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Thomas v. French

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Lafayette Division.

December 18, 2014

JESSICA ELIZABETH THOMAS, Plaintiff,
v.
RYAN C. FRENCH, K9 Officer Lafayette Police Department Badge 334, Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

ANDREW P. RODOVICH, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the court sua sponte. For the following reasons, IT IS RECOMMENDED that this matter be DISMISSED.

Background

The plaintiff, Jessica Elizabeth Thomas, initiated this matter pro se on December 17, 2012. On October 9, 2014, this court issued a Notice of Pretrial Conference [DE 34] for a Rule 16 preliminary pretrial conference. Within the order, the court set a pretrial conference for November 14, 2014 and ordered the parties to submit a proposed discovery plan under Rule 26(f) at least five business days before the pretrial conference. Additionally, the notice indicated that the court may impose sanctions in accordance with Rule 16(f) if the parties failed to timely file their report and proposed discovery plan.

On November 4, 2014, the defendant, Ryan C. French, filed his Report of Planning Meeting [DE 36] in accordance with Rule 26(f) and this court's order. In his Report of Planning Meeting, French indicated that he attempted to confer with Thomas as required by this court's order and Rule 26(f) by mailing her a draft of the report of planning meeting on October 9, 2014. The draft asked Thomas to sign and return it or to contact French's counsel to discuss revisions. However, Thomas failed to respond to French.

Thomas failed to file a discovery plan before the pretrial conference as required by this court's order and Rule 26(f). Additionally, Thomas failed to appear for the pretrial conference on November 14, 2014. The court then issued an Order to Show Cause [DE 38] on November 14, 2014 that required Thomas to file a written response by December 1, 2014 indicating why she should not be held in contempt and sanctioned for her failure to appear at the pretrial conference. Thomas failed to respond to the Order to Show Cause.

Discussion

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(f) provides that "[o]n motion or on its own, the court may issue any just orders, including those authorized by Rule 37(b)(2)(A)(ii)-(vii), if a party or its attorney: (A) fails to appear at a scheduling or other pretrial conference...." Rule 37 authorizes the following sanctions:

(i) directing that the matters embraced in the order or other designated facts be taken as established for purposes of the action, as the prevailing party claims;
(ii) prohibiting the disobedient party from supporting or opposing designated claims or defenses, or from introducing designated matters in evidence;
(iii) striking pleadings in whole or in part;
(iv) staying further proceedings until the order is obeyed;
(v) dismissing the action or proceeding in whole or in part;
(vi) rendering a default judgment against the ...

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