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Lee v. Coombs

United States District Court, D. Utah

February 19, 2019

ARTHUR RANDALL LEE, Plaintiff,
v.
JOSEPH COOMBS et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION & DISMISSAL ORDER

          TED STEWART UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.

         BACKGROUND

         • May 1, 2017 Plaintiff filed prisoner civil-rights complaint, asserting federal civil rights violated in 2014. (Doc. No. 5.)

         • November 1, 2017 Court dismissed Defendant Utah Department of Corrections and ordered service of process on remaining defendants. Defendants were ordered to file in sequence an answer, a Martinez report, and a dispositive motion. (Doc. No. 13.) Order further stated, “If served with a summary-judgment motion . . ., Plaintiff must submit a response within 30 days of the motion's filing date.” (Id. (emphasis added).)

         • February 16, 2018 Defendants filed answer. (Doc. No. 27.)

         • April 11, 2018 Plaintiff moved for time extension for response to answer. (Doc. No. 36.)He states, “If for any reason plaintiff cannot obtain counsel by June 10, 2018 he will be prepared to respond to defendant[s], point for point.” (Id.)

         • May 7, 2018 Court denied motion for time extension, noting, “There is no procedural rule allowing a response to answers.” (Doc. No. 37.)

         • May 17, 2018 Defendants filed Martinez report. (Doc. No. 40.)

         • June 18, 2018 Defendants filed Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. No. 42.)

         • June 21, 2018 Defendants filed notice of change of address for Plaintiff. (Doc. No. 44.)

         • December 21, 2018 Court ordered Plaintiff to within thirty days show cause why action should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute and file response. (Doc. No. 46.)

         The Court has not heard from Plaintiff since April 11, 2018 (over ten months ago).

         ANALYSIS

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) allows involuntary dismissal of an action “[i]f the plaintiff fails to prosecute or to comply with . . . a court order.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b). The Court may dismiss actions sua sponte for failure to prosecute. Olsen v. Mapes, 333 F.3d 1199, 1204 n.3 (10th Cir. 2003) (stating, though Rule 41(b) requires defendant file motion to dismiss, Rule has long been construed to let courts dismiss actions sua sponte when plaintiff fails to prosecute or comply with orders); see also Link v. Wabash R.R. Co., 370 U.S. 626, 630 (stating court has inherent authority to clear “calendar[] of cases that have remained dormant because of the inaction or dilatoriness of the parties seeking relief”); Bills v. United States, 857 F.2d 1404, ...


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