Henry Okpala v. Computer Sciences Corporation, No. 14-1627 (4th Cir. 2014)

Annotate this Case
Download PDF
UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 14-1627 HENRY UCHE OKPALA, Plaintiff - Appellant, v. COMPUTER SCIENCES CORPORATION, CSC, Defendant - Appellee, and ROBIN SCHERMERHORN, CSC; DAVID H. MARTIN, CSC; WILLIAM SHOCKRO, CSC; CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, CMS, Third Party, Defendants. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore. J. Frederick Motz, Senior District Judge. (1:13-cv-03614-JFM) Submitted: November 24, 2014 Before WYNN and Circuit Judge. DIAZ, Circuit Decided: Judges, and November 26, 2014 HAMILTON, Senior Vacated and remanded by unpublished per curiam opinion. Henry Uche Okpala, Appellant Pro Se. Brendan M. Greene, Samuel Zurik, III, KULLMAN FIRM, PC, New Orleans, Louisiana; Frank Daniel Wood, Appellee. Jr., KULLMAN FIRM, Birmingham, Alabama, for Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. 2 PER CURIAM: Henry Uche Okpala appeals the district court’s order dismissing with prejudice his wrongful termination action for misconduct during discovery. We vacate and remand for further proceedings. A district court may dismiss a civil action if a party fails to comply with a discovery order or attend a properly noticed deposition. dismissals are Fed. reviewed R. for Civ. an abuse P. 37(b), of (d). Such discretion. Nat’l Hockey League v. Metro. Hockey Club, Inc., 427 U.S. 639, 642 (1976); see Mut. Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass’n v. Richards & Assocs., Inc., 872 F.2d 88, 92 (4th Cir. 1989) (discussing factors courts consider before imposing sanctions under Rule 37); see also Ballard v. Carlson, 882 F.2d 93, 95 (4th Cir. 1989) (setting forth factors courts entertaining dismissal under Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b) should consider). We require district courts “to provide explicit and clear notice when they intend to dismiss the plaintiff’s misconduct. action with prejudice” as a sanction for Choice Hotels Int’l, Inc. v. Goodwin & Boone, 11 F.3d 469, 471-72 (4th Cir. 1993). Upon review of the record, we conclude that the district court failed to provide such notice before ordering the dismissal of Okpala’s suit. Accordingly, we vacate the order of dismissal proceedings and remand for 3 consistent with this opinion. legal before We dispense with oral argument because the facts and contentions this court are adequately and argument presented would not in aid the the materials decisional process. VACATED AND REMANDED 4