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Christmas v. D.G. Foods, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division

December 19, 2019

LARRY D. CHRISTMAS, JR. PLAINTIFF
v.
D.G. FOODS, LLC DEFENDANT

          ORDER

          HENRY T. WINGATE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         BEFORE THIS COURT are the following post-judgment motions: plaintiff's Motion to Issue Overdue Orders [Docket no. 166]; and plaintiff's Motion to Reconsider [Docket no. 170]. This court has reviewed the motions of the plaintiff and, for the reasons following, denies all post-judgment motions of the plaintiff.

         I. PRO SE PLAINTIFF

         Plaintiff herein is Larry D. Christmas Jr., acting pro se[1]. A pro se litigant “must comply with statutory obligations and abide by the rules of this Court.” Legget v. PSS World Med., Inc., No. L-07-63, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15937, at *12 (S.D. Tex. Mar. 2, 2009) (Citing Castro Romero v. Becken, 256 F.3d 349, 354 n.2 (5th Cir. 2001); United States v. Wilkes, 20 F.3d 651, 653 (5th Cir. 1994)).

         The United States Supreme Court specifically cautioned pro se litigants that:

District judges have no obligation to act as counsel or paralegal to pro se litigants. In McKaskle v. Wiggins, 465 U.S. 168, 183-184, 79 L.Ed.2d 122, 104 S.Ct. 944 (1984), the Court stated that “[a] defendant does not have a constitutional right to receive personal instruction from the trial judge on courtroom procedure” and that “the Constitution [does not] require judges to take over chores for a pro se defendant that would normally be attended to by trained counsel as a matter of course.” See also Martinez v. Court of Appeal of Cal., Fourth Appellate Dist., 528 U.S. 152, 162, 145 L.Ed.2d 597, 120 S.Ct. 684 (2000)

Pliler v. Ford, 542 U.S. 225, 231, 124 S.Ct. 2441, 2446 (2004).

“A document filed pro se is ‘to be liberally construed,' Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976) and ‘a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers,' ibid. (internal quotation marks omitted). Cf. Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 8(f) (‘All pleadings shall be so construed as to do substantial justice').”

Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 2200, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007).

         II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Throughout the three-and-a-half-year history of this case, plaintiff has repeatedly failed to attend hearings set by this court and has engaged in other conduct prohibited by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For example, in its June 1, 2016 Order to Show Cause [Docket no. 10], this court ordered that the plaintiff must show cause why his case should not be dismissed because he failed to attend a telephonic scheduling conference. On January 5, 2018, this court dismissed Plaintiff's case without prejudice because he again failed to show up for a hearing set for January 3, 2018. [Docket no. 145]. As this court noted in its Order, plaintiff had requested a continuance close to the date set for a hearing. Despite this court not issuing a ruling, either orally or in writing, either granting or denying his motion, plaintiff did not appear for the hearing. Defendant's counsel had traveled from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi to attend the hearing. This court also noted in its Order that plaintiff “has shown a clear pattern of contumacious conduct and a stubborn resistance to this court's authority.”

         This court ultimately showed its largess to plaintiff when it reopened plaintiff's lawsuit. [Docket no. 155]. Plaintiff appeared at a June 15, 2018 show cause hearing. [Docket no. 161]. At that show cause hearing, this court explained to plaintiff that he was responsible for filing a motion to continue and further explained to Plaintiff that “he must appear unless the Court grants a continuance.” This court then set a hearing on Defendant's summary judgment motion for August 3, 2018.

         On August 1, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion for continuance, which this court did not address before the hearing. [Docket no. 159]. Plaintiff again failed to appear for the August 3, 2018 hearing. Defendant's counsel had once again traveled from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi to attend the hearing.

         This court again ordered plaintiff to appear on January 18, 2019 to explain to the court why he had once again failed to appear for the August 3, 2018 hearing. This court also awarded Defendant's counsel his fees and costs for appearing on August 3, 2018.

         Plaintiff filed a motion for continuance on January 17, 2019 [Docket no. 163], one day before the scheduled hearing, and then did not appear at the January 18, 2019 hearing. This court, dismayed with the continuing and serial disrespect that plaintiff has shown the orders issued by this court, dismissed plaintiff's claims with prejudice in its April 15, 2019 Order. [Docket no. 165].

         III. MOTION TO ISSUE OVERDUE ...


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