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K.D. v. United Airlines, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

April 12, 2019

K.D., Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED AIRLINES, INC., et al. Defendants.

          ORDER

          NANCY J. KOPPE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Pending before the Court is an order for Plaintiff to show cause for violating the Court's order to either enter the appearance of new counsel or file a notice of intent to proceed pro se in the instant case. Docket No. 151. Plaintiff has responded. Docket No. 152.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This case was initially filed on September 15, 2017. Docket No. 1-1. It was removed to this Court on November 8, 2017. Docket No. 1. The case has, therefore, been pending for over a year and a half.

         The case has been riddled with discovery violations and failure to participate in discovery by Plaintiff. See, e.g., Docket Nos. 75, 86, 94, 99, 142. These violations resulted in delay and, eventually, the withdrawal of representation by Plaintiff's attorney. On August 23, 2018, Plaintiff's attorney filed a motion to withdraw as counsel due to, inter alia, “irreconcilable differences [with Plaintiff] regarding discoverable material … and the disclosures necessary pursuant to FRCP 26…” Docket No. 101 at 2. See also Docket No. 58. After this motion was filed, Plaintiff assured her attorney that she would participate in the discovery process in good faith going forward; therefore, counsel withdrew his motion. Docket No. 101 at 2-3; Docket No. 69. On November 28, 2018, however, counsel filed a renewed motion to withdraw. Docket No. 101. Counsel represented that Plaintiff “has been ordered by this Court on multiple occasions to participate in the discovery process and has been sanctioned for failing to do so.” Id. at 3. Counsel further submitted that, despite his best efforts, Plaintiff “failed to follow critical advice from counsel concerning discovery and the litigation process.” Id.

         The Court set a hearing on counsel's motion to withdraw for December 20, 2018. Docket No. 102. The Court ordered, inter alia, that Plaintiff must appear in person at the hearing. Id. at 1. The Court further warned that, “THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THE APPEARANCE REQUIREMENTS OF … PLAINTIFF[.]” Id. (emphasis in original). On December 4, 2018, Plaintiff's counsel filed a notice certifying that he served the Court's order on Plaintiff. Docket No. 105.

         On December 20, 2018, the Court held a hearing on counsel's motion to withdraw. Docket No. 126. Despite the Court's order, and the representations of counsel as to Plaintiff's knowledge of the hearing and her requirement to attend, Plaintiff failed to appear. Id. After hearing from counsel, the Court granted the motion to withdraw. Id. The Court ordered that Plaintiff had until January 22, 2019, to either retain new counsel who must file a notice of appearance on the docket or to file a notice of intent to proceed pro se. Id.

         On December 20, 2018, the Court ordered Plaintiff to show cause, no later than January 5, 2019, why the Court should not sanction her for violating the Court's order to appear at the hearing. Docket No. 128. Plaintiff responded to the order to show cause on January 7, 2019. Docket No. 135. In her response, Plaintiff submitted that her prior attorney did not provide her with “proper notice” that he had moved to withdraw from the instant case and that she would have been present at the hearing had she known of it. Id. at 1. Plaintiff also made representations and requests that were not relevant to the Court's order to show cause. Id. at 1-2. On January 24, 2019, Plaintiff filed an amended response to the Court's order to show cause. Docket No. 140. In addition to her prior representations, Plaintiff requested 90 days to retain new counsel. Id. at 2.

         On January 28, 2019, the Court issued an order finding the Plaintiff's statement regarding lack of notice about the hearing on her attorney's motion to withdraw as counsel conflicted with the representations made at the hearing by both her prior counsel and defense counsel. Docket No. 141 at 1. Nonetheless, the Court declined to issue sanctions at that time. Id. The Court did, however, admonish Plaintiff that she must comply with all orders issued by this Court, and otherwise discharged the order to show cause. Id. at 2. Finally, the Court granted in part Plaintiff's request for an extension of time regarding new counsel. Id. at 1. The Court allowed Plaintiff until February 21, 2019 to either file a notice of intent to proceed pro se or to have new counsel file a notice of appearance. Id.

         Plaintiff failed to comply with the Court's order regarding new counsel. See Docket. Accordingly, on February 26, 2019, the Court issued the instant order to show cause. Docket No. 151.

         In response, Plaintiff submits that she has not received notice from the Court regarding any orders prior to the instant order to show cause. Docket No. 152 at 1. Plaintiff further submits, despite her long history of noncompliance and discovery violations, that she wants the chance to show the Court that she will comply with the requirements of prosecuting the instant case. Id. at 2. Additionally, Plaintiff submits that she has contacted several attorneys and requests a 90-day extension to the deadline for entry of appearance of new counsel. Id. Further, Plaintiff asks the Court for leeway to care for the health of her parents.[1] Id. Finally, Plaintiff makes requests regarding discovery that are not applicable to her response to the Court's order to show cause. Id. at 2-3.

         II.ANALYSIS

         In Plaintiff's response to the Court's order to show cause, she continues the pattern she has established in this case of blaming others for any problems that occur. For example, she blames her former attorney for her discovery violations, and she claims she has failed to comply with more than one deadline set by the Court because she did not receive the Court's orders.

         It is Plaintiff's responsibility to ensure that her correct address is listed on the docket, and that she receives mail at that address. See LR IA 3-1.[2] The docket lists the address that Plaintiff provided, and the Court will not accept the failure to receive orders or other filings sent to ...


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