Wilson v. Second Judicial District Court
ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 21 in full. Claims are dismissed. Any appeal of this decision would not be taken in good faith. Signed by Judge Brian Morris on 7/27/2016. Mailed to Wilson. (TAG, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
RAY DEAN WILSON,
ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE
JUDGE’S FINDINGS AND
SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT,
United States Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch entered Findings and
Recommendations in this matter on June 16, 2016. (Doc. 21). Neither party filed
objections. The Court need not review de novo the proposed Findings and
Recommendations when a party makes no objections. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S.
140, 149-52 (1986). This Court will review Judge Lynch’s Findings and
Recommendations, however, for clear error. McDonnell Douglas Corp. v.
Commodore Bus. Mach., Inc., 656 F.2d 1309, 1313 (9th Cir. 1981).
Ray Dean Wilson filed the initial complaint in this matter on November 13,
2015. (Doc. 1). The Court found the complaint unintelligible. Magistrate Judge
Johnston ordered Wilson to submit an amended complaint with a cognizable claim
and appropriate defendants. (Doc. 2). The Order, filed November 19, 2015,
included the Court’s first warning to Wilson that failure to comply would result in
dismissal of the claim. Id.
Wilson filed an amended complaint on November 30, 2015. (Doc. 3). The
amended complaint included a Motion to proceed in forma pauperis. The Court
liberally construed the amended complaint and identified a claim as one that
involves ongoing criminal proceedings in state court. (Doc. 11 at 2). The Court
noted the doctrine set forth in Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971), potentially
bars Wilson’s claim. (Doc. 11 at 2). The Court offered Wilson a second
opportunity to amend his complaint to clarify the claim and the relief he seeks to
determine if the claims were doctrinally barred. Id. Wilson failed to respond to the
Order. The Court granted Wilson’s Motion to proceed in forma pauperis.
The Court gave Wilson a final opportunity to clarify whether or not claims
in the consolidated cases, (see also Civil Action16-00004-BU-BMM-JCL), were
based on ongoing state court proceedings. (Doc. 20 at 3). The Court again stated
that it would decline to intervene if underlying ongoing state court proceedings
existed. (Doc. 20 at 3). The Court gave Wilson an additional month, until May 27,
2016, to respond to the Order. Wilson failed to respond.
Wilson, currently, resides as a prisoner at the Butte Silver Bow County Jail
in Butte, Montana. Wilson names only the Second Judicial Court as a Defendant in
the caption of the case. In the “Parties” section of Wilson’s complaint, however,
Wilson names the following Defendants: Mike Clague, County Attorney for the
Second Judicial Court; Eugene Travis at the Health Department; and Patrol
Officers at the Butte Police Department. (Doc. 3 at 3).
Wilson alleges the Butte Police wrongfully arrested him for trespassing at
102 E. Second. Wilson claims that he obtained a “Quit Claim” on July 12, 2015 for
the property. (Doc. 3 at 4). The Magistrate Judge construed Wilson’s claim as one
for wrongful incarceration from August 18, 2015, to September 2, 2015, and from
September 5, 2015, to the present. (Doc. 11 at 3).
REVIEW FOR CLEAR ERROR
The Court has the power to dismiss a case for failure to respond to a court
order. Henderson v. Duncan, 779 F.2d, 1421, 1423 (9th Cir. 1986); see also
Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b). Dismissal penalizes a party harshly and should be imposed as a
sanction only in extreme circumstances. Henderson, 779 F.2d at 1423.
The Court must consider the following factors before it dismisses an action
as a sanction for failure to comply with a court order: (1) the public’s interest in
expeditious resolution of litigation; (2) the court’s need to manage its docket; (3)
the risk of prejudice to the defendants/respondents; (4) the availability of less
drastic alternatives; and (5) the public policy favoring disposition of cases on their
merits. Pagtalunan v. Galaza, 291 F.3d 639, 642 (9th Cir. 2002).
The Magistrate Judge provided clear reasoning for a recommendation of
dismissal. The Magistrate noted that Wilson’s proceedings have dragged on for
nearly seven months without a clarification of Wilson’s claims underlying the
action. (Doc. 21 at 3). For that reason, the Court rightly held that dismissal
satisfied the first two factors. The Court held that the defendants were not in
danger of prejudice when the defendants have yet to be served. (Doc. 21 at 4).
The Court repeatedly offered Wilson a chance to amend his complaints and restate
his claims. The Court opined that Wilson rejected less drastic alternatives to
dismissal by refusing to respond. Additionally, Wilson had a chance to object to
the Court’s recommendations. Id. Wilson failed to file an objection.
Public policy favors disposition of cases on their merits. Pagtalunan, 291
F.3d 639 at 643. Four of the five factors weigh heavily in favor of dismissal. The
Court did not commit clear error by recommending dismissal for the consolidated
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Ray Dean Wilson’s claims are dismissed. The Clerk of Court is directed
to close this case and enter judgment in favor of Defendant’s pursuant to
Rule 58 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
2. The Clerk of Court is directed to have the docket reflect that the Court
certifies pursuant to Rule 24(a)(3)(A) of the Federal Rules of Appellate
Procedure that any appeal of this decision would not be taken in good
DATED this 27th day of July, 2016.
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