Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Steven Smith v. the Pennsylvania Department

October 16, 2012

STEVEN SMITH, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, ET AL, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Baxter

OPINION & ORDER

United States Magistrate Judge Susan Paradise Baxter

I. INTRODUCTION

A.Relevant Procedural History

Plaintiff, acting pro se, filed this civil action on February 1, 2010. At the time of the filing of the complaint, Plaintiff was an inmate incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Smithfield in Marienville, Pennsylvania ("SCI-Smithfield"). The Defendants remaining in this case are: Nancy Giroux, John Hall, Tammy Young, John Tiller, and Carla Webb (hereinafter collectively referred to as "DOC Defendants"), and Mark Baker and Daniel Telega (hereinafter collectively referred to as "Medical Defendants"). All parties have consented to the jurisdiction of the United States Magistrate Judge. [ECF Nos. 6, 18, 26].

On June 18, 2012, the DOC Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. [ECF No. 72]. The Medical Defendants filed their own motion for summary judgment on June 22, 2012 [ECF No. 75]. Pursuant to this Court's scheduling Order dated May 18, 2012, Plaintiff's response to each of these motions was due by August 3, 2012. [ECF No. 71]. In addition, pursuant to the same scheduling Order, Plaintiff's pretrial statement was due to be filed by August 10, 2012. Plaintiff has failed to comply with either of these deadlines. As a result, this Court entered a show cause Order dated August 24, 2012, requiring Plaintiff to file responses to Defendants' motions for summary judgment, as well as his pretrial statement, by September 24, 2012, or suffer dismissal of this case for failure to prosecute. Despite being given ample time to comply with this Order, Plaintiff has failed to do so. In addition, the DOC Defendants' counsel has informed the Court that he has been unable to correspond with Plaintiff at the last known address provided to the Court.

B.Discussion

1.Poulis Analysis

Under Rule 41(b), a district court may dismiss an action sua sponte due to a plaintiff's failure to prosecute the case. See Lopez v. Cousins, 2011 WL 2489897, at *1 (3d Cir. June 23, 2011). In order for a court to determine whether dismissal of a case is appropriate, the Third Circuit has set out a six-factor balancing test which requires consideration of: 1) the extent of the party's personal responsibility; 2) the prejudice to the adversary caused by the failure to meet scheduling orders and respond to discovery; 3) a history of dilatoriness; 4) whether the conduct of the party or attorney was willful or in bad faith; 5) the effectiveness of sanctions other than dismissal, which entails an analysis of alternative sanctions; and 6) the meritoriousness of the claim or defense. Poulis v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., 747 F.2d 863, 868 (3d Cir. 1984). There is no "magic formula" for balancing the so-called Poulis factors, and not all of the six factors need to be satisfied in order to warrant dismissal. See Karpiel v. Ogg, Cordes, Murphy & Ignelzi, L.L.P., 405 Fed.Appx 592, 595 (3d Cir. 2010), citing Mindek v. Rigatti, 964 F.2d 1369, 1373 (3d Cir. 1992) and Ware v. Rodale Press, Inc., 322 F.3d 218, 221 (3d Cir. 2003). Applying the Poulis factors to the present matter, this Court recommends the dismissal of this matter.

a.Extent of Personal Responsibility

This first Poulis fact weighs heavily in favor of dismissal. During the pendency of any litigation, the parties are under a continuing obligation to keep the Court informed of their address. In a case filed pro se, this is solely the obligation of the plaintiff and Plaintiff was advised of this obligation by way of the Pro Se Instructions from the Clerk of Courts. Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and therefore bears full responsibility for any failure in the prosecution of his claims. See Briscoe v. Klaus, 538 F.3d 252, 258-59 (3d Cir. 2008) (a pro se plaintiff is personally responsible for the progress of his case and compliance with a court's orders.).

b. Prejudice to the Adversary

Plaintiff's continuing failure to inform this Court or his adversaries of his current address makes it impossible to determine his interest in pursuing this action, nor can this matter proceed. The inability to proceed in the normal course requires this Court to find that ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.