United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Brunswick Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
BENJAMIN W. CHEESBRO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Petitioner Edgar
Darling's (“Darling”) failure to comply with
the Court's directive of October 21, 2019. Doc. 2. For
the following reasons, I RECOMMEND the Court
DISMISS without prejudice Darling's 28
U.S.C. § 2241 Petition, doc. 1, for failure to follow
this Court's directive, DIRECT the Clerk
of Court to CLOSE this case and enter the
appropriate judgment of dismissal, and DENY
Darling leave to appeal in forma
October 21, 2019, Darling filed his § 2241 Petition in
this Court. Doc. 1. However, Darling did not pay the required
filing fee or move to proceed in forma pauperis when
filing this action. Accordingly, on October 21, 2019, the
Clerk of Court directed Darling to either pay the $5.00
filing fee or file a motion to proceed in forma
pauperis within 21 days. Doc. 2. The Clerk warned
Darling that his failure to comply with that notice may
result in dismissal of this action. Id. That mailing
was not returned as undeliverable or as otherwise failing to
reach Darling. Darling has not paid the requisite filing fee
or moved to proceed in forma pauperis.
Court must now determine how to address Darling's failure
to pay the filing fee and failure to comply with this
Court's directive. For the reasons set forth below, I
RECOMMEND the Court DISMISS without
prejudice Darling's Petition and
DENY Darling leave to appeal in forma
Dismissal for Failure to Follow this Court's
district court may dismiss a petitioner'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 Fed.Appx. 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 petitioner'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 Fed.Appx.
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 Fed.Appx.
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 Fed.Appx. 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 Fed.Appx. 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 Fed.Appx. at 619; see also
Coleman, 433 Fed.Appx. at 719; Brown, 205
Fed.Appx. at 802-03.
the Court exercises its discretion to dismiss cases with
caution, dismissal of this action without prejudice is
warranted. See Coleman, 433 Fed.Appx. at 719
(upholding dismissal without prejudice for failure to
prosecute where plaintiff did not respond to court order to
supply defendant's current address for purpose of
service); Taylor, 251 Fed.Appx. 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 Fed.Appx. at 802-03
(upholding dismissal without prejudice for failure to
prosecute where plaintiff failed to follow court order to
file amended complaint and court had informed plaintiff that
noncompliance could lead to dismissal).
Darling having neither paid the filing fee nor moved to
proceed in forma pauperis, the Court cannot proceed
in this case. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1914 &
1915. Moreover, Darling was given notice of the consequences
of his failure to follow the Court's directive, and
Darling has not made any effort to do so or to otherwise
prosecute this case. Thus, the Court should DISMISS
without prejudice Darling's § 2241
Petition, doc. 1, for failure to follow this Court's
directive and DIRECT the Clerk of Court to
CLOSE this case and enter the appropriate
judgment of dismissal.
Leave to Appeal in Forma Pauperis
Court should also deny Darling leave to appeal in forma
pauperis. Though Darling has not yet filed a notice of
appeal, it would be appropriate to address that issue in the
Court's order of dismissal. See Fed. R. App. P.
24(a)(3) (trial court may certify that appeal is not taken in
good faith “before or after the notice of appeal is
appeal cannot be taken in forma pauperis if the
trial court certifies, either before or after the notice of
appeal is filed, that the appeal is not taken in good faith.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3); Fed. R. App. P. 24(a)(3). Good
faith in this context must be judged by an objective
standard. Busch v. County of Volusia, 189 F.R.D.
687, 691 (M.D. Fla. 1999). A party does not proceed in good
faith when he seeks to advance a frivolous claim or argument.
See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 445
(1962). A claim or argument is frivolous when it appears the
factual allegations are clearly baseless or the legal
theories are indisputably meritless. Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989); Carroll v.
Gross, 984 F.2d 392, 393 (11th Cir. 1993). An in
forma pauperis action is frivolous and not brought in
good faith if it is ...