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Parks v. Argueta

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

January 18, 2017

DARRELL PARKS, Plaintiff,
v.
S. ARGUETA, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM

          SYLVIA H. RAMBO United States District Judge

         Before the court is a Report and Recommendation (Doc. 39) filed by the Magistrate Judge in which she recommends that Plaintiff Parks' action be dismissed for failure to prosecute, or alternatively, that remaining Defendants' motion to dismiss and for summary judgment be granted based on the merits. The Report and Recommendation was filed on December 5, 2016, and objections were due on December 19, 2016. As of the date of this memorandum and accompanying order, objections have not been filed.

         I. Background

         At the time Plaintiff filed this complaint, he was an inmate at the United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania (“USP Lewisburg”). Plaintiff named forty-two USP Lewisburg officials as defendants in their individual and official capacities. (Doc. 1.) After initial screening of the complaint, a report and recommendation was filed recommending that Plaintiff's claim for injunctive relief be dismissed, as well as his claim against ten Defendants. (Doc. 9.) This report and recommendation was adopted. (Doc. 14.) Plaintiff's remaining claims against thirty-two Defendants consist of retaliation, sexual harassment, assault and battery, cruel and unusual punishment, excessive force, and inadequate medical care/deliberate indifference. (See Doc. 1.)

         II. Discussion

         The Magistrate Judge recommends that Defendants' motion to dismiss and for summary judgment be granted on the basis that Plaintiff failed to timely oppose the motion after being granted three extensions of time in which to do so. (Doc. 39, pp. 1-2.) Said failure is in violation of Middle District Local Rule 7.6. Plaintiff was aware of his obligation pursuant to the court's Standing Practice Order. (Doc. 5, p. 2.) While this court believes that the facts of this case would support a dismissal under Local Rule 7.6, both the Magistrate Judge and this court believe that, in abundance of caution, the action will be dismissed after an analysis of the factors set forth in Poulis v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., 747 F.2d 863, 868 (3d Cir. 1984).

         The court must balance the following factors under Poulis in determining whether to dismiss a case:

(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 the 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, 747 F.2d at 868. The Magistrate Judge thoroughly addressed each of these factors. (Doc. 39, pp. 10-29.)

         A. Party's personal responsibility

         Plaintiff filed this action pro se and is therefore responsible for prosecuting this action. (Id. at 10.) He has been responsible for the requirement to file an opposition brief and has failed to do so even though he was provided three extensions of time. (Id.) This factor favors Defendants.

         B. Prejudice to the adversary

         In this case, the thirty-two Defendants are faced with excessive and possible irremedial burdens or costs due to Plaintiffs delay in resolving the issues in this matter. (Id. at 11.) Thus, this factor favors defendants.

         C. History ...


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