United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Brunswick Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
STAN BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's failure to
comply with the Court's Order of January 12, 2017, to
amend his Complaint. (Doc. 3.) For the following reasons, I
RECOMMEND that the Court DISMISS Plaintiff's Complaint,
(doc. 1), without prejudice for Plaintiff's failure to
follow this Court's Orders and failure to state a claim.
I further RECOMMEND that the Court DENY Plaintiff leave to
appeal in forma pauperis.
an inmate at the Glynn County Detention Center in Brunswick,
Georgia, brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 on January 6, 2017. (Doc. 1.) On January 12, 2017, the
Court deferred ruling on Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to
Proceed in Forma Pauperis. (Doc. 3.) In that Order,
the Court explained that “a county jail is not a viable
defendant under Section 1983” and that
“Plaintiff's Complaint in its current form fails to
state a viable claim, as the only named Defendant is the
Glynn County Detention Center.” (Id. at p. 3.)
The Court instructed Plaintiff to amend his Complaint within
fourteen (14) days of the date of that Order. (Id.
at p. 1.) Accordingly, Plaintiff's amendment was due on
or before January 26, 2017. However, Plaintiff has not
submitted an amended complaint. Instead, Plaintiff has
submitted letters to the Court in which he requests paper,
envelopes, and shampoo, and letters in which he reiterates
his claims against Glynn County Detention Center, (docs. 4,
5, 10). Plaintiff has also filed copies of his inmate request
forms, (docs. 7-10).
Court must now determine how to address Plaintiff's
failure to comply with this Court's directive. For the
reasons set forth below, I RECOMMEND that the Court DISMISS
Plaintiff's Complaint and DENY Plaintiff leave to appeal
in forma pauperis.
Dismissal for Failure to Follow this Court's Order and
Failure to State a Claim
district court may dismiss a plaintiff's claims sua
sponte pursuant to either Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 41(b) (“Rule 41(b)”) or the court's
inherent authority to manage its docket. Link v. Wabash
R.R. Co., 370 U.S. 626 (1962); Coleman v. St. Lucie
Cty. Jail, 433 F. App'x 716, 718 (11th Cir. 2011)
(citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b) and Betty K Agencies, Ltd. v.
M/V MONADA, 432 F.3d 1333, 1337 (11th Cir. 2005)). In
particular, Rule 41(b) allows for the involuntary dismissal
of a plaintiff's claims where he has failed to prosecute
those claims, comply with the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure or local rules, or follow a court order.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b); see also Coleman, 433 F.
App'x at 718; Sanders v. Barrett, No. 05-12660,
2005 WL 2640979, at *1 (11th Cir. Oct. 17, 2005) (citing
Kilgo v. Ricks, 983 F.2d 189, 192 (11th Cir. 1993));
cf. Local R. 41.1(b) (“[T]he assigned Judge
may, after notice to counsel of record, sua sponte .
. . dismiss any action for want of prosecution, with or
without prejudice[, ] . . . [based on] willful disobedience
or neglect of any order of the Court.” (emphasis
omitted)). Additionally, a district court's “power
to dismiss is an inherent aspect of its authority to enforce
its orders and ensure prompt disposition of lawsuits.”
Brown v. Tallahassee Police Dep't, 205 F.
App'x 802, 802 (11th Cir. 2006) (quoting Jones v.
Graham, 709 F.2d 1457, 1458 (11th Cir. 1983)).
true that dismissal with prejudice for failure to prosecute
is a “sanction . . . to be utilized only in extreme
situations” and requires that a court “(1)
conclud[e] a clear record of delay or willful contempt
exists; and (2) mak[e] an implicit or explicit finding that
lesser sanctions would not suffice.” Thomas v.
Montgomery Cty. Bd. of Educ., 170 F. App'x 623,
625-26 (11th Cir. 2006) (quoting Morewitz v. West of Eng.
Ship Owners Mut. Prot. & Indem. Ass'n (Lux.), 62
F.3d 1356, 1366 (11th Cir. 1995)); see also Taylor v.
Spaziano, 251 F. App'x 616, 619 (11th Cir. 2007)
(citing Morewitz, 62 F.3d at 1366). By contrast,
dismissal without prejudice for failure to prosecute
is not an adjudication on the merits, and, therefore, courts
are afforded greater discretion in dismissing claims in this
manner. Taylor, 251 F. App'x at 619; see
also Coleman, 433 F. App'x at 719; Brown,
205 F. App'x at 802-03.
the Court exercises its discretion to dismiss cases with
caution, dismissal of this action without prejudice is
warranted. See Coleman, 433 F. App'x at 719
(upholding dismissal without prejudice for failure to
prosecute Section 1983 complaint, where plaintiff did not
respond to court order to supply defendant's current
address for purpose of service); Taylor, 251 F.
App'x at 620-21 (upholding dismissal without prejudice
for failure to prosecute, because plaintiffs insisted on
going forward with deficient amended complaint rather than
complying, or seeking an extension of time to comply, with
court's order to file second amended complaint);
Brown, 205 F. App'x at 802-03 (upholding
dismissal without prejudice for failure to prosecute Section
1983 claims, where plaintiff failed to follow court order to
file amended complaint and court had informed plaintiff that
noncompliance could lead to dismissal). By choosing to file
six non-responsive pleadings instead of an amended complaint,
Plaintiff has demonstrated a clear record of delay and
disregard for this Court's Orders, and a sanction other
than dismissal would not suffice to remedy his deficiencies.
as laid out in the Court's prior Orders, the Glynn County
Detention Center is not a viable Defendant. Plaintiff has not
named any persons or other proper parties as defendants.
Thus, he has failed to state a claim upon which this Court
could grant relief.
the Court should DISMISS Plaintiff's Complaint, (doc. 1),
without prejudice, for failure to follow this Court's
Order and failure to state a claim and DIRECT the Clerk of
Court to CLOSE this case.
Leave to Appeal in Forma Pauperis
Court should also deny Plaintiff leave to appeal in forma
pauperis. Though Plaintiff has, of course, not yet filed
a notice of appeal, it is proper to address these issues in
the Court's order of dismissal. See Fed. R. App.
P. 24(a)(3) (trial court may certify that appeal of party
proceeding in forma pauperis ...