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Melendez v. Planned Parenthood of Central Pennsylvania

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


December 23, 2008

NANCY MELENDEZ, PLAINTIFF
v.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA, DEFENDANT

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Christopher C. Conner United States District Judge

(Judge Conner)

ORDER

AND NOW, this 23rd day of December, 2008, upon consideration of the report of the magistrate judge (Doc. 23), recommending that pro se plaintiff's complaint (Doc. 23) be dismissed for failure to prosecute, to which no objections were filed, and following an independent review of the record, it appearing that plaintiff has repeatedly failed to file a brief opposing defendant's motion for summary judgment*fn1 (Doc. 15), despite the court's explanation that failure to do so would result in dismissal, see FED. R. CIV. P. 41(b) ("If the plaintiff fails to prosecute or to comply with . . . a court order, a defendant may move to dismiss the action or any claim against it."); Briscoe v. Klaus, 538 F.3d 252, 258 (3d Cir. 2008) (explaining that Rule 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure "permits a District Court to dismiss a plaintiff's case for failure to prosecute" sua sponte); Poulis v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 747 F.2d 863, 868 (3d Cir. 1984) (identifying six factors relevant to deciding whether to dismiss for failure to prosecute), and it further appearing that by the order of court (Doc. 24) dated December 5, 2008, plaintiff was commanded to show cause why the above-captioned matter should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute, and that as of the date of this order, plaintiff has taken no action to show cause, and the court concluding that plaintiff was repeatedly advised of the necessity of complying with the court's orders and is personally responsible for failing to do so, see Poulis, 747 F.2d at 868 (identifying "extent of the party's responsibility" as a factor for the court's consideration), that plaintiff's conduct has prejudiced defendants by requiring them to assume the cost of continued pretrial and trial preparation and rendered it more difficult for defendants to produce viable evidence and witness testimony in the future, see id. (identifying "[p]rejudice to the adversary" as a factor); see also Briscoe, 538 F.3d at 259 (explaining that "prejudice includes the irretrievable loss of evidence, the inevitable dimming of witnesses' memories, or the excessive and possibly irremediable burdens or costs imposed on the opposing party" (quoting Adams v. Trs. of N.J. Brewery Employees' Pension Trust Fund, 29 F.3d 863, 874 (3d Cir. 1994)), that plaintiff's failure to respond to multiple court orders is both emblematic of extreme dilatoriness, see Poulis, 747 F.2d at 868 (identifying "history of dilatoriness" as a factor), and constitutes a willful disregard of the court's authority, see id. at 868-69 (identifying "willful" or "bad faith" conduct as a factor), that assessment of fines or costs against plaintiff would be ineffective to compel plaintiff's compliance, see id. at 869 (identifying availability of "[a]lternative sanctions" to dismissal as a factor), and that although plaintiff's claims may prove meritorious, it is difficult for the court to reach such a determination absent a more thorough summary judgment briefing, which renders this factor neutral,*fn2 see id. at 689-70 (identifying "[m]eritoriousness of the claim" as a factor), it is hereby ORDERED that:

1. The report and recommendation of the magistrate judge (Doc. 23) is ADOPTED.

2. The claims against defendant are DISMISSED with prejudice for failure to prosecute. See FED. R. CIV. P. 41(b).

3. The Clerk of Court is directed to CLOSE this case.


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