United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Brunswick Division
LISA GODBEY WOOD, Chief District Judge.
Presently before the Court are Plaintiff Scelia Robinson's motion to drop Plaintiff Zack Lyde from the case (Dkt. no. 100), Defendants Peggy Sorrells, Norris Smith, Frank Bonati, Clyde Reese, Frank Berry, Chuck Pittman, Amanda Chapman, Vicki Riggins, LaSharn Hughes, Bobby Cagle, Mary Skelton, Mike Beatty, and David Cook's motion to dismiss (Dkt. no. 111), and Defendant J. Alexander Atwood's motion to dismiss (Dkt. no. 136). For the reasons stated below, all three motions are GRANTED.
A full summary of this pro se action can be found in the Court's previous Order of February 18, 2014, granting the initial motions to dismiss made by several Defendants. Dkt. no. 107. As detailed therein, Plaintiffs Scelia Robinson and Zack Lyde filed their Complaint on May 6, 2013, and elected to amend it the next month. Dkt. nos. 1, 6. In what the Eleventh Circuit calls "shotgun fashion" the Complaint and its amendment touch on more than 40 separate claims lodged against some 110 Defendants.
At the request of many Defendants and following the directions the Eleventh Circuit has given to courts faced with such shotgun pleadings, the Magistrate Judge ordered Plaintiffs to provide a more definite statement of their claims. Dkt. no. 74. Plaintiffs were given 20 days from August 20, 2013, to identify which Defendants allegedly violated which rights. Id. Instead of complying with the Magistrate Judge's Order, the Plaintiffs asked for a grand jury investigation of the Magistrate Judge. Dkt. no. 75.
Thereafter, several Defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint. The Court granted one round of motions to dismiss on February 18, 2014 (Dkt. no. 107), another on March 18, 2015 (Dkt. no. 135), and yet another on April 28, 2015 (Dkt. no. 138). The Court considered the present motions in that most recent Order (Dkt. no. 138). At that time, the Court noted that the Plaintiffs had not responded to the Defendants' motions to dismiss, nor had Plaintiff Lyde responded to Plaintiff Robinson's motion to have him dropped from the case. Because the Plaintiffs are before the Court pro se, this Court admonished them to respond to the motions and extended the deadline for responses by three weeks. See Dkt. no. 138, pp. 12-13. Despite the Court's willingness to provide Plaintiffs ample time and opportunity to respond to these motions, they have not done so. This failure alone is enough to grant Defendants' motions to dismiss and Plaintiff Robinson's motion to drop Plaintiff Lyde from the case, but those motions are also due to be granted on their merits.
I. Plaintiff Robinson's "Second Request for a Motion to amend and Have Co-Plaintiff Zack Lyde Removed from Case CV 213-066"
Plaintiff Robinson's November 12, 2013 motion requests that the Court appoint counsel and remove Plaintiff Lyde from the case. Dkt. no. 100. Plaintiff's request for appointed counsel was denied in the Court's April 28 Order, but the Court afforded Plaintiff Lyde the opportunity to respond to Plaintiff Robinson's request to have him dropped from the case. Dkt. no. 138, p. 5-6. Plaintiff Lyde has not opposed that request.
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 21, "[o]n motion or on its own, the court may at any time, on just terms, add or drop a party." Fed.R.Civ.P. 21. As discussed in the April 28 Order, Plaintiff Robinson appears to argue that Plaintiff Lyde should be dropped from the case because he has no real interest in the case and thus is present only by misjoinder. See Dkt. no. 100, PP. 2-4. Indeed, this Court has previously noted that Plaintiffs' Complaint does not allege any specific harm to Plaintiff Lyde. Dkt. no. 107, p. 3. By Plaintiff Robinson's account, she named Lyde as a Plaintiff because he told her it was necessary for him to be a named co-plaintiff if he were to successfully represent her in this suit. Dkt. no. 100, p. 7. However, Lyde is not an attorney.
Plaintiff Lyde has no interest in this case. The Complaint does not allege that he suffered any harm, and he cannot legally represent Plaintiff Robinson in this matter. Furthermore, he has not opposed Plaintiff's request. Therefore, pursuant to Rule 21, this Court finds that Plaintiff Lyde should be dropped from the case and GRANTS Plaintiff Robinson's motion in that regard.
II. The Motions to Dismiss
Peggy Sorrells and the other Defendants represented by the Georgia Attorney General (the "AG Defendants") have filed a motion to dismiss for Plaintiff's failure to prosecute pursuant to Rule 41(b). Dkt. no. 111. Defendant Atwood brings his motion to dismiss ...