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Humphrey v. Comoletti
United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
June 5, 2018
FRED HUMPHREY, et al., Plaintiffs,
JEFFREY COMOLETTI, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ALLISON D. BURROUGHS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
pending before the Court is Defendants’ motion to
dismiss the complaint due to Plaintiff’s failure to
prosecute the action or comply with Court orders. [ECF No.
80]. For the reasons stated herein, the motion is
GRANTED and the case is DISMISSED.
April 30, 2018, the Court issued a Memorandum and Order [ECF
No. 82] on Plaintiff’s former attorneys’ motion
to withdraw from the representation, and provided the
following summary of this case as it relates to
Plaintiff’s failure to communicate with his counsel and
to otherwise litigate his claims:
Plaintiff initiated this action on December 18, 2015. [ECF
No. 1]. Motions to dismiss were filed in April and May 2016,
after which Plaintiff filed a motion to amend the complaint
that the Court allowed. [ECF No. 35]. After a second round of
motions to dismiss, on March 31, 2017, the Court dismissed
certain of the pending claims and all other plaintiffs from
the case. [ECF No. 54]. The Court then held a scheduling
conference on September 11, 2017, and issued a scheduling
order, which set a deadline for fact discovery to be
completed by May 31, 2018. [ECF Nos. 67, 68].
On December 8, 2017, Defendant Comoletti filed a letter
motion to compel Plaintiff to provide written discovery
responses to interrogatories and requests for production that
were served on October 2, 2017. [ECF No. 71].
Plaintiff’s counsel informed Comoletti that the
discovery responses were delayed because Plaintiff was
out-of-state and his father was on dialysis. Id.
Comoletti agreed to extend the discovery response deadline to
December 6, 2017. When Plaintiff failed to provide discovery
responses by that date, Plaintiff’s counsel reported
that they were unable to reach Plaintiff for two weeks and
could not provide a date for serving discovery responses.
Id. After the Court scheduled a hearing on the
letter motion, the parties agreed to further extend the
deadline until January 9, 2018. [ECF Nos. 72, 75]. The Court
cancelled the hearing in accordance with the parties’
stipulated extension. [ECF No. 76].
Although Plaintiff eventually provided his discovery
responses, on March 6, 2018, Comoletti filed a second letter
motion to compel Plaintiff to appear for his duly noticed
deposition. [ECF No. 77]. Comoletti reported that counsel for
all parties had agreed to schedule the deposition for March
7, 2018, and that the deposition was properly noticed on
February 2, 2018. Id. Plaintiff’s counsel
informed Comoletti on the morning of March 6, 2018 that
Plaintiff now lives in Wisconsin and has not communicated
with his counsel in several weeks. Id.
On March 22, 2018, the [C]ourt ordered Plaintiff to either
(1) be deposed by April 20, 2018 or arrange an extension of
this deadline; or (2) show cause by that date as to why he
had not done so. [ECF No. 78]. The Court’s Order
further stated that failure to comply with the Order may
result in sanctions, including, but not limited to, dismissal
of Plaintiff’s case in its entirety. Id.
Prior to the April 20th deadline, Plaintiff’s counsel
filed [a motion] to withdraw, citing an irreconcilable
breakdown in the attorney-client relationship. [ECF No. 79].
As stated in the motion, Plaintiff’s counsel made the
following recent communications to their client:
1. Email to Plaintiff on February 2, 2018;
2. Email to Plaintiff on February 23, 2018;
3. Email to Plaintiff on February 27, 2018;
4. Email to Plaintiff on March 1, 2018;
5. Telephone call to Plaintiff on March ...
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