MATHIS v. EXPERIAN, LLC
MEMORANDUM. SIGNED BY HONORABLE HARVEY BARTLE, III ON 5/22/23. 5/22/23 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED.(amas)
Case 2:21-cv-05698-HB Document 31 Filed 05/22/23 Page 1 of 5
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR
THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
May 22, 2023
Defendant Experian, LLC moves to dismiss pro se
plaintiff Dougie Mathis’s action with prejudice pursuant to
Rules 37(b) and 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Experian contends that dismissal is warranted because Mathis has
not complied with a discovery order and has otherwise failed to
prosecute the action.
Mathis alleges in this action that Experian is liable
under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.,
for misreporting that he owed child support debt that he claims
has been discharged.1
He claims that an entity, Philadelphia
Child Support DRS, “issued to [him] a 1099-C back in 2017
reflecting the discharged account.”
Mathis also sued credit bureaus Equifax and Trans Union as
well as the entity Philadelphia Child Support DRS. He entered
into stipulations of dismissal with Equifax and Trans Union. As
explained further below, the court dismissed his action against
Philadelphia Child Support DRS for failure to effect timely
Case 2:21-cv-05698-HB Document 31 Filed 05/22/23 Page 2 of 5
Mathis initiated this action on December 30, 2021.
named Philadelphia Child Support DRS as a defendant but never
served his complaint on the entity.
The court entered a May 19,
2022 Order requiring Mathis to effect service within one month
or demonstrate good cause for failure to do so.
Mathis did neither.
See Doc. # 17.
As a result, the court entered an order on
June 22, 2022 dismissing his complaint against Philadelphia
Child Support DRS without prejudice.
See Doc. # 19.
Experian has diligently sought a copy of the 1099-C
form that Mathis referenced in his complaint.
requested this document on March 25, 2022.
It represents that
it has requested production of this document no less than seven
The court entered an order on January 23, 2023 that
required Mathis to “produce to defendant Experian, LLC, on or
before February 7, 2023, a copy of the IRS Form 1099-C that he
references in paragraph one of his complaint.”
See Doc. # 25.
The order also required Mathis to produce “a copy of the court
order, if any, that terminated his child support obligations.”
Mathis responded to this Order by producing a blank
copy of a 2017 IRS form 1099-C.
According to Experian, he also
supplied “the first page of a purported child support
termination order” and “a June 29, 2022 Order to Release Assets
on Previously Garnished Account.”
Case 2:21-cv-05698-HB Document 31 Filed 05/22/23 Page 3 of 5
Rule 37(b)(2)(A)(v) authorizes a district court to
sanction a party who disobeys a discovery order by dismissing an
action in whole or in part.
Similarly, Rule 41(b) provides, “If
the plaintiff fails to . . . comply with . . . a court order, a
defendant may move to dismiss the action.”
In deciding whether dismissal for failure to comply
with a court order is warranted, the court considers six factors
outlined by our Court of Appeals in Poulis v. State Farm Fire &
Cas. Co., 747 F.2d 863 (3d Cir. 1984).
(1) the extent of the party’s personal
responsibility; (2) prejudice to the
adversary; (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; and (6) the meritoriousness of
the claim or defense.
In re Avandia Mktg., Sales Pracs. & Prod. Liab. Litig., 687 F.
App’x 210, 213 (3d Cir. 2017) (citing Poulis, 757 F.2d at
There is no “magic formula” or “mechanical
calculation” to determine whether an action should be dismissed
under the Poulis factors.
(3d Cir. 2013).
In re Asbestos, 718 F.3d 236, 246
“In fact, no single Poulis factor is
dispositive” and “not all of the Poulis factors need be
satisfied in order to dismiss a complaint.”
dismiss a complaint is within the court’s discretion.
747 F.2d at 868.
Case 2:21-cv-05698-HB Document 31 Filed 05/22/23 Page 4 of 5
Experian contends that dismissal is warranted under
each of the Poulis factors.
Mathis has not filed any opposition
to the present motion.
The court agrees that the Poulis factors weigh in
favor of dismissal.
First, Mathis is pro se and thus solely
responsible for defying a discovery order and delaying this
Second, Mathis’s conduct has prejudiced Experian.
tax form that Mathis references in his complaint--the one that
purportedly reflects his lack of child support debt and not the
blank form that he produced to Experian--is critical to
Experian’s ability to prepare its case.
Third, Mathis has
engaged in an undeniable history of dilatoriness.
Experian’s reasonable discovery requests for over a year and
also failed to timely serve another defendant, Philadelphia
Child Support DRS, which resulted in the court dismissing his
action against that defendant.
Fourth, Mathis’s conduct is
Experian has submitted correspondence between it and
Mathis showing that Mathis was well aware of Experian’s
straightforward request for the tax form he referenced in his
Fifth, dismissal is the only effective sanction.
Mathis has been given several opportunities to supply the tax
form Experian seeks.
His refusal to do so, coupled with his
failure to file opposition to the present motion, belies his
“interest in prosecuting this case.”
Drayton v. Spotts, Civ. A.
Case 2:21-cv-05698-HB Document 31 Filed 05/22/23 Page 5 of 5
No. 19-1265, 2019 WL 5167011, at *3 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 15, 2019).
Sixth, based on the history of the case, it does not appear that
Mathis’s claim has merit.
Under such circumstances, dismissal
with prejudice pursuant to Rules 37(b) and 41(b) is appropriate.
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