(PC)Montgomery v. CDCR Corrections Officer et al, No. 1:2023cv00439 - Document 21 (E.D. Cal. 2024)

Court Description: FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS to Dismiss Action, without Prejudice, for Failure to Obey Court Orders and Failure to Prosecute signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe on 03/26/2024. Referred to Judge Sherriff; Objections to F&R due within Fourteen-Days. (Flores, E)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 PAULINE MONTGOMERY, 12 Plaintiff, 13 14 v. (ECF No. 1) Defendants. FOURTEEN (14) DAY DEADLINE 16 I. Background Plaintiff Pauline Montgomery (“Plaintiff”) is a county jail inmate proceeding pro se in this 18 19 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO DISMISS ACTION, WITHOUT PREJUDICE, FOR FAILURE TO OBEY COURT ORDERS AND FAILURE TO PROSECUTE CDCR CORRECTIONS OFFICER, et al., 15 17 Case No. 1:23-cv-00439-KES-BAM (PC) civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 20 On March 24, 2023, the Court issued an order striking the complaint for lack of signature 21 and directing Plaintiff to submit a completed application to proceed in forma pauperis or pay the 22 $402.00 filing fee to proceed with this action and to file a signed complaint, not to exceed 25 23 pages in length, or a notice of voluntary dismissal. (ECF No. 3.) The Court expressly warned 24 Plaintiff that failure to comply with the Court’s order would result in dismissal of this action. (Id. 25 at 2.) 26 Over the next year, the Court granted Plaintiff multiple extensions of time after she 27 changed addresses, and issued multiple findings and recommendations to dismiss this action 28 when Plaintiff subsequently missed the extended deadline without complying with the Court’s 1 1 orders. (ECF Nos. 6–16, 18–19.) Accordingly, on February 8, 2024, Plaintiff was granted a final 2 opportunity to file a signed complaint and application to proceed in forma pauperis (or pay the 3 filing fee) in this action. (ECF No. 19.) Plaintiff was again warned that failure to comply with 4 the Court’s order would result in dismissal of this action, without prejudice. (Id. at 3.) 5 The extended deadline has expired, and the Court has received no further communications 6 from Plaintiff regarding this action. 7 II. Failure to Prosecute and Failure to Obey a Court Order 8 A. Legal Standard 9 Local Rule 110 provides that “[f]ailure . . . of a party to comply with these Rules or with 10 any order of the Court may be grounds for imposition by the Court of any and all sanctions . . . 11 within the inherent power of the Court.” District courts have the inherent power to control their 12 dockets and “[i]n the exercise of that power they may impose sanctions including, where 13 appropriate, . . . dismissal.” Thompson v. Hous. Auth., 782 F.2d 829, 831 (9th Cir. 1986). A 14 court may dismiss an action, with prejudice, based on a party’s failure to prosecute an action, 15 failure to obey a court order, or failure to comply with local rules. See, e.g., Ghazali v. Moran, 46 16 F.3d 52, 53–54 (9th Cir. 1995) (dismissal for noncompliance with local rule); Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 17 963 F.2d 1258, 1260–61 (9th Cir. 1992) (dismissal for failure to comply with an order requiring 18 amendment of complaint); Malone v. U.S. Postal Serv., 833 F.2d 128, 130–33 (9th Cir. 1987) 19 (dismissal for failure to comply with court order). 20 In determining whether to dismiss an action, the Court must consider several factors: 21 (1) the public’s interest in expeditious resolution of litigation; (2) the Court’s need to manage its 22 docket; (3) the risk of prejudice to the defendants; (4) the public policy favoring disposition of 23 cases on their merits; and (5) the availability of less drastic sanctions. Henderson v. Duncan, 779 24 F.2d 1421, 1423 (9th Cir. 1986); Carey v. King, 856 F.2d 1439, 1440 (9th Cir. 1988). 25 B. Discussion 26 Here, Plaintiff’s application to proceed in forma pauperis or payment of the filing fee, as 27 well as a signed complaint, are overdue and she has failed to comply with the Court’s order. The 28 Court cannot effectively manage its docket if Plaintiff ceases litigating his case. Thus, the Court 2 1 finds that both the first and second factors weigh in favor of dismissal. 2 The third factor, risk of prejudice to defendant, also weighs in favor of dismissal, since a 3 presumption of injury arises from the occurrence of unreasonable delay in prosecuting an action. 4 Anderson v. Air W., 542 F.2d 522, 524 (9th Cir. 1976). The fourth factor usually weighs against 5 dismissal because public policy favors disposition on the merits. Pagtalunan v. Galaza, 291 F.3d 6 639, 643 (9th Cir. 2002). However, “this factor lends little support to a party whose 7 responsibility it is to move a case toward disposition on the merits but whose conduct impedes 8 progress in that direction,” which is the case here. In re Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) Products 9 Liability Litigation, 460 F.3d 1217, 1228 (9th Cir. 2006) (citation omitted). Finally, the Court’s warning to a party that failure to obey the court’s order will result in 10 11 dismissal satisfies the “considerations of the alternatives” requirement. Ferdik, 963 F.2d at 1262; 12 Malone, 833 at 132–33; Henderson, 779 F.2d at 1424. The Court’s orders from March 24, 2023, 13 May 10, 2023, July 21, 2023, and February 8, 2024 expressly warned Plaintiff that her failure to 14 comply with the Court’s orders would result in dismissal of this action. (ECF No. 3, p. 2; ECF 15 No. 8, p. 3; ECF No. 14, p. 3; ECF No. 19, p. 3.) Thus, Plaintiff had adequate warning that 16 dismissal could result from her noncompliance. 17 Additionally, at this stage in the proceedings there is little available to the Court that 18 would constitute a satisfactory lesser sanction while protecting the Court from further 19 unnecessary expenditure of its scarce resources. Plaintiff has not paid the filing fee, or would be 20 proceeding in forma pauperis in this action, apparently making monetary sanctions of little use, 21 and the preclusion of evidence or witnesses is likely to have no effect given that Plaintiff has 22 ceased litigating the case. 23 III. 24 Recommendation Accordingly, the Court finds that dismissal is the appropriate sanction and HEREBY 25 RECOMMENDS that this action be dismissed, without prejudice, for failure to obey Court orders 26 and for Plaintiff’s failure to prosecute this action. 27 28 These Findings and Recommendation will be 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 fourteen 3 1 (14) days after being served with these Findings and Recommendation, Plaintiff may file written 2 objections with the Court. The document should be captioned “Objections to Magistrate Judge’s 3 Findings and Recommendation.” Plaintiff is advised that failure to file objections within the 4 specified time may result in the waiver of the “right to challenge the magistrate’s factual 5 findings” on appeal. Wilkerson v. Wheeler, 772 F.3d 834, 839 (9th Cir. 2014) (citing Baxter v. 6 Sullivan, 923 F.2d 1391, 1394 (9th Cir. 1991)). 7 8 9 10 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: /s/ Barbara March 26, 2024 A. McAuliffe _ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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