Carter v. State of Alaska et al

Filing 7

ORDER OF DISMISSAL: This action is DISMISSED for failure to prosecute. All pending motions are DENIED as moot. Signed by Judge Sharon L. Gleason on 11/13/2023. (ANM, COURT STAFF)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF ALASKA LEGACY FOSTER CARTER, Plaintiff, Case No. 3:23-cv-00126-SLG v. STATE OF ALASKA, Dept. of Family Youth Services, et al., Defendants. ORDER OF DISMISSAL Self-represented litigant Legacy Foster Carter (“Plaintiff”), filed a Complaint under the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“Complaint”), a civil cover sheet, and an application to waive filing fee.1 In an order entered on September 26, 2023, the Court screened the Complaint, found it deficient, but granted Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint or file a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal by October 26, 2023.2 To date, Plaintiff has not responded. DISCUSSION Rule 41(b) of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits dismissal due to a plaintiff’s failure to prosecute or comply with a court order. In deciding whether to dismiss on this basis, a district court considers five factors: “(1) the public’s interest in expeditious resolution of litigation; (2) the court’s need to manage its docket; (3) 1 Dockets 1-3. 2 Docket 6. the risk of prejudice to the defendants; (4) the public policy favoring disposition of cases on their merits; and (5) the availability of less drastic sanctions.”3 Here, the first two factors — the public’s interest in expeditious resolution of litigation and the Court's need to manage its docket — weigh in favor of dismissal. Plaintiff’s failure to file an Amended Complaint or Notice of Voluntary Dismissal within the specified timeline suggests Plaintiff does not intend to litigate this action diligently.4 Further, a presumption of prejudice to a defendant arises when the plaintiff unreasonably delays prosecution of an action.5 Because Plaintiff has not offered any justifiable reason for failing to meet the Court’s deadline, the third factor also favors dismissal.6 The fourth factor usually weighs against dismissal because public policy favors disposition on the merits.7 However, “this factor lends little support to a party whose responsibility it is to move a case toward disposition on the merits but whose conduct impedes progress in that direction,”8 which is the case here. The Hernandez v. City of El Monte, 138 F.3d 393, 399 (quoting Henderson v. Duncan, 779 F.2d 1421, 1423 (9th Cir. 1986). 3 Morris v. Morgan Stanley & Co., 942 F.2d 648, 652 (9th Cir. 1991) (a plaintiff has the burden “to move toward... disposition at a reasonable pace, and to refrain from dilatory and evasive tactics”). 4 5 Anderson v. Air West, 542 F.2d 522, 524 (9th Cir. 1976). See, e.g., Hernandez v. City of El Monte, 138 F.3d 393, 401 (9th Cir.1998) (reiterating that the burden of production shifts to the defendant to show at least some actual prejudice only after the plaintiff has given a non-frivolous excuse for delay). 6 7 Pagtalunan v. Galaza, 291 F.3d 639, 643 (9th Cir. 2002). 8 In re Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) Products Liability Litigation, 460 F.3d 1217, 1228 (9th Cir. Case No. 3:23-cv-00126-SLG, Carter v. State of Alaska, et al. Order of Dismissal Page 2 of 4 fifth factor is comprised of three subparts, which include “whether the court has considered lesser sanctions, whether it tried them, and whether it warned the [uncooperative] party about the possibility of case-dispositive sanctions.”9 The Court’s Order at Docket 6 accorded warned Plaintiff of the potential dismissal of this action in the event of noncompliance. Based on the foregoing, this case must be dismissed. Dismissal without prejudice “minimizes prejudice to a defendant and preserves a plaintiff’s ability to seek relief.”10 The Court finds no other lesser sanction to be satisfactory or effective in this case.11 Therefore, this case is dismissed, without prejudice, for failure to prosecute this action. IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED: 1. This action is DISMISSED for failure to prosecute. 2. All pending motions are DENIED as moot. 2006) (citing In re Exxon Valdez, 102 F.3d 429, 433 (9th Cir. 1996)). 9 Conn. Gen. Life Ins., 482 F.3d at 1096 (internal citation omitted). Alli v. City and County of San Francisco, 2022 WL 3099222 (N.D. Cal. 2022) (internal citations omitted). 10 11 See, e.g., Henderson, 779 F.2d at 1424 (a district court need not exhaust every sanction short of dismissal before finally dismissing a case but must explore possible and meaningful alternatives) (internal citation omitted); Gleason v. World Sav. Bank, FSB, 2013 WL 3927799, at *2 (N.D. Cal. July 26, 2013) (finding dismissal under Rule 41(b) appropriate where the court previously attempted the lesser sanction of issuing an order to show cause and giving the plaintiff an additional opportunity to re-plead). Case No. 3:23-cv-00126-SLG, Carter v. State of Alaska, et al. Order of Dismissal Page 3 of 4 3. The Clerk of Court shall issue a final judgment. DATED this 13th day of November, 2023 at Anchorage, Alaska. /s/ Sharon L. Gleason UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE Case No. 3:23-cv-00126-SLG, Carter v. State of Alaska, et al. Order of Dismissal Page 4 of 4

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