United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Dublin Division
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EFPS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
formerly incarcerated at Johnson State Prison in
Wrightsville, Georgia, commenced the above-captioned case
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He is pro se and is
currently proceeding in forma pauperis (“IFP”).
The Court has been informed its last Order entered in this
case on January 22, 2019, has been returned; Plaintiff is no
longer located at the address he has on file with the Court.
(See doc. no. 15.) Plaintiff was directed in the Court's
November 7, 2018 Order to immediately inform the Court of any
change in address, and he was told that the failure to do so
would result in the dismissal of his case. (Doc. no. 9, p.
because Plaintiff is proceeding IFP, Plaintiff's
complaint must be screened to protect potential defendants.
Phillips v. Mashburn, 746 F.2d 782, 785 (11th Cir.
1984); Al-Amin v. Donald, 165 Fed.Appx. 733, 736
(11th Cir. 2006) (per curiam). Upon conducting an initial
screening of Plaintiff's complaint, the Court ordered
Plaintiff to amend his complaint within fourteen days to
correct certain pleading deficiencies. (See doc. no. 14.) The
Court cautioned Plaintiff that failing to submit a timely
response would result in a presumption by the Court he
desires to have this case voluntarily dismissed and would
result in a recommendation for dismissal of this action,
without prejudice. (Id. at 3.) The time to respond
has passed, and Plaintiff has not submitted an amended
complaint as required by the Court's January 22, 2019
district court has authority to manage its docket to
expeditiously resolve cases, and this authority includes the
power to dismiss a case for failure to prosecute or failure
to comply with a court order. Equity Lifestyle Props.,
Inc. v. Fla. Mowing & Landscape Serv., Inc., 556
F.3d 1232, 1240 (11th Cir. 2009) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b));
see also Eades v. Ala. Dep't of Human Res., 298
Fed.Appx. 862, 863 (11th Cir. 2008) (per curiam)
(“District courts possess the ability to dismiss a case
. . . for want of prosecution based on two possible sources
of authority: Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b) or their inherent authority
to manage their dockets.”). Moreover, the Local Rules
of the Southern District of Georgia dictate that an
“assigned Judge may, after notice to counsel of record,
sua sponte . . . dismiss any action for want of prosecution,
with or without prejudice . . . [for] [w]illful disobedience
or neglect of any order of the Court; or [a]ny other failure
to prosecute a civil action with reasonable
promptness.” Loc. R. 41.1(c). Finally, dismissal
without prejudice is generally appropriate pursuant to Rule
41(b) where a plaintiff has failed to comply with a court
order, “especially where the litigant has been
forewarned.” Owens v. Pinellas Cty. Sheriff's
Dep't, 331 Fed.Appx. 654, 655 (11th Cir. 2009) (per
curiam) (citing Moon v. Newsome, 863 F.2d 835, 837
(11th Cir. 1989)); see also Loc. R. 41.1(b) (Court may
dismiss an action sua sponte for “willful disobedience
or neglect of any order of the Court”).
Plaintiff's failure to keep the Court informed of his
address is a direct violation of the Court's November 7,
2018 Order and saddles the Court with a stagnant case in
which no communication with Plaintiff seems possible. Indeed,
the Court tried to inform Plaintiff he must file an amended
complaint, but because his address is not current, no amended
complaint has been filed that contains the information
required by the Southern District of Georgia or that explains
the nature of Plaintiff's claims against all three named
Defendants. (See doc. no. 14.) Plaintiff was warned that
failure to immediately notify the Court of any change of
address would result in dismissal of his case. This is
precisely the type of neglect contemplated by the Local
Rules. The Court also finds that the imposition of monetary
sanctions is not a feasible sanction because Plaintiff is
proceeding IFP and no portion of the filing fee has been
paid. Therefore, dismissal for want of prosecution is
Court recognizes that Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and
acknowledges that courts have voiced a dislike for the
harshness of dismissing a pro se case with prejudice prior to
an adjudication on the merits. See, e.g., Gormley v. Nix,
No. 04-12374, 2005 WL 2090282, at *3-4 (11th Cir. Aug.
31, 2005) (per curiam); Dickson v. Ga. State Bd. of
Pardons and Paroles, No. 1:06-CV-1310-JTC, 2007 WL 2904168,
at *6 (N.D.Ga. Oct. 3, 2007). Thus, the Court is simply
recommending dismissal without prejudice until such time as
Plaintiff is willing to file his case and pursue it.
Accordingly, the Court REPORTS and
RECOMMENDS that this case be
DISMISSED without prejudice and
REPORTED and RECOMMENDED.
Unless the Court specifies otherwise, a
dismissal for failure to prosecute operates as an
adjudication on the merits. See ...