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Scocozzo v. Serenity Mental Health Group

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 9, 2019

VINCENT SCOCOZZO, Plaintiff
v.
SERENITY MENTAL HEALTH GROUP, et al., Defendants

          ORDER DISMISSING ACTION

          Jennifer A . Dorsey U.S. District Judge.

         This action began with a pro se civil rights complaint filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by a person in the custody of the Nevada Department of Corrections. On July 29, 2019, this court issued an order denying the application to proceed in forma pauperis, without prejudice, because the application was incomplete.[1] The court ordered the plaintiff to file a fully complete application to proceed in forma pauperis, including a properly executed financial certificate and an inmate account statement, or pay the full $400 filing fee within 30 days.[2] That 30-day deadline has passed, 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 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 on one of these grounds, the court must consider: (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]

         The first two factors, the public's interest in expeditiously resolving this litigation and the court's interest in managing its docket, weigh in favor of dismissal of the plaintiff's claims. The third factor, risk of prejudice to defendants, also weighs in favor of dismissal because a presumption of injury arises from the occurrence of unreasonable delay in filing a pleading ordered by the court or prosecuting an action.[6] A court's warning to a party that its failure to obey the court's order will result in dismissal satisfies the fifth factor's “consideration of alternatives” requirement, [7] and that warning was given here.[8] The fourth factor-the public policy favoring disposition of cases on their merits-is greatly outweighed by the factors favoring dismissal.

         Accordingly, with good cause appearing and no reason to delay, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that THIS ACTION IS DISMISSED without prejudice based on plaintiffs failure to file a complete application to proceed in forma pauperis or pay the full filing fee in compliance with this court's July 29, 2019, order.

         The Clerk of Court is directed to ENTER JUDGMENT accordingly and 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; Gha ...


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