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Adams v. City of New York

United States District Court, S.D. New York

March 2, 2018

TYRONE ADAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF NEW YORK, POLICE OFFICER MATEUSZ SAJDUK, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          GREGORY H. WOODS, DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Tyrone Adams, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, initiated this action on February 27, 2017, bringing various claims against Defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Dkt. No. 2. For the reasons stated below, this action is DISMISSED for failure to prosecute and for failure to comply with the Court's orders.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Mr. Adams was incarcerated when he initiated this action.

         On April 18, 2017, following an initial pretrial conference, the Court entered a case management plan and scheduling order pursuant to Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure setting forth the applicable discovery deadlines in this matter. Dkt. No. 11. Pursuant to that order, all discovery was to be completed no later than September 29, 2017. Id. The Court also scheduled a post-discovery status conference for October 11, 2017. Id.

         At some point after the initial pretrial conference, Mr. Adams was released from custody. He did not, however, update his address on the docket of this case or otherwise notify the Court of his release and updated contact information.

         In a letter dated September 20, 2017, Defendants informed the Court that they had served discovery requests on Mr. Adams on four separate occasions, but that due to Mr. Adams' failure to update his address on the docket, Mr. Adams had not received, and therefore had not responded to, Defendants' discovery requests. Dkt. No. 20. Defendants indicated that they had contacted Mr. Adams by telephone, obtained his correct address, and sent another set of the discovery requests to Mr. Adams' correct address. Id. Defendants requested an extension of the discovery deadline to allow Mr. Adams to respond. Id.

         The Court held a conference on September 26, 2017 to address Defendants' request. During that conference, Mr. Adams appeared and represented to the Court that he had begun to respond to interrogatories and was “almost done.” The Court granted Defendants' request and extended the discovery deadline to December 29, 2017. Dkt. No. 23. The Court also adjourned the post-discovery status conference to January 11, 2018. Id. During the September 26, 2017 conference, the Court warned Mr. Adams that if he failed to timely respond to discovery requests, the Court could impose sanctions, including the dismissal of his lawsuit.

         On November 20, 2017, Defendants filed a letter stating that they had not received Mr. Adams' discovery responses. Dkt. No. 25. Defendants sought an order compelling those responses. Id. On November 21, 2017, the Court issued an order scheduling a conference on Defendants' motion to compel for November 29, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. Dkt. No. 26. By that date, Mr. Adams had updated his address on the docket. The scheduling order was mailed to Mr. Adams' updated address by certified mail and by regular, first-class mail on November 21, 2018. Mr. Adams failed to appear for the November 29, 2017 conference. He also failed to request an adjournment or to otherwise contact the Court in advance of the conference.

         On November 30, 2017, the Court issued an order adjourning the November 29, 2018 conference to December 12, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. Dkt. No. 27. In that order, the Court reminded Mr. Adams that his failure to comply with court orders, including his failure to appear at the December 12, 2017 conference without requesting and receiving an adjournment from the Court, could result in a variety of sanctions, including dismissal of this action for failure to prosecute. Id.

         Mr. Adams appeared for the December 12, 2017 conference. During that conference, the Court directed Mr. Adams to respond to Defendants' requests for production of documents and interrogatories no later than December 19, 2017. Dkt. No. 30. The Court also extended the deadline for completion of discovery to February 19, 2018 and adjourned the post-discovery status conference to March 5, 2018. Id. In the Court's order following that conference, the Court again reminded Mr. Adams that failure to comply with a court order, including failure to comply with discovery deadlines or to appear at the March 5th status conference, could result in the dismissal of this case for failure to prosecute. Id. A copy of the Court's order was mailed to Mr. Adams by certified mail and by regular, first-class mail on December 13, 2017.

         On February 13, 2018, Defendants filed a letter requesting a pre-motion conference in connection with their anticipated motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute. Dkt. No. 31. In that letter, Defendants explained that Mr. Adams failed to respond to discovery requests by the December 19, 2017 deadline and had not responded to their subsequent demand for Mr. Adams' discovery responses. Id. On February 13, 2018, the Court issued an order granting Defendants' request for a conference and scheduling that conference for February 22, 2018. Dkt. No. 32. That order was mailed to Mr. Adams by certified mail and by regular, first-class mail the day after the order was issued. The order again included a warning to Mr. Adams that his failure to comply with a court order, including his failure to attend the February 22, 2018 conference without requesting and receiving an adjournment, could result in the dismissal of his case. Id.

         Despite the Court's warning, Mr. Adams did not appear for the February 22, 2018 conference and did not request an adjournment of the conference. Accordingly, the Court issued an order to show cause why this case should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute and scheduled a hearing for March 1, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. Dkt. No. 33. A copy of that order was mailed to Mr. Adams by certified mail and by regular, first-class mail on February 23, 2018. Once again, the Court reminded Mr. Adams in that order that if he failed to comply with a court order, including his failure to appear for the show cause hearing on March 1st, that he faced possible sanctions, including the dismissal of this case. Id.

         On March 1, 2018, without having requested an adjournment, Mr. Adams failed to ...


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