United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
OPINION AND ORDER
Maureen P. Kelly, Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff Shawn Bender ("Plaintiff), an inmate presently
incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Fayette
("SCI-Fayette"), filed this civil rights action on
April 3, 2017. ECF No. 1. In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges
that Defendants violated his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment
rights in failing to provide appropriate prison housing
accommodations and failing to protect his medical privacy in
connection with severe neurological problems that he suffers.
Court issued a case management order on January 3, 2018,
which scheduled the close of discovery on April 2, 2018, and
required Plaintiff to file his pretrial statement by May 2,
2018. ECF No. 38. At Plaintiffs repeated requests, the Court
extended the case management deadlines five times, granting
Plaintiff more than a year of additional time to pursue
discovery. ECF Nos. 42, 43, 45, 52, 57, 58, 62, 63, 64, 66
the operative Sixth Case Management Order, Plaintiff was
required to file his pretrial statement by June 7, 2019,
which he failed to do. ECF No. 67. On July 8, 2019, this
Court issued an Order to Show Cause directing Plaintiff
"to show cause why this case should not be dismissed for
Plaintiffs failure to file a Pretrial Statement by June 7,
2019, as ordered by the Court in its Order of January 14,
2019, ECF No. 67." ECF No. 70. Plaintiff was directed to
respond on or before July 22, 2019. Id. To date,
Plaintiff has failed to respond or provide any other
indication that he wishes to proceed with this action.
clear that the punitive dismissal of an action for failure to
comply with court orders is left to the discretion of the
court. Mindek v. Rigatti. 964 F.2d 1369, 1373 (3d
Cir. 1992). In determining whether an action should be
dismissed as a sanction against a party the court must
consider six factors. These factors, as set forth in
Poulis v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, 747
F.2d 863, 868 (3d Cir. 1984), are as follows:
(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.
(6) The meritoriousness of the claim or defense.
of these factors indicates that the instant action should be
dismissed. Factors 1, 3, and 4 all relate to Plaintiffs
ongoing failure to comply with this Court's orders so
that the case could proceed, and these factors weigh heavily
against him. Plaintiffs failure to respond to the Court's
orders was not only solely his personal responsibility, but
his failure to do j so appears willful and, in
combination with his numerous requests for extensions of the
discovery period, constitutes a history of dilatoriness.
respect to the second factor, the prejudice to Defendants,
Defendants have incurred time and expense to request an
extension of their motion for summary judgment deadline due,
in part, to Plaintiffs failure to submit a pretrial
statement. ECF No. 68 ¶ 2; see also ECF No. 69
(granting extension of deadline to file motion for summary
judgment "in light of Plaintiff s failure to file his
Pretrial Statement as ordered by 6/7/2019"). In
addition, Defendants have suffered general delay in the
litigation of this case.
sixth factor, the meritoriousness of the claim, will be
weighed neither in favor nor against Plaintiff, as it is too
early in the litigation to assess the merits of Plaintiff s
claims. Nevertheless, "[n]ot all of these factors need
be met for a district court to find dismissal ...