United States District Court, S.D. California
TOMMY GARRISON, an individual, and CHRISTINE GARRISON, an individual, Plaintiffs,
REGINALD BUDDY RINGGOLD, III aka Rasool Abdul Rahim El, an individual, ROSEGOLD INVESTMENTS, LLP, a Delaware Partnership, and MASTER INVESTMENT GROUP, INC., a California Corporation, Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS/COUNTERDEFENDANTS'
MOTION TO DISMISS COUNTERCLAIM AS UNOPPOSED AND DENYING
PLAINTIFFS/COUNTERDEFENDANTS' REQUEST FOR ATTORNEY'S
FEES [DKT. NO. 20.]
Gonzalo P. Curiel United States District Judge.
the Court is Plaintiffs/Counterdefendants' motion to
strike and dismiss the counterclaims raised by
Defendant/Counterclaimant against them. (Dkt. No. 20.)
Defendant did not file an opposition. On August 6, 2019, in
reply, Plaintiffs asked the Court to grant the motion in its
entirety as unopposed pursuant to S.D. Local Civil Rule
7.1(f)(3)(c). (Dkt. No. 23.) Based on the reasoning below,
the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs' motion to dismiss as
unopposed and DENIES without prejudice their request for
Plaintiff Tommy Garrison, who is over 65 years old, and his
wife, Plaintiff Christine Garrison (collectively
“Plaintiffs”) filed a complaint for securities
violations and financial elder abuse against Defendant
Reginald Buddy Ringgold, III aka Rasool Abdul Rahim El,
(“Defendant” or “Ringgold”), Rosegold
Investments LLP, and Master Investment Group,
(Dkt. No. 1, Compl. ¶¶ 16, 21, 22.) On May 13,
2019, the Court granted in part and denied in part Defendant
Ringgold's motion to dismiss with leave to amend. (Dkt.
No. 16.) On May 28, 2019, Plaintiffs filed an amended
complaint alleging the same three causes of action. (Dkt. No.
17.) Defendant Ringgold, proceeding pro se, filed an answer
and a counterclaim. (Dkt. No. 18.) The counterclaim alleges
malicious prosecution and abuse of process, defamation,
emotional distress, and seeks punitive damages. (Dkt. No. 18
at 18-20.) On July 9, 2019, Plaintiffs filed a motion to
dismiss the counterclaims under California's
anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or
anti-Slapp statute, pursuant to California Code of Civil
Procedure section 425.16(e)(4), or in the alternative,
dismissed as insufficient as a matter of law. (Dkt. No. 20.)
No opposition has been filed.
Local Rule 7.1.e.2 requires a party opposing a motion to file
an opposition or statement of non-opposition within fourteen
calendar days of the noticed hearing (or when otherwise
scheduled by the Court). Civ. Local R. 7.1.e.2; Turner v.
Berryhill, No. 17CV1130-CAB-BGS, 2018 WL 501010, at *3
(S.D. Cal. Jan. 19, 2018). Failure to comply with the rule
“may constitute a consent to the granting of a
motion.” Civ. Local R. 7.1.f.3.c. Local rules have the
force of law, United States v. Hvass, 355 U.S. 570,
574-75 (1958), and courts have discretion to dismiss cases
for failure to comply with the local rules. Ghazali v.
Moran, 36 F.3d 52, 53 (9th Cir. 1995) (affirming grant
of an unopposed motion to dismiss under local rule by deeming
a pro se litigant's failure to oppose as consent to grant
the Court issued a briefing scheduling requiring Defendant to
file an opposition on or before July 26, 2019. (Dkt. No. 21.)
To date, Plaintiff has not filed an opposition. Accordingly,
the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs motion to dismiss the
counterclaims as unopposed. See Ghazali, 36 F.3d at
their motion, Plaintiffs also request attorneys' fees in
the amount of $8, 150.00 for the time spent preparing the
anti-SLAPP statute provides that “a prevailing
defendant on a special motion to strike shall be entitled to
recover his or her attorney's fees and costs.” Cal.
Civ. Proc. Code § 425.16(c). Here, the Court grants the
motion to dismiss the counterclaim as unopposed. In their
reply, Plaintiffs do not address whether they are entitled to
attorney's fees and costs as prevailing parties when a
motion to dismiss is granted. Accordingly, the Court DENIES
without prejudice Plaintiffs' request for attorneys'
fees and costs.
on the above, the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs' motion to
dismiss the counterclaim as unopposed. The Court DENIES
Plaintiffs' request for attorney's fees without
prejudice. Plaintiffs may refile their request for
attorney's fees within 20 days of the date of this Order
demonstrating that they are entitled to attorneys' fees
under the anti-SLAPP statute as prevailing parties. The
hearing set on September 6, 2019 shall be