-GSA (PC) Castillo v. North Kern State Prison, No. 1:2011cv00262 - Document 12 (E.D. Cal. 2011)

Court Description: FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS signed by Magistrate Judge Gary S. Austin on 5/25/2011 recommending that 1 Complaint filed by Christopher Castillo be Dismissed for failure to obey a court order. Referred to Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill; Objections to F&R due by 6/27/2011. (Lundstrom, T)
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-GSA (PC) Castillo v. North Kern State Prison Doc. 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 CHRISTOPHER CASTILLO, Plaintiff, 12 vs. 13 14 NORTH KERN STATE PRISON, 1:11-cv-0262-LJO-GSA-PC FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO DISMISS CASE FOR FAILURE TO OBEY A COURT ORDER OBJECTIONS, IF ANY, DUE IN 30 DAYS 15 Defendant. 16 ______________________________/ 17 On April 5, 2011, the Court issued an order requiring Plaintiff to complete and 18 19 return the Court's consent/decline form within thirty days, indicating whether he consents to or 20 declines the jurisdiction of a Magistrate Judge in this action. The thirty-day period has now 21 expired, and Plaintiff has not returned the Court's form or otherwise responded to the Court's 22 order. 23 In determining whether to dismiss this action for failure to comply with the directives set 24 forth in its order, “the Court must weigh the following factors: (1) the public’s interest in 25 expeditious resolution of litigation; (2) the court’s need to manage its docket; (3) the risk of 26 prejudice to defendants/respondents; (4) the availability of less drastic alternatives; and (5) the -1Dockets.Justia.com 1 public policy favoring disposition of cases on their merits.” Pagtalunan v. Galaza, 291 F.3d 639, 2 642 (9th Cir. 2002) (citing Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1260-61 (9th Cir. 1992)). 3 “‘The public’s interest in expeditious resolution of litigation always favors dismissal,’” 4 id. (quoting Yourish v. California Amplifier, 191 F.3d 983, 990 (9th Cir. 1999)), and here, the 5 action has been pending since November 17, 2010. Plaintiff's failure to respond to the Court's 6 order may reflect Plaintiff's disinterest in prosecuting this case. In such an instance, the Court 7 cannot continue to expend its scarce resources assisting a litigant who will not help himself by 8 returning the Court's form. Thus, both the first and second factors weigh in favor of dismissal. 9 Turning to the risk of prejudice, “pendency of a lawsuit is not sufficiently prejudicial in 10 and of itself to warrant dismissal.” Id. (citing Yourish at 991). However, “delay inherently 11 increases the risk that witnesses’ memories will fade and evidence will become stale,” id., and it 12 is Plaintiff's failure to respond to the Court's order that is causing delay. Therefore, the third 13 factor weighs in favor of dismissal. 14 As for the availability of lesser sanctions, at this stage in the proceedings there is little 15 available to the Court which would constitute a satisfactory lesser sanction while protecting the 16 Court from further unnecessary expenditure of its scarce resources. Plaintiff is proceeding in 17 forma pauperis in this action, making monetary sanctions of little use, and given the early stage 18 of these proceedings, the preclusion of evidence or witnesses is not available. However, 19 inasmuch as the dismissal being considered in this case is without prejudice, the Court is 20 stopping short of issuing the harshest possible sanction of dismissal with prejudice. 21 22 23 24 25 26 Finally, because public policy favors disposition on the merits, this factor will always weigh against dismissal. Id. at 643. Accordingly, the Court HEREBY RECOMMENDS that this action be dismissed based on Plaintiff's failure to obey the Court’s order of April 5, 2011. These findings and recommendations are submitted to the United States District Judge assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of Title 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within thirty days -2- 1 after being served with these findings and recommendations, Plaintiff may file written objections 2 with the Court. Such a document should be captioned "Objections to Magistrate Judge's 3 Findings and Recommendations." Plaintiff is advised that failure to file objections within the 4 specified time may waive the right to appeal the District Court's order. Martinez v. Ylst, 951 5 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991). 6 IT IS SO ORDERED. 7 Dated: 8 6i0kij May 25, 2011 /s/ Gary S. Austin UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 -3-