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Brown v. Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services

United States District Court, D. Nevada

July 24, 2014

JAMES FLAVY COY BROWN, Plaintiff(s),
v.
SOUTHERN NEVADA ADULT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES, Defendant(s),

ORDER

JAMES C. MAHAN, District Judge.

Presently before the court is the case of Brown v. Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital et al. (case no. 2:13-cv-01039-JCM-PAL).

I. Analysis

On February 13, 2014, the court ordered that plaintiff's constitutional and federal statutory claims be dismissed without prejudice. (Doc. # 54). Due to the lack of an active federal claim, the court declined to exercise jurisdiction over plaintiff's claims arising under Nevada law. Id.

On June 20, 2014, the court denied plaintiff's motion to reconsider the dismissal of the constitutional and federal statutory claims. (Doc. # 61). In this order, the court specifically granted leave for plaintiff to move to amend his complaint on or before July 7, 2014. Id. Plaintiff neither attempted to file an amended complaint nor requested an extension of time to do so prior to this deadline.

...

On July 8, 2014, citing its "strong preference for adjudicating claims on their merits rather than procedural technicalities, " the court granted plaintiff an additional seven days to amend his complaint. (Doc. # 62). At that time, the court "admonishe[d] plaintiff that failure to file an amended complaint within this time may result in dismissal of his constitutional and federal statutory claims with prejudice." Id. Again, plaintiff failed to file an amended complaint or to request an extension of time to do so.

In its dismissal order, the court identified several areas in which plaintiff failed to put forward sufficient factual allegations to support his federal claims for relief. Despite the court's granting multiple opportunities for plaintiff to support his narrative with sufficient detail to establish a valid claim under the Constitution or laws of the United States, plaintiff has failed to take any action whatsoever in this case.

The court is at a loss in cases, such as this one, in which a plaintiff does not participate in the judicial process, fails to pursue his claims or even request an extension. However, the court has an obligation to promote justice by allocating judicial resources to cases with ongoing disputes and active parties.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) allows for the dismissal of an action based on a party's failure to obey an order of the court.[1] The Ninth Circuit has specifically held that this rule may be applied when a plaintiff fails to file an amended complaint prior to a court-ordered deadline. See, e.g., Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1260 (9th Cir. 1992).

"In determining whether to dismiss a case for failure to comply with a court order the district court must weigh five factors including: (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; (4) the public policy favoring disposition of cases on their merits; and (5) the availability of less drastic alternatives." Id. at 1260-61 (internal quotations omitted); see also Thompson v. Housing Auth. of City of Los Angeles, 782 F.2d 829, 831 (9th Cir. 1986); Henderson v. Duncan, 779 F.2d 1421, 1423 (9th Cir. 1986). The court will consider each of these factors in turn.

1. The Public Interest

The Ninth Circuit has consistently held that "the public's interest in expeditious resolution of litigation always favors dismissal." Pagtalunan v. Galaza, 291 F.3d 639, 642 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting Yourish v. California Amplifier, 191 F.3d 983, 990 (9th Cir. 1999). In this case, plaintiff has not only failed to file an amended complaint prior to the court's explicit deadlines, but has also failed to ...


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