United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS, District Judge.
Plaintiff initiated this § 1983 civil rights case on April 20, 2011. (Doc. 1). Due to the related prosecution of a 2011 criminal case against Plaintiff in state court, this civil action was stayed roughly 30 months ago on December 27, 2012. (Doc. 47). On June 11, 2015, for good cause shown by Defendants, the court lifted the stay and reinstated the case for the limited dual purposes of (i) permitting Defendants to file a motion seeking a dismissal of Plaintiff's case for his failure to prosecute as well as his fugitive status and (ii) establishing a briefing schedule on such motion.
Pending before the court is Defendants' Motion To Dismiss (Doc. 67) (the "Motion") filed on June 18, 2015. Plaintiff responded to this Motion on June 25, 2015. (Doc. 70). Defendants followed with their reply (Doc. 71) on July 2, 2015.
Within this Motion, Defendants seek a with prejudice dismissal of Plaintiff's case on the two separate grounds previously identified above. (Doc. 67 at 4 ¶ 8). The court addresses the merits of a dismissal based upon the fugitive disentitlement doctrine first.
A. Fugitive Disentitlement Doctrine
1. General Principles
In F.D.I.C. v. Pharaon, 178 F.3d 1159 (11th Cir. 1999), the Eleventh Circuit described the fugitive disentitlement doctrine as:
an equitable doctrine that limits access to the courts by fugitives from justice. United States v. Barnette, 129 F.3d 1179, 1183-84 (11th Cir. 1997). Although fugitive status "does not strip the case of its character as an adjudicable case or controversy [, ] it disentitles the [fugitive] to call upon the resources of the Court for determination of his claims." Id., 129 F.3d at 1184 (citation and quotation omitted)
The fugitive disentitlement doctrine has been applied to dismiss fugitives' criminal and civil appeals, as well as fugitives' affirmative claims for relief.
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[T]he rationales for the fugitive disentitlement doctrine "include the difficulty of enforcement against one not willing to subject himself to the court's authority; the inequity of allowing a fugitive to use court resources only if the outcome is an aid to him; and the need to avoid prejudice ...