Hauge et al

Filing 44

ORDER DISMISSING Action for Failure to Obey a Court Order signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe on 5/29/2014. CASE CLOSED. (Sant Agata, S)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 AL HAUGE, MARK HAUGE, 9 10 11 12 13 Case No. 1: 12-cv-02009-BAM Plaintiff, ORDER DISMISSING ACTION FOR FAILURE TO OBEY A COURT ORDER v. ADRIATIC INSURANCE COMPANY, et al., Defendants. / 14 15 16 I. INTRODUCTION This matter was set for a status conference for May 29, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. (Doc. 42.) The 17 plaintiffs were informed that at the status conference, plaintiffs Al Hauge and Mark Hauge should be 18 prepared to discuss how they intend to proceed against the remaining defendant. Plaintiffs did not 19 appear at the status conference. The parties have consented to the jurisdiction of the United States 20 Magistrate Judge and this case was assigned to the undersigned on April 4, 2013. (Doc. 24.) 21 22 23 II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND On December 10, 2012, Plaintiffs filed their complaint against Defendants. (Doc. 1.) 24 Plaintiffs allege they entered into an agreement whereby Defendants would procure insurance for 25 Plaintiffs’ “car hauling” business. Id. at ¶¶ 9-13. Plaintiffs allege Defendants failed to procure 26 adequate insurance pursuant to the terms of the agreement, and subsequently suffered an economic 27 28 1 1 loss when a hail storm damaged one of Plaintiffs’ delivery trucks and six automobiles being 2 transported. Id. at ¶ 14. Defendant Adriatic Insurance Co has settled and been released. The 3 remaining defendant has been defaulted. 4 The Court denied Plaintiff’s Motion for Default Judgment against Defendant Singh on October 5 10, 2013 for failure to present sufficient facts, evidence and legal analysis. On March 14, 2014, the 6 Court allowed Plaintiffs’ counsel to withdraw from the case. On April 18, 2014, the Court set a status 7 conference to discuss how Plaintiffs, proceeding in pro per, intend to proceed against the remaining 8 defendant Singh. Plaintiffs were instructed that if they do not intend on proceeding in this case, they 9 may file a voluntary dismissal pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(a)(2). In the order setting the status 10 conference, plaintiffs were warned that failure to comply with the Court’s order may result in 11 dismissal of their action. 12 13 14 15 Plaintiffs did not appear at the status conference and did not file any document in compliance with the Court’s order. III. DISCUSSION Local Rule 110 provides that “[f]ailure . . . of a party to comply with these Rules or with any 16 order of the Court may be grounds for imposition by the Court of any and all sanctions . . . within the 17 inherent power of the Court.” District courts have the inherent power to control their dockets and “[i]n 18 the exercise of that power they may impose sanctions including, where appropriate, . . . dismissal.” 19 Thompson v. Housing Auth., 782 F.2d 829, 831 (9th Cir. 1986). A court may dismiss an action, with 20 prejudice, based on a party’s failure to prosecute an action, failure to obey a court order, or failure to 21 comply with local rules. See, e.g., Ghazali v. Moran, 46 F.3d 52, 53-54 (9th Cir. 1995) (dismissal for 22 noncompliance with local rule); Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1260-61 (9th Cir. 1992) (dismissal 23 for failure to comply with an order requiring amendment of complaint); Malone v. U.S. Postal Service, 24 833 F.2d 128, 130-33 (9th Cir. 1987) (dismissal for failure to comply with court order). 25 26 27 28 In determining whether to dismiss an action, the Court must consider several factors: (1) the public’s interest in expeditious resolution of litigation; (2) the Court’s need to manage its docket; (3) 2 1 the risk of prejudice to the defendants; (4) the public policy favoring disposition of cases on their 2 merits; and (5) the availability of less drastic sanctions. Henderson v. Duncan, 779 F.2d 1421, 1423 3 (9th Cir. 1986); Carey v. King, 856 F.2d 1439 (9th Cir. 1988). 4 The Court finds that the public’s interest in expeditiously resolving this litigation and the 5 Court’s interest in managing the docket weigh in favor of dismissal. This action has been pending 6 since December, 2012. One defendant has settled and the other defendant has been defaulted. 7 Plaintiffs have made no attempt to contact the Court or otherwise comply with the Court’s April 2014 8 order. The Court cannot hold this case in abeyance awaiting such compliance by Plaintiffs. The third 9 factor, risk of prejudice to defendants, also weighs in favor of dismissal, since a presumption of injury 10 arises from the occurrence of unreasonable delay in prosecuting an action. Anderson v. Air West, Inc., 11 542 F.2d 522, 524 (9th Cir. 1976). The fourth factor -- public policy favoring disposition of cases on 12 their merits -- is greatly outweighed by the factors in favor of dismissal discussed herein. Finally, the 13 court’s warning to a party that failure to obey the court’s order will result in dismissal satisfies the 14 “considerations of the alternatives” requirement. Ferdik, 963 F.2d at 1262; Malone, 833 at 132-133; 15 Henderson, 779 F.2d at 1424. The Court’s order issued on April 18, 2014, expressly stated “Failure to 16 comply with this order may result in sanctions against plaintiffs, including dismissal of this case.” 17 (ECF No. 42 (emphasis deleted).) Thus, Plaintiffs had adequate warning that dismissal could result 18 from noncompliance with the Court’s order. 19 For the reasons stated above, this action is DISMISSED based on Plaintiffs’ failure to obey the 20 Court’s order of April 18, 2014. The clerk of the Court is directed to close this case. 21 IT IS SO ORDERED. 22 23 Dated: /s/ Barbara May 29, 2014 25 26 28 _ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 24 27 A. McAuliffe 3

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