United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
WALLACE CAPEL, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
U.S.C. § 1983 action is pending before the court on a
complaint filed by Sekou Rudolph, an indigent state inmate,
on May 4, 2017. In the complaint, Rudolph asserts that Dr.
Robert Kean, a free-world oral surgeon, acted with deliberate
indifference in the extraction of a wisdom tooth, tooth
number 17, on November 30, 2015. He further alleges that Dr.
Marvin West, the dentist at Bullock Correctional Facility,
denied him adequate post-operative treatment.
to the orders of this court, the defendants filed special
reports supported by relevant evidentiary materials,
including affidavits and dental records, in which they
address the claims for relief presented by Rudolph. The
reports and evidentiary materials refute the self-serving,
conclusory allegations presented by Rudolph. Specifically,
the defendants assert, and the documented evidence
demonstrates, that the defendants did not act with deliberate
indifference to Rudolph's dental needs. Instead, the
undisputed dental records compiled contemporaneously with the
treatment provided to Rudolph indicate he received necessary
and appropriate treatment with respect to removal of his
wisdom tooth in November of 2015 and post-operative
light of the foregoing, the court issued an order directing
Rudolph to file a response to the defendants' written
reports. Doc. No. 30. The order advised Rudolph that his
failure to respond to the reports filed by the defendants
would be treated by the court “as an
abandonment of the claims set forth in the complaint and as a
failure to prosecute this action.”
Id. at 2 (emphasis in original). Additionally, the
order “specifically cautioned [the plaintiff]
that [his failure] to file a response in compliance with the
directives of this order” would result in the
dismissal of this civil action. Id. (emphasis in
original). The time allotted Rudolph for filing his response
to the defendants' written reports expired on January 10,
2018. As of the present date, Rudolph has failed to file a
requisite response. The court therefore concludes that this
case should be dismissed.
court has reviewed the file to determine whether a less
drastic measure than dismissal is appropriate. See
Abreu-Velez v. Bd. of Regents of Univ. System of Ga.,
248 F. App'x 116, 117-18 (11th Cir. 2007). After such
review, the court finds that dismissal of this case is the
proper course of action. Initially, the court notes that
Rudolph is an indigent individual and, therefore, the
imposition of monetary or other punitive sanctions against
him would be ineffectual. Moreover, Rudolph's inaction in
the face of the defendants' reports and evidence suggests
a loss of interest in the continued prosecution of this case.
Finally, the undisputed evidentiary materials submitted by
the defendants demonstrate that no violation of the
Constitution occurred, i.e., the defendants have not acted
with deliberate indifference to Rudolph's dental needs.
Thus, it appears that any additional effort by this court to
secure compliance by Rudolph would be unavailing and a waste
of this court's scarce resources.
on the foregoing, the court concludes that Rudolph's
abandonment of his claims and his failure to comply with an
order of this court warrant dismissal. See Moon v.
Newsome, 863 F.2d 835, 837 (11th Cir. 1989) (holding
that, as a general rule, where a litigant has been forewarned
dismissal for failure to obey a court order is not an abuse
of discretion). The authority of courts to impose sanctions
for failure to prosecute or obey an order is longstanding and
is acknowledged, but not limited, by Rule 41(b) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Link v. Wabash R.R.
Co., 370 U.S. 626, 629-30 (1962). This authority gives
the courts the power “to manage their own affairs so as
to achieve the orderly and expeditious disposition of
cases.” Id. at 630-31; Mingo v. Sugar Cane
Growers Co-Op of Fla., 864 F.2d 101, 102 (11th Cir.
1989) (“The sanctions imposed can range from a simple
reprimand to an order dismissing the action with or without
above stated reasons, it is the RECOMMENDATION of the
Magistrate Judge that this case be dismissed without
before February 22, 2018, the parties may
file objections to the Recommendation. A party must
specifically identify the factual findings and legal
conclusions in the Recommendation to which the objection is
made. Frivolous, conclusive, or general objections to the
Recommendation will not be considered. Failure to file
written objections to the Magistrate Judge's findings and
recommendations in accordance with the provisions of 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) shall bar a party from a de novo
determination by the District Court of legal and factual
issues covered in the Recommendation and waives the right of
the party to challenge on appeal the District Court's
order based on unobjected-to factual and legal conclusions
accepted or adopted by the District Court except upon ...