Levy v. Mass Mutual

Filing 10

ORDER DISMISSING CASE. Signed by Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler on 11/21/2012. (lblc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/21/2012)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 Northern District of California 10 San Francisco Division MARC OLIN LEVY, 12 For the Northern District of California UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 11 No. C 12-01298 LB Plaintiff, ORDER DISMISSING CASE v. 13 MASS MUTUAL, 14 15 Defendant. _____________________________________/ 16 I. FACTS 17 Pro se plaintiff Marc Levy filed this suit against defendant Mass Mutual on March 14, 2012. 18 See ECF No. 1.1 The same day, he filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, IFP 19 Application, ECF No. 2, which this court granted on July 9, 2012, Order, ECF No. 6. The court’s 20 order directed the U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of California to serve the relevant 21 documents upon Mass Mutual. Id. This was not possible, however, because Mr. Levy failed to 22 provide the Clerk of the Court with Mass Mutual’s address. On August 16, 2012, the clerk of court 23 sent Mr. Levy a letter asking for Mass Mutual’s address, and enclosed a self-addressed postage paid 24 envelope for Mr. Levy’s reply. See ECF No. 8. Mr. Levy did not reply. 25 Thus, on November 5, 2012, the court issued an order extending the date for service and 26 27 1 28 Citations are to the Electronic Case File (“ECF”) with pin cites to the electronicallygenerated page numbers at the top of the document. C 12-01298 LB ORDER DISMISSING CASE 1 requiring Mr. Levy to show cause why his case should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute. 2 Order to Show Cause, ECF No. 9. The court noted that the original period for Mr. Levy to serve 3 Mass Mutual expired on July 12, 2012, but it found good cause to extend the period to November 6, 4 2012 because it did not grant Mr. Levy’s IFP application until July 9, 2012. Id. at 2.2 The court also 5 ordered Mr. Levy to file a response to its order to show cause no later than November 20, 2012 and 6 warned him that failure to do so could result in the dismissal of his case. Id. Mr. Levy has not 7 responded to the court’s order. See generally Docket. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m) requires a plaintiff to serve a defendant within 120 days 10 after it files the complaint. The 120 days for service runs from the date of the original complaint. 11 See Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(m). A court may dismiss a case without prejudice if a plaintiff has not 12 For the Northern District of California II. LEGAL STANDARD 9 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 complied with Rule 4(m) unless the plaintiff shows good cause for its failure to serve a defendant. 13 Id. If good cause appears, the court must extend the time for service for an appropriate period. Id. 14 Whether good cause exists is determined on a case by case basis. In re Sheehan, 253 F.3d 507, 512 15 (9th Cir. 2001). A plaintiff may show good cause where it attempted to serve a defendant but has 16 not yet completed it, was confused about the requirements for service of process, or was prevented 17 from serving a defendant because of events outside of its control. See Wei v State of Hawaii, 763 18 F.2d 370, 372 (9th Cir. 1985) (applying the good cause standard in Rule 4(j) which was replaced by 19 Rule 4(m) in 1993); Mateo v. M/S KISO, 805 F.Supp. 792, 795 (N.D. Cal. 1992) (overturned on 20 other grounds). Evasion of service could also constitute good cause for delay in service. Id. at 371; 21 Intrade Industries, Inc. v. Foreign Cargo Mgmt. Corp., No. 1:07-CV-1893 AWI GSA, 2008 WL 22 5397495, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 24, 2008) (citing Hendry v. Schneider, 116 F.3d 446, 449 (10th Cir. 23 1997)). 24 25 26 III. DISCUSSION A. Whether Mr. Levy Can Demonstrate Good Cause Mr. Levy has not responded to the court’s order to show cause. Accordingly, he has not 27 28 2 November 6, 2012 is 120 days from July 9, 2012. C 12-01298 LB ORDER DISMISSING CASE 2 1 demonstrated good cause. Additionally, the court does not find that Mr. Levy will be unduly 2 prejudiced by a dismissal without prejudice. He has had ample opportunity to provide the Clerk of 3 the Court with an address at which to serve Mass Mutual, such that the court likely could dismiss his 4 claims for failure to prosecute under Rule 41(b), which would preclude any future suit. Given the 5 court’s lenient approach to Mr. Levy’s inexcusable silence and delay, any prejudice is solely 6 attributable to his actions. 7 B. Whether this Court Can Dismiss the Case 8 9 Mr. Levy has consented to this court’s jurisdiction. Consent (Levy), ECF No. 4. The court does not require the consent of the Mass Mutual to dismiss an action when it has not been served and 973684, at *2 n.2 (N.D. Cal. June 29, 2000) (citing Neals v. Norwood, 59 F.3d 530, 532 (5th Cir. 12 For the Northern District of California therefore is not a party under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). Ornelas v. De Frantz, C 00-1067 JCS, 2000 WL 11 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 10 1995)); cf. United States v. Real Property, 135 F. 3d 1312, 1316 (9th Cir. 1997) (holding that the 13 consent of an individual who was not a party was not a precondition to the magistrate judge’s 14 jurisdiction). Accordingly, the court can dismiss Mr. Levy’s case. 15 III. CONCLUSION 16 For the reasons stated above, the court DISMISSES this case without prejudice. The Clerk of 17 the Court is directed to close the file. 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 Dated: November 21, 2012 _______________________________ LAUREL BEELER United States Magistrate Judge 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 C 12-01298 LB ORDER DISMISSING CASE 3

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