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Anderson v. Delaware State University

United States District Court, D. Delaware

July 30, 2019

TREY ANDERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY, Defendant.

          Trey Anderson, Baltimore, Maryland, Pro Se Plaintiff.

          James Darlington Taylor, Jr., Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          STARK, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE:

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Trey Anderson ("Plaintiff) commenced this action on June 23, 2016. (D, I. 1) The matter proceeds on the claims in the First Amended Complaint against Defendant Delaware State University ("Defendant"). (D.L 9) Defendant moves to dismiss for failure to prosecute or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. (D.I. 34) For the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant the Motion to Dismiss for Failure to Prosecute and will deny as moot the Motion for Summary Judgment.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff was represented by counsel until February 14, 2018. (D.L 26) He now proceeds pro se. The matter proceeds on a breach of contract claim against Defendant as alleged in the First Amended Complaint. (D.I. 9)

         On November 11, 2017, the Court entered a scheduling order setting a status report deadline of March 30, 2018, a discovery deadline of August 31, 2018, and a dispositive motion deadline of October 1, 2018. (D.I. 21) On February 28, 2019, Defendant served written discovery on Plaintiff. (D.I. 27 and 28) The parties filed a joint status letter on March 30, 2018 and Plaintiff stated his intent to proceed with the action. (D.I. 31) On April 16, 2018, the parties participated in a teleconference. At the time, Plaintiff stated that he was attempting to retain counsel and that he had not received the discovery served on him in February. Defendant emailed Plaintiff the same February written discovery requests after the teleconference.

         On April 17, 2018, the parties participated in a status call and Plaintiff reiterated that he was working to retain counsel. The Court directed Plaintiff to provide a status update within sixty days on his progress securing counsel. There is no indication on the docket that Plaintiff provided an update.

         As of October I, 2018, Plaintiff had not responded to Defendant's written discovery requests and had not taken any discovery- to support the remaining allegations in the First Amended Complaint. As a result, Defendant filed the instant motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute. Plaintiff did not file a response to the dispositive motion. Instead, he filed two letters with the Court. The first, dated November 2, 2018, asked the Court to call Plaintiff about his case and appeared to seek legal advice. (D.I. 36) The second, dated November 9, 2018, appeared to seek discovery and requested a teleconference. (D.I. 37) The Court set a status conference for December 7, 2018. (D.I. 38)

         During the December 7, 2018 conference the Court vacated all scheduling order deadlines, asked Defense counsel to obtain any relevant records from Plaintiffs former attorney, and set a bnefing schedule for Plaintiff to respond to the dispositive motion on or before December 21, 2018. (D.I. 41) As of January 9, 2018, Plaintiff had yet to respond to Defendant's discovery requests or to file a response to the motion to dismiss. (D.I. 44)

         On March 25, 2019, the Court gave Plaintiff one final opportunity to respond to the monon to dismiss with a deadline of on or before April 19, 2019. (D.I. 46) On April 23, 2019, Plaintiff filed his affidavit. (D.I. 47)

         Defendant moves for dismissal for failure to prosecute on the grounds that Plaintiff pays no heed to Court deadlines, he has provided no responses to Defendant's discovery requests, and the affidavit Plaintiff filed on April 23, 2019 does not address the issue raised - that Plaintiff has failed to prosecute this case.

         III. ...


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