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Legg v. McCarter

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

December 20, 2017

PAUL BRADLEY LEGG, Plaintiff,
v.
RICKY McCARTER, ET AL., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING CASE

          Derrick K. Watson United States District Judge.

         On October 11, 2017, Plaintiff Paul Bradley Legg, proceeding pro se, filed several documents, which the Court liberally construed as a Complaint, alleging fraud and numerous other grievances against several individuals and entities due to the “seizure” of certain real property. See Compl., Dkt. No. 1-1. On November 6, 2017, Legg filed an Application to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP Application”).[1]In a November 13, 2017 Order, the Court granted Legg's IFP Application and dismissed the Complaint, but granted Legg limited leave to file an amended complaint by no later than December 15, 2017. Dkt. No. 6 (11/13/17 Order). Legg has yet to file an amended complaint or request additional time in which to do so, or to otherwise respond coherently to the Court's November 13, 2017 Order.[2]As a result, this action is dismissed without prejudice.

         Courts have the authority to dismiss actions for failure to prosecute or for failure to comply with court orders. See Link v. Wabash R.R. Co., 370 U.S. 626, 629-31 (1962) (“The power to invoke this sanction is necessary in order to prevent undue delays in the disposition of pending cases and to avoid congestion in the calendars of the District Courts.”). More specifically, the Court has discretion to dismiss a plaintiff's action for failure to comply with an order requiring him to file an amended pleading within a specified time period. Pagtalunan v. Galaza, 291 F.3d 639, 640 (9th Cir. 2002). Before dismissing an action for failure to prosecute, the Court must weigh: “(1) the public's interest in expeditious resolution of litigation; (2) the court's need to manage its docket; (3) the risk of prejudice to defendants/respondents; (4) the availability of less drastic alternatives; and (5) the public policy favoring disposition of cases on their merits.” Id. at 642 (citing Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1260-61 (9th Cir. 1992)). Upon careful consideration of these factors, the Court concludes that dismissal without prejudice is warranted under the circumstances.

         The Court's November 13, 2017 Order was clear:

[B]ecause because Legg fails to state a claim, several defendants are immune from suit, and the Court is without subject matter jurisdiction, the Court DISMISSES the Complaint and GRANTS Legg limited leave to file an amended complaint in accordance with the terms of this order by December 15, 2017.
****
Because Legg fails to state a plausible claim for relief, the Complaint is dismissed. Because amendment may be possible, dismissal is with leave to amend, as further described below.
****
The dismissal of the Complaint is without prejudice, and Legg is granted leave to amend to attempt to cure the deficiencies identified above. . . . Failure to file an amended complaint by December 15, 2017 will result in the automatic dismissal of this action without prejudice.
Based upon the foregoing, the Complaint is DISMISSED with leave to amend (Dkt. No. 1), the IFP Application is GRANTED (Dkt. No. 4), and both the Motion for Leave to Amend and the Motion for Service are DENIED as moot (Dkt. No. 5).
Legg is granted limited leave to file an amended complaint in accordance with the terms of this order by December 15, 2017. The Court CAUTIONS Legg that failure to file an amended complaint by December 15, 2017 will result in the automatic dismissal of this action without prejudice.

11/13/17 Order at 1-2, 12, 16-18.

         Legg's failure to comply with the November 13, 2017 Order hinders the Court's ability to move this case forward and indicates that he does not intend to litigate this action diligently. See Yourish v. California Amplifier, 191 F.3d 983, 990 (9th Cir. 1999) (“The public's interest in expeditious resolution of litigation always favors dismissal.”). This factor favors dismissal.

         The risk of prejudice to a defendant is related to a plaintiff's reason for failure to prosecute an action. See Pagtalunan, 291 F.3d at 642 (citing Yourish, 191 F.3d at 991). Legg offers no excuse or explanation for his failure to file a First Amended Complaint. When a party offers a poor excuse (or, in this case, no excuse) for failing to comply with a court's order, the prejudice to the ...


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