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Grigsby v. Barksdale Federal Credit Union

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division

December 6, 2018

MARK GRIGSBY, ET AL
v.
BARKSDALE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION, ET AL

          MARK L. HORNSBY JUDGE.

          RULING

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Pending before the Court are Objections [Doc. Nos. 28 and 30] to the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge [Doc. No. 27].

         This is a civil rights action. On August 24, 2018, the Magistrate Judge issued a Memorandum Order allowing Patricia A. Gilley to withdraw as counsel of record for Plaintiffs Mark and Darita Grigsby (“Plaintiffs”) [Doc. No. 19]. In the Memorandum Order, the Magistrate Judge advised Plaintiffs that they were strongly encouraged to retain new counsel and granted them until September 24, 2018, to either (1) enroll new counsel to represent them in this case or (2) file with the Court a written statement that they intend to represent themselves [Doc. No. 19, p.1]. Plaintiffs were also warned that failure to take one of those steps by September 24, 2018, may result in their case being dismissed, without further notice, for failure to prosecute. Id.

         Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Stay on August 24, 2018, alleging that they needed time to secure new counsel and were waiting for results of a pending investigation by HUD [Doc. No. 20]. The Magistrate Judge denied the motion, noting that Plaintiffs had withdrawn their HUD complaint, but extended Plaintiffs' deadline to comply with her previous order until October 5, 2018 [Doc. No. 24]. Plaintiffs then requested another extension of time to enroll counsel [Doc. No. 25]. The Magistrate Judge granted the motion and extended the deadline to October 31, 2018 [Doc. No. 26]. That deadline passed with Plaintiffs taking no action of record.

         On November 6, 2018, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation sua sponte recommending that this civil action be dismissed without prejudice for failure of Plaintiffs to prosecute. [Doc. No. 27].

         Plaintiffs did not file an objection.

         On November 20, 2018, Defendants and Plaintiffs-in-Counterclaim Lake Pointe Homeowners Association, Inc., James Ronald Clements, Cindy Clements and Seth Winterer (hereinafter referred to as “the HOA Defendants”) filed an objection to that part of the Report and Recommendation that recommends the dismissal of the Plaintiffs' claims without prejudice [Doc. No. 28]. The HOA Defendants request that the order to be entered dismissing Plaintiffs' claims either be with prejudice or recognize that the HOA Defendants' counterclaims against Plaintiffs remain pending. If the dismissal is with prejducie, then the HOA Defendants have no objection to their counterclaims being dismissed without prejudice so that this civil action is disposed of in its entirety.

         Also on November 20, 2018, Defendants and Plaintiffs-in-Counterclaim Teresa Hall, Patrick Gullatt, and Barksdale Federal Credit Union (hereinafter referred to as “the Barksdale Defendants”) filed an objection to that part of the Report and Recommendation that recommends the dismissal of the Plaintiffs' claims without prejudice [Doc. No. 30]. The Barksdale Defendants likewise request that the order to be entered dismissing Plaintiffs' claims either be with prejudice or recognize that the Barksdale Defendants' counterclaims against Plaintiffs remain pending. If the dismissal is with prejudice, then the Barksdale Defendants have no objection to their counterclaims being dismissed, even with prejudice.

         The deadline for any party to file a response to the objections of another party was December 4, 2018, which has passed with no party, including Plaintiffs, filing a response. The matter is ripe.

         “A district court may dismiss an action for failure of a plaintiff to prosecute or to comply with any order of court.” McCullough v. Lynaugh, 835 F.2d 1126, 1127 (5th Cir. 1988), citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b). “The court possesses the inherent authority to dismiss the action sua sponte, without motion by a defendant.” Id., citing Link v. Wabash Railroad, 82 S.Ct. 1386, 1388-90 (1962). Dismissal for such failures may be ordered “with or without notice to the parties.” Rogers v. Kroger Company, 669 F.2d 317, 319-20 (5th Cir.1982).

         Rule 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure reads:

(b) Involuntary Dismissal; Effect. If the plaintiff fails to prosecute or to comply with these rules or a court order, a defendant may move to dismiss the action or any claim against it. Unless the dismissal order states otherwise, a dismissal under this subdivision (b) and any dismissal not under this rule-except one for lack of jurisdiction, improper venue, ...

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