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.

In re Alloui

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

October 8, 2019

IN RE AMOR ALLOUI, Appellant.

         Sua Sponte Dismissal of Appellant's Bankruptcy Appeal

          OPINION

          JOSEPH F. LEESON, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND

         Amor Alloui, proceeding pro se, commenced this appeal from an Order of the Bankruptcy Court by filing a Certificate of Appeal with this Court on June 13, 2019. See Cert. of App., ECF No. 1. Alloui appeals from an Order dated May 30, 2019, granting relief from the automatic stay to a mortgagee.[1] Id. The underlying record from the Bankruptcy Court was docketed on July 15, 2019. See ECF No. 3. On the same day, this Court directed that (1) Alloui file his moving brief within 30 days, (2) Appellee file its brief within 30 days thereafter, and (3) Alloui file his reply brief 14 days after service of the opposition brief. See ECF No. 4. On August 21, 2019, having yet to receive Alloui's brief, the Court issued an Order directing that if Alloui did not file his brief within 30 days, the appeal would be dismissed for failure to prosecute. See ECF No. 5. On September 19, 2019, the bankruptcy proceeding was dismissed and closed. See Bankruptcy Docket, ECF No. 55.

         To date, Alloui has not filed his appellate brief; indeed, the docket has recorded no activity from Alloui with respect to his brief. Therefore, in accordance with applicable law as set forth below, Alloui's appeal is dismissed, with prejudice, for his failure to prosecute.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         A district court's authority to sua sponte dismiss a proceeding where a party fails to meet its obligations to prosecute its claims derives from a court's inherent authority to control its own proceedings.[2] This authority “has been expressly recognized in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b).”[3] Link v. Wabash R. Co., 370 U.S. 626, 630 (1962). In the Third Circuit, a district court may dismiss a case for failure to prosecute where the following factors weigh in favor of dismissal:

(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.

Parks v. Ingersoll-Rand Co., 380 Fed.Appx. 190, 194 (3d Cir. 2010) (emphasis in original) (quoting Poulis v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 747 F.2d 863, 868 (3d Cir. 1984)). The framework established by the Poulis factors is applicable to dismissals of bankruptcy appeals for an appellant's failure to prosecute. See In re New Century TRS Holdings, Inc., 619 Fed.Appx. 46, 48 (3d Cir. 2015) (“We review the propriety of the District Court's dismissal of Carr's bankruptcy appeal for abuse discretion through the lens of the Poulis factors.”).

         III. ANALYSIS

         The Court finds that at least four of the six Poulis factors-factors (1), (3), (4), and (6)- weigh in favor of dismissing Alloui's appeal.[4] As to the first factor, Alloui “proceeded pro se, so the responsibility for any failure to prosecute falls on him.” In re Buccolo, 308 Fed.Appx. 574, 575 (3d Cir. 2009). This factor therefore weighs in favor of dismissal. Next, the only two directives this Court has given Alloui have been effectively disregarded, indicating to the Court a history of dilatoriness. See Bembry-Muhammad v. Greenberg, No. CV 15-8829, 2016 WL 4744139, at *2 (D.N.J. Sept. 12, 2016) (“[B]y missing all of the deadlines imposed by this Court, the Appellant has shown a history of dilatoriness.”). As such, the third factor weighs in favor of dismissal. The same circumstances also leave the Court unable to draw any conclusion other than that Alloui's failure to file his appellate brief was willful, and the fourth factor is satisfied in favor of dismissal. See id.

         Finally, the Court considers whether the appeal has merit-the sixth Poulis factor. The May 30, 2019 Order which Alloui appeals modified a prior Order granting a mortgagee relief from the automatic stay such that the mortgagee could proceed with foreclosure. Although it limited the scope of relief from the automatic stay, the modified Order still permitted the lifting of the stay to allow foreclosure to proceed, thus prompting the appeal. The Court assumes the 30, 2019 Order is “final” rather than interlocutory. See Matter of W. Elecs. Inc., 852 F.2d 79, 81 (3d Cir. 1988). However, even making this assumption, Alloui's appeal lacks any merit: because the underlying Chapter 13 proceeding has been dismissed, the issue of the automatic stay-the basis for Alloui's appeal-is moot.

         “In the bankruptcy context, the determination of whether a case becomes moot on the dismissal of the bankruptcy hinges on the question of how closely the issue in the case is connected to the underlying bankruptcy.” Denby-Peterson v. Nu2u Auto World, 595 B.R. 184, 188 (D.N.J. 2018). It is therefore not necessarily the case that dismissal of the underlying proceeding will moot an issue on appeal. However, in Tellewoyan v. Wells Fargo Home Mortg., No. 05-27045, 2006 WL 2331108, at *1 (D.N.J. Aug. 10, 2006), the District Court dismissed a bankruptcy appeal under facts identical to those here. In that case, appellant appealed the Bankruptcy Court's Order denying his motion to reinstate the automatic stay after it had been lifted for a mortgagee to proceed with foreclosure. After filing, however, he did nothing to prosecute his appeal. The underlying bankruptcy proceeding was then dismissed. In sua sponte fashion, the District Court dismissed the appeal on grounds of mootness, observing that “the automatic stay is intimately connected to the bankruptcy case that was dismissed and is entirely dependent on the existence of a bankruptcy proceeding. Therefore . . . the dismissal of the underlying bankruptcy case has rendered [the] appeal moot.” Id. at 2. For essentially the same reason, Alloui's appeal is now moot, and, consequently, the sixth Poulis factor weighs in favor of dismissal.[5]

         IV. ...


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.