plaintiff. (Dkt. No. 21.) In the same March 31 Order, the Court set the matter for a telephonic status conference on April 25, 2017.

         On April 25, 2017, former counsel and counsel for the Commissioner appeared telephonically for the scheduled status conference. Former counsel indicated that she had not received the Court's March 31 Order and thus had not served the order on Plaintiff. The Court continued the matter to May 25, 2017, and directed former counsel to serve a copy of the Court's March 31 Order on Plaintiff and to lodge proof of service. (Dkt. No. 22.) The April 25 Order provided the call-in information for the scheduled May 25, 2017 hearing.

         On May 8, 2017, former counsel lodged with the Court proof of service on Plaintiff of both the March 31 and April 25 orders.

         On May 25, 2017, the Court held a telephonic status conference in this matter. Plaintiff did not appear for the conference. To date, Plaintiff has not been in contact with the Court.

         Given the foregoing and for the reasons below, the Court recommends that Plaintiff's Complaint be DISMISSED without prejudice.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) grants district courts sua sponte authority to dismiss actions for failure to prosecute or for failure to comply with court orders. Link v. Wabash R.R. Co., 370 U.S. 626, 629-31, 82 S.Ct. 1386, 8 L.Ed.2d 734 (1962); Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1260-63 (9th Cir. 1992). “District courts have the inherent power to control their dockets and, [i]n the exercise of that power they may impose sanctions including, where appropriate, . . . dismissal of a case.” Ferdik, 963 F.2d at 1260 (internal quotation marks omitted).

         Additionally, Local Rule 41-6 provides that “[a] party proceeding pro se shall keep the Court and opposing parties apprised of such party's current address.” The Court may dismiss an action with or without prejudice for want of prosecution if mail directed by the Clerk to a pro se plaintiff's address of record is returned undelivered by the Postal Service and the plaintiff fails to notify the Court and opposing parties of the plaintiff's current address “within fifteen (15) days of the service date.” L.R. 41-6; see also Initial Order, Section III.

         In determining whether to dismiss an action for failure to prosecute or for failure to comply with court orders, a court must weigh five factors:

(1) the public's interest in expeditious resolution of ...

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