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Pines v. Davis

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

May 10, 2018

ROBIN C. PINES and RAMONCITO RAMOS, Plaintiffs,
v.
SARAH DAVIS, et al., Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JOSEPH A. DICKSON. U.S.M.J.

         This matter comes before the Court on the application of Plaintiff pro se Robin C. Pines to voluntarily dismiss his claims against all Defendants in this case, as raised by Plaintiff Pines at the video conference held on the record on May 9, 2018. In addition, the Court sua sponte raises the issue of Plaintiff Pines's ongoing failure to prosecute his case. After having carefully considered the docket for this matter, and for good cause shown; and

         WHEREAS, on September 8, 2015, Defendants served Plaintiff Pines with their first set of interrogatories and requests for production, (ECF No. 62-1, Defendant's Declaration in Support of Motion to Compel ("Def. Decl.") ¶ 3); and

         WHEREAS, between December 4, 2015, and December 7, 2016, Defendants sent Plaintiff Pines five letters seeking Pines's compliance with Defendants' discovery demands, (Def. Decl. ¶¶ 4-7); and

         WHEREAS, on May 24, 2017, Defendants sent Plaintiff Pines a second set of interrogatories, consisting of one question, and a HIPAA waiver form, (Def. Decl. ¶ 9); and

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff Pines failed to respond to any of Defendants' discovery demands, (Def. Decl. ¶ 9); and

         WHEREAS, on February 8, 2018, the Court granted Defendants' motion to compel discovery, granting Plaintiff Pines 45 additional days to comply with Defendants' outstanding discovery demands (ECF No. 64); and

         WHEREAS, at the video conference held before the Court on May 9, 2018, Defendants represented that Plaintiff Pines had not complied with their original discovery demands or the Court's February 8, 2018 discovery order; and

         WHEREAS, at the May 9, 2018 video conference, Plaintiff Pines represented to the Court that he wished to voluntarily dismiss his claims against all Defendants in this case; and

         WHEREAS, Defendants offered no objection to Plaintiff Pines's voluntary dismissal; and

         WHEREAS, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41, a plaintiff may voluntarily dismiss an action by notice of dismissal before the opposing party files an answer or motion for summary judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(a)(1). A plaintiffs claims may further be dismissed at the plaintiff's request "on terms that the court considers proper." Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(a)(2); and

         WHEREAS Fed R. Civ. P. 41(b) permits a Court to dismiss a Complaint, sua sponte, for failure to prosecute. See, e.g., Parks v. Ingersoll-Rand Co., 380 Fed.Appx. 190, 195-96 (3d Cir. 2010) (noting the Supreme Court held that Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b) allows for sua sponte dismissals in the context of a failure to prosecute); and

         WHEREAS a District Court may dismiss a case for failure to prosecute under Rule 41(b) when, on balance, 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. See Poulis v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. 747 F.2d 863, 868 (3d Cir. 1984); and

         WHEREAS, when a plaintiffs conduct makes it impossible for the Court to resolve a case on its merits, the District Court may dismiss that litigant's claims without conducting a Poulis analysis. See Shipman v. Delaware,381 Fed.Appx. 162, 164 (3d Cir. 2010) ("But when a litigant's conduct makes adjudication of the case ...


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