Treadway et al v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
ORDER AND REASONS granting 37 Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Prosecution. Signed by Judge Martin L.C. Feldman on 2/22/17. (clc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
JULIE C. TREADWAY, ET AL.
STATE FARM MUTUAL
AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE CO.
ORDER AND REASONS
Before the Court is the defendant’s Rule 41(b) motion to
dismiss for failure to prosecute.
For the following reasons, the
motion is GRANTED.
This is a motion to involuntarily dismiss the plaintiffs’
claims for the plaintiffs’ failure to prosecute.
On May 16, 2013, the Court held a status conference with
counsel and administratively closed the case pending resolution of
involved in this lawsuit. During the more than three years that
District Attorney has decided not to file or pursue state charges,
which were the basis for staying the case in this Court.
The defendant now moves the Court to involuntarily dismiss
this lawsuit because reopening would prejudice the defendant. The
defendant argues that it would be an uphill battle if the case
were to be reopened because witnesses’ memories, evidence, and
testimony are not as readily available and would be tarnished
because of the unexplained delay.
In the plaintiffs’ untimely response 1 to the defendant’s
abandoned. The plaintiffs’ brief response rests on the Court’s
Order staying the case in 2013, which stated that either party
could move to reopen the case. The plaintiffs offer no explanation
as to why the case has been abandoned for over three years, and
the opposition does not address any of the defendant’s concerns
about the prejudice that could result because of the failure to
The Fifth Circuit has held that “only an ‘unreasonable delay’
will support a dismissal for lack of prosecution.” Ramsay v.
Bailey, 531 F.2d 706, 708 (5th Cir. 1976). The plaintiffs’ untimely
and uninformative opposition indicates an “unreasonable delay.”
The plaintiffs offered no helpful explanation to inform the Court
and the defendant on whether there is a good cause for the delay
or whether this failure to prosecute results in prejudice. As such,
Local Rule 7.5 of the Eastern District of Louisiana requires that
memoranda in opposition to a motion be filed no later than eight
days before the noticed submission date. The defendant filed this
motion to dismiss on December 2, 2016 and noticed it for submission
on February 22, 2017. The plaintiffs untimely filed an opposition
on February 22, 2017, more than two months after the motion was
filed and on the noticed submission date. The opposition indicated
no explanation for this unreasonable delay.
dismissal under Rule 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
New Orleans, Louisiana, February 22, 2017
MARTIN L. C. FELDMAN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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