Drumgo v. Burris et al

Filing 50

MEMORANDUM. Signed by Judge Gregory M. Sleet on 4/29/2016. (klc)

Download PDF
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE DESHAWN DRUMGO, Plaintiff, v. C/O ROOP, et al., Defendants. ) ) ) ) ) Civ. Action No. 12-068-GMS ) ) ) ) MEMORANDUM The plaintiff DeShawn Drumgo ("Drumgo"), who proceeds pro se and was granted leave to proceed informa pauperis, filed this lawsuit pursuant to the 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. I. BACKGROUND The complaint was filed on January 24, 201. (D.I. 3.) On March 31, 2016, the court ordered Drumgo to show cause why the case should not be dismissed, noting that Drumgo had taken no action since September 10, 2015 when he served discovery requests on the defendants. (D.I. 47.) Drumgo responds that he is a pro se litigant in six of seven cases and is up against four different attorneys. (D.I. 49.) He states that he served discovery upon the defendants and a motion to compel, but the court has failed to enforce the motion to compel and order the defendants to tum over discovery. Drumgo States that the issue of discovery has brought his litigation to an unfair halt which benefits the defense in all of his cases, including this one which is "absolute[ly] outrageous." (Id.) In addition, Drumgo asserts that he has a viable cause of action. II. STANDARD OF LAW Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b), a court may dismiss an action "[f]or failure of the plaintiff to prosecute or to comply with [the Federal Rules] or any order of court .... " Although dismissal is an extreme sanction that should only be used in limited circumstances, dismissal is appropriate if a party fails to prosecute the action. Harris v. City ofPhiladelphia, 47 F.3d 1311, 1330 (3d Cir. 1995). The following six factors determine whether dismissal is warranted. (1) The extent of the party's personal responsibility; (2) the prejudice to the adversary caused by the failure to meet scheduling orders and respond to discovery; (3) a history of dilatoriness; (4) whether the conduct of the party was willful or in bad faith; (5) the effectiveness of sanctions other than dismissal, which entails an analysis of other sanctions; and (6) the meritoriousness of the claim or defense. Pou/is v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co., 747 F.2d 863, 868 (3d Cir. 1984). The court must balance the factors and need not find that all of them weigh against Drumgo to dismiss the action. Emerson v. Thiel Coll., 296 F .3d 184, 190 (3d Cir. 2002). Because dismissal for failure to prosecute involves a factual inquiry, it can be appropriate even if some of Pou/is factors are not satisfied. Hicks v. Feeney, 850 F.2d 152, 156 (3d Cir. 1998). III. DISCUSSION The court finds that the Pou/is factors warrant dismissal ofDrumgo's case. First, as a pro se litigant, Drumgo is solely responsible for prosecuting his claim. Hoxworth v. Blinder, Robinson & Co., 980 F.2d 912, 920 (3d Cir. 1992). Second, the defendants are prejudiced by Drumgo's failure to prosecute. Prejudice occurs when a plaintiffs failure to prosecute burdens the defendant's ability to prepare for trial. Ware v. Rodale Press, Inc., 322 F.3d 218, 222-23 (3d 2 Cir. 2003). As to the third factor, there does not appear to be a history of dilatoriness. The court notes, however, that Drumgo states that he filed a motion to compel in this case. The court scoured the court docket and did not find any motion to compel filed by Drumgo. However, he has sought discovery from defendants. (See D.I. 44, 47.) As to the fourth factor, the court takes judicial notice that Drumgo has other cases pending in this court and has had no difficulty prosecuting those cases. Drumgo's ability to fully prosecute other civil actions he initiated leads to the conclusion that Drumgo's failure to prosecute is willful or in bad faith. Only Drumgo can take steps to prosecute this case. As to the fifth factor, there are no alternative sanctions the court could effectively impose. Precluding Drumgo from presenting evidence at trial would have the same effect as dismissal. For the same reason, granting summary judgment in favor of th~ defendants or forbidding Drumgo from pursuing further discovery would have the same effect as dismissal. Finally, a monetary sanction is ineffective inasmuch as Drumgo proceeds as a pauper. The court finds the sixth factor, the merits of the claim, is neutral. The other four Pou/is factors, however, weigh in favor of dismissal. IV. CONCLUSION The court finds that Drumgo has failed to show cause why this case should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute. For the above reasons, the court will dismiss the case pursuant to D. Del. LR 41.1 An appropriate order will be entered. ~,J l'l '2016 Wilmington, Delaware 3

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?