United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Columbus Division
D. LAND, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
se Plaintiff Steve D. Ryan initiated the above-styled
action on June 11, 2018, by filing a document titled
“Motion for Exceptional Circumstances Appointment of
Counsel.” Compl. 1, ECF No. 1. In the document,
Plaintiff indicated that he wished to file a civil rights
complaint brought under § 1983, but he was diagnosed
with “borderline intelligence function.”
Id. at 1. Plaintiff requested appointed counsel to
assist him with pursuing claims arising from events that
occurred during his incarceration at Rutledge State Prison
and Augusta State Medical Prison. Id. at 1-2; Second
Mot. to Appoint Counsel 1-3, ECF No. 6. On June 29, 2018, the
United States Magistrate Judge denied Plaintiff's motion
to appoint counsel and directed Plaintiff to (1) refile his
complaint using the Court's standard complaint form and
(2) either pay the $400.00 filing fee or submit a properly
completed motion to proceed in forma pauperis. Order
1-3, 5, June 29, 2018, ECF No. 5. Plaintiff was afforded
twenty-one (21) days to respond and cautioned that failure to
timely and fully comply with the Court's directives would
result in the dismissal of this action. Id. at 5.
Plaintiff filed a second motion to appoint counsel (ECF No.
6), a motion for extension of time (ECF No. 7), and a motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 8).
Plaintiff, however, did not recast his complaint on the
Court's standard complaint form or otherwise attempt to
fully comply with the Magistrate Judge's directives. The
Magistrate Judge denied Plaintiff's second motion to
appoint counsel and provided Plaintiff an additional
opportunity to recast his complaint as originally directed.
Order 1-3, Sept. 6, 2018, ECF No. 9. The Magistrate Judge
afforded Plaintiff twenty-one (21) days in which to respond
and again cautioned Plaintiff that failure to comply would
result in the dismissal of this action. Id. at 1, 3.
Plaintiff filed a timely response but refused to comply with
the Court's directives and elected to file
“objections” instead. Resp., ECF No. 10.
Plaintiff alleged that he cannot file a civil rights
complaint because he does not know the names of the
defendants involved in his lawsuit. Id. at 1.
Magistrate Judge afforded Plaintiff a third and final
opportunity to submit a complaint detailing his claims for
relief. Order, Oct. 24, 2018, ECF No. 11. The Magistrate
Judge further advised Plaintiff that whether Plaintiff knows
the names of defendants or not, Plaintiff must still file his
complaint on the Court's standard forms. Id. at
2-3. The Magistrate Judge also directed Plaintiff to describe
the defendants in detail. Id. Plaintiff was once
again afforded twenty-one (21) days in which to respond and
once again advised that if he failed to do so, this action
would be dismissed. Id.
third time, Plaintiff has chosen to ignore the directives of
the Court and has once again submitted a construed motion to
appoint counsel. Third Mot. to Appoint Counsel, ECF No. 12.
His repeated failure to follow the Court's directions
warrants dismissal of this action, as Plaintiff has been
repeatedly warned. Plaintiff's behavior also constitutes
a failure to prosecute. This action has now been pending for
over six months, and Plaintiff has neither filed a complaint
nor demonstrated an intention to pursue this action in an
appropriate manner. For these reasons, and because it does
not appear that Plaintiff will be barred by the
statute-of-limitations from refiling his claims in the near
future,  the instant action is hereby
DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b); Brown v. Tallahassee Police
Dep't, 205 Fed.Appx. 802, 802 (11th Cir. 2006) (per
curiam) (“The court may dismiss an action sua
sponte under Rule 41(b) for failure to prosecute or
failure to obey a court order.” (citing Fed.R.Civ.P.
41(b) and Lopez v. Aransas Cty. Indep. Sch. Dist.,
570 F.2d 541, 544 (5th Cir. 1978))).
As discussed in the Magistrate
Judge's order, Plaintiff has been able to litigate in the
past and appears to have sufficient mental capacity to pursue
his claims without appointed counsel. Order 2-3, ECF No.
It appears that Plaintiff's
potential claims are based on events that occurred at the
Augusta State Medical Prison in January 2018 as well as
ongoing events at Rutledge State Prison. Mot. to Appoint
Counsel, 3, ECF No. 6. Therefore, it does not appear that
dismissal without prejudice will have the effect of
precluding Plaintiff from re-filing due to the statute of
limitations running. Nevertheless, if dismissal is tantamount
to dismissal with prejudice, dismissal is still warranted.
Plaintiff's repeated failure to file his claims using the
Court's standard complaint form is willful and lesser
sanctions will not suffice to correct his conduct. See
Hickman v. Hickman, 563 Fed.Appx. 742 (11th Cir. 2014)
(upholding sua sponte ...