The test for dismissal under the status hearing provisions of
Rule 48.14 is that the plaintiff bears the burden of demonstrating
that there is an acceptable explanation for litigation delay and
that, if the action is allowed to proceed, the defendant will
suffer no non-compensable prejudice. The focus of the inquiry is
the plaintiff's conduct, but the conduct of the respondent in
the litigation can have a bearing on the assessment of the reason
for the delay and on the exercise of the court's discretion
under Rule 48.13. Rule 24, which addresses motions to dismiss for
delay, has no bearing on Rule 48.14 status hearings.
A party seeking to dismiss an action at a Rule 48.14 status
hearing does not usually present affidavit evidence. The usual
practice is for the initial status hearing to proceed on the basis
of oral submissions. If the judicial officer conducting the status
hearing forms the view, on the basis of the oral submissions, that
the action is vulnerable dismissal for delay, ordinarily a full
hearing will be ordered on affidavit evidence.
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