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Jason Cieniawa v. Dr. Dentist David White

November 30, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Conner


On November 2, 2009, plaintiff Jason Cieniawa ("plaintiff" or "Cieniawa"), a state inmate formerly incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Camp Hill (SCI-Camp Hill), Pennsylvania, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against various employees at SCI-Camp Hill. Presently pending is Cieniawa's "Motion to Close Case." (Doc. 125.) This filing will be construed as a motion to voluntarily dismiss this action pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(2). The motion will be granted and, for the reasons that follow, the dismissal will be with prejudice.

I. Background

The complaint in this action was filed more than three years ago against various employees at SCI-Camp Hill. The Court issued a memorandum and order on July 13, 2010, addressing defendants' motion to dismiss and plaintiff's motions to amend and for pre-trial discovery. (Doc. 39.) Some of the claims and defendants were dismissed, plaintiff's motions to substitute parties and for pre-trial discovery were granted, and a pre-trial schedule was set. (Id. at 15.) Discovery was to be completed by November 15, 2010, and dispositive motions were to be filed on or before December 15, 2010. (Id.) Following the issuance of this Order, Cieniawa moved to amend his complaint. The motion was granted and he was afforded until August 20, 2010, to file an amended complaint. (Doc. 42.) However, prior to filing the amended complaint, he appealed the July 13, 2010 memorandum and order to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. (Doc. 47.) The matter was subsequently stayed pending resolution of the appeal. (Doc. 56.) The appeal was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction on August 24, 2011. (Doc. 58.) On return from the Third Circuit, the stay was lifted and Cieniawa was again afforded the opportunity to amend his complaint. (Doc. 61.) He filed an amended complaint (Doc. 64) on October 5, 2011, which defendants moved to dismiss. (Doc. 71.) Shortly thereafter, he moved to withdraw the amended complaint. (Doc. 76.) On November 30, 2011, the motion to withdraw was granted, defendants' motion to dismiss was rendered moot and a pretrial schedule was set with regard to the remaining claims contained in the original complaint. (Doc. 81.) All discovery was to be completed by March 21, 2012, and dispositive motions were to be filed by April 4, 2012. (Doc. 81.) The parties actively pursued discovery. On May 7, 2012, the dispositive motion deadline was extended to June 1, 2012. (Doc. 106). Although the deadline was extended again, an amended scheduling order was not issued because Cieinawa filed an interlocutory appeal challenging the Order granting defendants' motion to conduct his deposition. (Docs. 115, 120-123.)

During the pendency of the appeal, he filed a "motion to close case." (Doc. 125.) On October 24, 2012, the appeal was dismissed for failure to timely prosecute. (Doc. 126.) On November 5, 2012, an order was issued directing plaintiff to notify the court on or before November 16, 2012, of whether he intended to proceed with the prosecution of this matter. (Doc. 127.) He filed a "Notice to Court to Close Case" on November 13, 2012. (Doc. 128). He states that defendants have obstructed his ability to obtain declaratory statements and other discoverable evidence, that this Court has ignored his claims of assaults and abuse and ruled "biasly and prejudicely [sic] against near every motion/issue plaintiff presented," that he has had threats on his life and well-being and was physically assaulted, and that his legal materials have been seized and placed in the trash by co-workers of the defendants. (Doc. 128.) He states that he "is forced to involuntary [sic] close this case. . ." (Id.)

II. Discussion

As noted supra, Cieniawa's "Motion to Close Case" (Doc. 125) will be construed as a request for voluntary dismissal of this action. Rule 41 which addresses the dismissal of actions provides as follows:

(a) Voluntary Dismissal.

(1) By the Plaintiff.

(A) Without a Court Order. Subject to Rules 23(e), 23.1(c),

23.2, and 66 and any applicable federal statute, the plaintiff may dismiss an action without court order by filing:

(i) a notice of dismissal before the opposing party serves either an answer or a motion for summary judgment; or

(ii) a stipulation of dismissal signed by all parties who have appeared.

(B) Effect. Unless the notice or stipulation states otherwise, the dismissal is without prejudice. But if the plaintiff previously dismissed any federal- or state-court action based on or including the same claim, a ...

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