United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE
M. JORDEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
December 11, 2017, Plaintiff Betty Mae Shipp, proceeding
without counsel, filed a complaint claiming that her civil
rights had been violated when she was denied certain rights,
including the right to vote, after she was convicted of a
crime and had completed her sentence. Doc. 1. Shipp's
complaint invokes the concepts of “double jeopardy,
” “cruel and unusual punishment, ” and
“not being allowed to vote/get housing.” Doc. 1.
On the same day Shipp filed her complaint, she also moved for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Doc. 2.
February 13, 2018, the court entered a detailed order
explaining that Shipp's complaint was flawed in a number
of ways. Doc. 7. First, the court explained that it was
unclear who Shipp was intending to sue since the style of her
complaint names the defendant as “State of Alabama
(Criminal Background Checks) Voting Procedure, ” but
when she was asked to provide the name and address of each
defendant in the body of her complaint, she confusingly
stated: “Alabama bing [sic] a background St. check
(double jeopardy) and cruel and unusual punishment. Not being
allowed to vote/get housing.” Docs. 1 & 7. The
court further explained that Shipp had failed to provide an
address for the intended defendant or defendants and provided
two different addresses for herself. Docs. 1 & 7.
when Shipp was asked for the facts on which she bases her
claim that her constitutional rights had been violated, she
I was involved in a crime in which I was certified as an
adult, and did my time (20 yrs.) and every time I try to vote
I am convicted of murder again and refused. I am not on
at ¶ 5. The court explained that it was unclear from
these allegations what specific claim or claims she intends
to pursue, and the unsworn affidavit she attached to her
complaint did not provide any further clarification. Doc. 7.
Finally, when asked to state the relief she was seeking,
Shipp stated only that “I am disabled please grant a
substantial hardship.” Doc. 1 at ¶ 6. She
requested no other form of relief. Docs. 1 & 7.
on the allegations in Shipp's complaint, the court
explained in its February 13 order that her pleading did not
meet the minimum pleading requirements of Rule 8 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Doc. 7. Thus, the court
ordered Shipp to file an amended complaint that complied with
the threshold pleading standards, including Rule 8 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Doc. 7. Indeed, she was
specifically instructed to identify clearly each defendant
and each claim asserted against that defendant in an amended
complaint no later than February 28, 2018. Doc. 7.
court also denied Shipp's motion for leave to proceed
in forma pauperis as incomplete in its February 13
order because she did not fully explain the income she had
received in the last 12 months, nor did she adequately
describe her debts and financial obligations. Doc. 7. Thus,
the court ordered Shipp either to pay the civil action filing
fee to the Clerk or file a properly completed motion for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis no later than
February 28, 2018. Doc. 7. Shipp was specifically warned that
her failure to comply with the court's February 13 order
would result in a recommendation that her complaint be
dismissed for failure to prosecute and for failure to comply
with the orders of the court. Doc. 7.
this warning, February 28 came and went with no filings from
Shipp. Pursuant to Rule 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, a district court may sua sponte dismiss a
plaintiff's action for failure to comply with the rules
of civil procedure or with any order of the court.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b); see Owens v. Pinellas Cnty. Sheriffs
Dep't, 331 F. App'x 654, 656 (11th Cir. 2009).
Because Shipp has not paid the requisite filing fee, filed a
properly supported in forma pauperis application, or
filed an amended complaint that complies with Rule 8 by the
deadline set out in the court's February 13, 2018 order,
it is the RECOMMENDATION of the undersigned that this action
be DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE for failure to comply with the
orders of the court. See, e.g., Taylor v.
Nelson, 356 F. App'x 318 (11th Cir. 2009) (affirming
dismissal of complaint for failure to comply with court
order); Crumbsy v. Friese Enters., 2015 WL 430042,
at *4 (N.D.Ga. Feb. 2, 2015) (dismissing action, in part,
because of pro se plaintiff's failure to comply
with court order); see also Gresham v. AT&T
Corp., 2014 WL 12513899, at *1 (N.D.Ga. Dec. 17, 2014)
(“Although civil litigants who represent themselves
(‘pro se') benefit from various procedural
protections not otherwise afforded to the
attorney-represented litigant . . . pro se litigants
are not entitled to a general dispensation from the rules of
procedure or court-imposed deadlines.”) (internal
quotation marks omitted)).
further ORDERED that the parties are DIRECTED to file any
objections to the report and recommendation no later than
March 29, 2018. Any objections filed must
specifically identify the findings in the Magistrate
Judge's report and recommendation to which the party is
objecting. Frivolous, conclusive, or general objections will
not be considered by the district court. The parties are
advised that this report and recommendation is not a final
order of the court, and therefore, is not appealable.
to file written objections to the proposed findings and
recommendations in the Magistrate Judge's report and
recommendation shall bar the party from a de novo
determination by the district court of issues covered in the
report and recommendation and shall bar the party from
attacking on appeal factual findings in the report and
recommendation accepted or adopted by the district court,
except upon grounds of plain error or manifest ...