On 2/10 Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald dismissed Meehan’s case against three women who made accusations last summer.
According to court documents obtained by HeelByNature.com, the judge stated Meehan “has not adequately responded to the OSC. It is well-established that a district court has authority to dismiss a plaintiff’s action due to her failure to prosecute and/or to comply with court orders”
The order specifies attorneys for all parties were not present during the ruling.
ORDER DISMISSING ACTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE
On September 24, 2020, Plaintiff Joseph R. Meehan commenced this action against Defendants [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED]. (Complaint (Docket No. 1)). Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m), Plaintiff must have served the Complaint by December 23, 2020.
On December 7, 2020, the Court issued an Order directing Plaintiff to show cause (“OSC”), by no later than December 23, 2020, why the action should not be dismissed for lack of prosecution. (Docket No. 12). On December 8, 2020, Plaintiff filed an Application for an Extension of Time to Serve Defendants; on December 9, 2020, the Court granted Plaintiff’s request and extended the deadline to respond to February 5, 2021. (Docket Nos. 13 and 14).
On January 5, 2021, Plaintiff filed a Proof of Service (“POS”) of the Summons and Complaint on Defendant [REDACTED]. (Docket No. 15). The POS notes that Defendant [REDACTED] was served by substituted service and mail on October 16, 2020. Defendant [REDACTED] response to the Complaint was therefore due no later than November 16, 2020. The OSC required not only the POS, but also either Defendant’s response to the Complaint or Plaintiff’s Application for the Clerk to Enter Default. Plaintiff has not adequately responded to the OSC. It is well-established that a district court has authority to dismiss a plaintiff’s action due to her failure to prosecute and/or to comply with court orders.
Before ordering dismissal, the Court must consider five factors: (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 Defendant; (4) the public policy favoring the disposition of cases on their merits; and (5) the availability of less drastic sanctions. See In re Eisen, 31 F.3d 1447, 1451 (9th Cir. 1994) (failure to prosecute); Ferdik, 963 F.2d at 1260–61 (failure to comply with court orders). Taking all of these factors into account, dismissal for lack of prosecution is warranted.
Accordingly, the action is DISMISSED without prejudice.
Due to the judge dismissing the case “without prejudice”, Meehan has the option to re-file as long as the statute of limitations hasn’t run out
Last month, Meehan won a default judgement against a woman who failed to respond to a complaint. The defendant in this has the option to file a motion to have the default set aside, which will allow her another chance to move forward with the case. She would need to to provide a valid reason to why a response was not provided in a timely fashion.