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Murphy v. City of Brunswick

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Brunswick Division

April 27, 2015

YVONNE L. MURPHY, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF BRUNSWICK, GEORGIA; and OFFICER CHRISTINE R. DHEEL, Individually and in her Official Capacity, Defendants.

ORDER

R. STAN BAKER, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Stay Proceedings filed on April 13, 2015. (Doc. 7.) After careful consideration, Defendant's Motion is GRANTED. Additionally, the Court provides directives to Plaintiff regarding Defendants' Motion to Dismiss which she is urged to follow.

Plaintiff has filed a complaint brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. (Doc. 1) On March 31, 2015, Defendants City of Brunswick, Georgia and Christine R. Dheel filed a pre-answer Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 6) The Court finds that good cause exists to stay this case until such time as a ruling is made on Defendants' Motion. Specifically, a ruling on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss before the commencement of discovery may save the parties time and resources by clarifying what issues, if any, the parties will need to address in discovery. Moreover, the Court finds that no real prejudice will accrue to the Parties if Defendants' request for a stay is granted.

THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that all proceedings, including discovery, are stayed pending a ruling by the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. This ruling does not affect Plaintiff's obligation to file a response to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.

A motion to dismiss is dispositive in nature, meaning that the granting of a motion to dismiss results in the dismissal of individual claims or an entire action. Consequently, the Court is reluctant to rule on the Motion to Dismiss without receiving a response from the Plaintiff or ensuring that Plaintiff is advised of the potential ramifications caused by her failure to respond. Once a motion to dismiss is filed, the opponent should be afforded a reasonable opportunity to respond to or oppose such a motion. This Court must consider that the Plaintiff in this case is a pro se litigant. Haines v. Kerner , 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Additionally, when a defendant or defendants file a motion to dismiss, the court must construe the complaint liberally in favor of plaintiff, taking all facts alleged by the plaintiff as true, even if doubtful in fact. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 554, 555 (2007).

The granting of a motion to dismiss without affording the plaintiff either notice or any opportunity to be heard is disfavored. Tazoe v. Airbus S.A.S. , 631 F.3d 1321, 1336-37 (11th Cir. 2011). A local rule, such as Local Rule 7.5 of this court, [1] should not serve as a basis for dismissing a pro se complaint where, as here, there is nothing to confirm that plaintiff ever was made aware of the Motion and its dispositive effect prior to dismissal. Pierce v. City of Miami , 176 F.Appx. 12, 14 (11th Cir. 2006).

Accordingly, Plaintiff is hereby ORDERED to file any response in opposition to the Defendants' motion for a dismissal or to inform the court of her decision not to oppose Defendants' motion within twenty-one (21) days of the date of this Order. Tazoe , 631 F.3d at 1336 (advising that a court can not dismiss an action without employing a fair procedure). Should Plaintiff not timely respond to Defendants' motion, the Court will determine that Plaintiff does not oppose the motion. See Local Rule 7.5.

To assure that Plaintiff's response is made with fair notice of the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure regarding motions to dismiss, generally, and motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, the Clerk of Court is hereby instructed to attach a copy Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 41 and 12 to the copy of this Order that is served on the Plaintiff.

SO ORDERED.


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