(PS)Palma v. Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. et al., No. 2:2016cv00633 - Document 53 (E.D. Cal. 2017)

Court Description: ORDER and FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS signed by Magistrate Judge Carolyn K. Delaney on 8/16/17, ORDERING that the hearing date of 8/30/2017 on defendants' motion for summary judgment is VACATED. It is RECOMMENDED that this action be dismi ssed with prejudice; and the Clerk be directed to close this case. Matter REFERRED to District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller. Within 14 days after being served with these findings and recommendations, any party may file written objections with the court and serve a copy on all parties. (Kastilahn, A)
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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 RAY PALMA, 12 13 14 15 16 No. 2:16-cv-00633 KJM CKD (PS) Plaintiff, v. ORDER and FINDINGS & RECOMMENDATIONS SELECT PORTFOLIO SERVICING, INC., et al., Defendants. 17 18 This case, in which plaintiff is proceeding pro se, is before the undersigned pursuant to 19 Eastern District of California Local Rule 302(c)(21). See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). On June 14, 20 2017, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 49.) The motion was noticed 21 to be heard on July 12, 2017. 22 On June 30, 3017, because plaintiff had not filed either an opposition or a statement of 23 non-opposition to the motion, the undersigned continued the hearing on the motion to August 23, 24 2017 and directed plaintiff to file an opposition to the motion, or a statement of non-opposition 25 thereto, no later than August 9, 2017. Plaintiff was advised that failure to file an opposition 26 would be deemed a statement of non-opposition to the pending motion and would result in a 27 recommendation that this action be dismissed. On August 4, 2017, the motion hearing was 28 continued to August 30, 2017, but the court stated that the briefing deadlines would remain 1 1 2 unchanged. The deadlines have now passed, and the court docket reflects that plaintiff has not filed an 3 opposition to the motion or a statement of non-opposition to the motion. The Federal Rules of 4 Civil Procedure provide for dismissal of actions based on lack of prosecution. Fed. R. Civ. P. 5 41(b). Pro se litigants are bound by the rules of procedure, even though pleadings are liberally 6 construed in their favor. King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987). In determining 7 whether to dismiss for lack of prosecution, generally the court considers (1) the public’s interest 8 in expeditious resolution of litigation, (2) the court’s need to manage its docket, (3) the risk of 9 prejudice to the defendants, (4) the public policy favoring disposition of cases on their merits, and 10 (5) the availability of less drastic sanctions. See, e.g., Al-Torki v. Kaempen, 78 F.3d 1381, 1384 11 (9th Cir. 1996). The court may dismiss a case sua sponte for lack of prosecution by the plaintiff. 12 Hamilton Copper & Steel Corp. v. Primary Steel, Inc., 898 F.2d 1428 (9th Cir. 1990). Sua sponte 13 dismissal requires a “close focus” on consideration of “less drastic alternatives” and whether or 14 not there has been a “warning of imminent dismissal of the case.” Oliva v. Sullivan, 958 F.2d 15 272, 274 (9th Cir. 1992). 16 In determining that this action will be dismissed, the court has considered all the factors 17 set forth in Al-Torki. The first two factors on their face favor the imposition of sanctions in this 18 case brought by plaintiff and which has been proceeding forward since plaintiff initiated this 19 action on February 22, 2016. See Wanderer v. Johnston, 910 F.2d 652, 656 (9th Cir. 1990). 20 Regarding the third factor, defendants already have briefed their motion for summary judgment, 21 and would be prejudiced by the need for further litigation of this matter despite plaintiff’s non- 22 responsiveness. Moreover, delay itself generally is prejudicial--witness memories fade and 23 evidence becomes stale or undiscoverable. While the fourth factor favors resolution on the 24 merits, in this case plaintiff has declined to oppose the motion for summary judgment and thus 25 has precluded the court’s evaluation of the potential merits of such an opposition. 26 Focusing on the fifth Al-Torki factor and warning regarding imminent dismissal, as 27 required by Oliva, the court in its order of June 30, 2017 advised plaintiff that this action is 28 subject to dismissal, directed plaintiff to file opposition, and granted ample additional time to 2 1 oppose the pending motion after plaintiff failed to timely oppose defendants’ motion for summary 2 judgment, all to no avail. In light of plaintiff’s failures, the court concludes there is no suitable 3 alternative less drastic sanction to dismissal. The undersigned will therefore recommend that this 4 action be dismissed for failure to prosecute the action and for failure to comply with court orders 5 and Local Rules. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b); L.R. 110. 6 7 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the hearing date of August 30, 2017 on defendants’ motion for summary judgment is vacated; and 8 IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that: 9 1. This action be dismissed with prejudice; and 10 2. The Clerk of Court be directed to close this case. 11 These findings and recommendations are submitted to the United States District Judge 12 assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within fourteen days 13 after being served with these findings and recommendations, any party may file written 14 objections with the court and serve a copy on all parties. Such a document should be captioned 15 “Objections to Magistrate Judge’s Findings and Recommendations.” Failure to file objections 16 within the specified time may waive the right to appeal the District Court’s order. Martinez v. 17 Ylst, 951 F.2d 1153 (9th Cir. 1991). 18 Dated: August 16, 2017 _____________________________________ CAROLYN K. DELANEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 19 20 21 22 2 / palma0633.nooppo.57 23 24 25 26 27 28 3