United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
LONNIE E. THOMAS, Plaintiff,
CITY OF COLUMBUS, et al., Defendants.
KIMBERLY A. JOLSON MAGISTRATE JUDGE
OPINION AND ORDER
A. SARGUS, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
January 25 and 29, 2018, the Court issued orders directing
Plaintiff Lonnie E. Thomas to show cause why his case should
not be dismissed for failure to prosecute. Because Plaintiff
has failed to prosecute his case-and failed to show good
cause why his case should not be dismissed for that lack of
prosecution-the Court DISMISSES Plaintiffs
case with prejudice.
filed this case on June 30, 2015. (Compl. at 1 [ECF No. 1].)
In January 2017, a year and a half into the case, Plaintiff
discharged his attorney. (See Order Granting Mot. to
Withdraw at 1 [ECF No. 75].) The Court granted Plaintiffs
counsel leave to withdraw and, soon after, issued an order
scheduling the settlement conference for October 23, 2017,
and the trial for December 4, 2017. (Order Setting Trial Date
at 1 [ECF No. 77].)
represented to the Court that he wanted to find new counsel.
(See Mot. for Extension at 1 [ECF No. 78].) But as
of October 11, 2017, no new counsel had made an appearance
for Plaintiff. (Order Directing Resp. at 1 [ECF No. 81].)
Because the settlement conference was only two weeks away and
the other pretrial deadlines were quickly approaching, the
Court ordered Plaintiff to inform it within seven days
whether he was going to retain new counsel for trial.
did not inform the Court within seven days whether he was
going to retain new counsel. (Jan. 25, 2018 Order at 1 [ECF
No. 91].) Instead, Plaintiff informed the Court at the
settlement conference that he had not obtained new counsel
but was still interested in finding representation.
(Id.) To accommodate Plaintiff, the Court issued an
amended scheduling order resetting the trial from December 4,
2017, to February 5, 2018. (See Am. Order Setting
Trial Date at 1 [ECF No. 84].) The Court informed Plaintiff
that the new trial date was firm and would not be changed
because of Plaintiff s inability to find representation.
(Jan. 25, 2018 Order at 1.)
the settlement conference, Plaintiff did not communicate with
the Court or comply with any of the pretrial deadlines
contained in the amended scheduling order. (Jan. 25, 2018
Order at 2.) To determine whether Plaintiff still intended to
take his case to trial, the Court scheduled a telephonic
status conference for January 25, 2018. (Notice at 1 [ECF No.
89].) The Court notified Plaintiff of the status conference
by email and regular mail. (Jan. 25, 2018 Order at 2.) In its
email, the Court directed Plaintiff to indicate in advance of
the call whether he intended to try his case and, if so,
whether he would use counsel or proceed pro se. Plaintiff did
not join the conference call. (Id.) Nor did he
comply with the Court's email instruction or communicate
with the Court regarding his absence from the call. (See
on January 25, the Court ordered Plaintiff to show cause
within five business days why his case should not be
dismissed for failure to prosecute. (Jan. 25, 2018 Order at
2.) Plaintiffs failure to respond would result in the case
being dismissed with prejudice, the Court warned.
responded within a day to the January 25 Order. (PL's
Resp. at 1 [ECF No. 92].) He indicated that he was attempting
to find representation but had been unsuccessful so far.
(Id.) And he requested that the Court stay the case
for one year so he could find a lawyer willing to represent
responded to Plaintiffs filing and urged the Court to deny
the request for a one-year stay. (Defs/ Resp. at 4 [ECF No.
93].) Instead of staying the case, the Court should dismiss
it with prejudice, Defendants argued. (Id.)
January 29, the Court denied Plaintiffs request for a stay
and explained that Plaintiffs response had not shown good
cause to avoid dismissal. (Jan. 29, 2018 Order at 1 [ECF No.
94].) The Court reminded Plaintiff that when it amended the
scheduling order and reset the trial date, the Court had
emphasized that the new trial date was firm and would not be
changed because of his inability to find representation.
(Id.) The Court had informed Plaintiff that he had
two options: (1) try his case on February 5, with or without
counsel, or (2) dismiss his case. (Id.) Even though
Plaintiff had not shown good cause in his response, the Court
gave Plaintiff one more opportunity to save his case. In its
January 29 Order, the Court directed Plaintiff to show cause
within seven days why his case should not be dismissed for
failure to prosecute. (Jan. 29, 2018 Order at 2.) The Court
again warned Plaintiff that his failure to show good cause
would result in his case being dismissed with prejudice.
than seven days have now passed, and Plaintiff has still not