Although the district court did not make explicit the source of its authority to dismiss Bailot’s suit, it presumably did so under Rule 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. “[T]o be sure, a failure to satisfy Rule 8 can supply a basis for dismissal: Rule 41(b) specifically authorizes a district court to dismiss an action for failing to comply with any aspect of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.” Nasious v. Two Unknown B.I.C.E. Agents, at Arapahoe County Justice Center, 492 F.3d 1158, 1161 (10th Cir. 2007). Although the text of Rule 41(b) requires a defendant’s motion to dismiss, “the Rule has long been interpreted to permit courts to dismiss actions sua sponte for a plaintiff’s failure to prosecute or comply with the rules of civil procedure or court’s orders.” Olsen v. Mapes, 333 F.3d 1199, 1204 n.3 (10th Cir. 2003).
“We review dismissals under Rule 41(b) for abuse of discretion.” Nasious, 492 F.3d at 1161. This deferential standard of review is especially appropriate when, as here, the case is dismissed without prejudice. Id. at 1162.
The district court found Bailot’s complaint lacking in at least two respects: it insufficiently set out the district court’s jurisdiction, and it failed to include a statement showing relief was warranted. The district court did not abuse its discretion in making these findings.
Judge(s): Hartz, Anderson, Tymkovich
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
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