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Williams v. Allen

United States District Court, D. Nevada

June 2, 2017

NATHAN WILLIAMS, Plaintiff
v.
SGT. ALLEN et al., Defendants

          ORDER

          Jennifer A. Dorsey United States District Judge

         This is a pro se civil rights action filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by a state prisoner. On April 25, 2017, I denied plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis without prejudice because the application was incomplete.[1] I ordered plaintiff to file a fully complete application to proceed in forma pauperis or pay the full $400 filing fee within 30 days from the date of that order.[2] The 30-day period has now expired, and plaintiff has not filed another application to proceed in forma pauperis, paid the full filing fee, or otherwise responded to the court's order.

         District courts have the inherent power to control their dockets and “[i]n the exercise of that power, they may impose sanctions including, where appropriate . . . dismissal” of a case.[3] A court may dismiss an action with prejudice based on a party's failure to prosecute an action, failure to obey a court order, or failure to comply with local rules.[4] In determining whether to dismiss an action for lack of prosecution, failure to obey a court order, or failure to comply with local rules, the court must consider several factors: (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.[5]

         In the instant case, the first two factors-the public's interest in expeditiously resolving this litigation and the court's interest in managing the docket-weigh in favor of dismissal. The third factor, risk of prejudice to defendants, also weighs in favor of dismissal, since a presumption of injury arises from the occurrence of unreasonable delay in filing a pleading ordered by the court or prosecuting an action.[6] The fourth factor-the public policy favoring disposition of cases on their merits-is greatly outweighed by the factors that favor dismissal. Finally, a court's warning to a party that his failure to obey the court's order will result in dismissal satisfies the “consideration of alternatives” requirement.[7] My order giving the plaintiff 30 days to file another application or pay the full filing fee expressly stated: “IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that if [p]laintiff does not timely comply with this order, dismissal of this action may result.”[8] Thus, plaintiff had adequate warning that dismissal would result from his noncompliance with the court's order.

         IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED without prejudice based on plaintiff's failure to file another application to proceed in forma pauperis or pay the full filing . . . fee in compliance with the April 25, 2017, order. The Clerk of Court is instructed to CLOSE THIS CASE.

---------

Notes:

[1] ECF No. 3 at 1-2.

[2] Id. at 2.

[3] Thompson v. Hous. Auth. of City of Los Angeles, 782 F.2d 829, 831 (9th Cir. 1986).

[4] See Ghazali v. Moran, 46 F.3d 52, 53-54 (9th Cir. 1995) (dismissal for noncompliance with local rule); Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1260-61 (9th Cir. 1992) (dismissal for failure to comply with an order requiring amendment of complaint); Carey v. King, 856 F.2d 1439, 1440-41 (9th Cir. 1988) (dismissal for failure to comply with local rule requiring pro se plaintiffs to keep court apprised of address); Malone v. U.S. Postal Service, 833 F.2d 128, 130 (9th Cir. 1987) (dismissal for failure to comply with court order); Henderson v. Duncan, 779 F.2d 1421, 1424 (9th Cir. 1986) (dismissal for lack of prosecution and failure to comply with local rules).

[5] Thompson, 782 F.2d at 831; Henderson, 779 F.2d at 1423-24; Malone, 833 F.2d at 130; Ferdik, 963 F.2d at 1260-61; Ghazali, 46 F.3d at 53.

[6] See Anderson v. Air West, 542 F.2d 522, 524 (9th Cir. 1976).

[7] Ferdik, 963 F.2d at 1262; Malone, 833 F.2d at 132-33; Henderson, 779 F.2d ...


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