United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Russ Walker, United States Magistrate Judge.
Lewis Barrow, an indigent inmate, initiated this 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 civil rights action on June 5, 2017. In the
instant complaint, Barrow challenges actions which occurred
during a search of his residence in Troy, Alabama on June 23,
2015. Doc. 1 at 3- 9. The order of procedure entered on June
7, 2017 instructed Barrow to inform the court immediately of
any new address. Doc. 4 at 3-4, ¶7 (“The plaintiff
shall immediately inform the court and the defendants or, if
counsel has appeared on behalf of the defendants, counsel of
record of any change in his address. Failure to provide a
correct address to this court within ten (10) days following
any change of address will result in the dismissal of this
action.”). The docket indicates that Barrow received a
copy of this order. However, the court recently obtained
information that Barrow is no longer at the last address he
provided to the court.
on the foregoing, the court entered an order requiring Barrow
to inform the court of his current address on or before May
29, 2018. Doc. 23 at 1-2. This order directed Barrow to
“show cause why this case should not be dismissed for
his failure to comply with the orders of this court and his
failure to adequately prosecute this action.” Doc. 23
at 2. The court noted that “this case cannot properly
proceed … if the whereabouts of the plaintiff remain
unknown … [and] specifically cautioned [the plaintiff]
that if he fails to respond to this order the Magistrate
Judge will recommend that this case be dismissed.” Doc.
23 at 1-2. As of the present date, Barrow has failed to
provide the court with his current address pursuant to the
directives of the orders entered in this case. Under these
circumstances, the court finds that dismissal of this case is
accordance with Eleventh Circuit law, the court has reviewed
the file to determine whether a less drastic measure than
dismissal is appropriate. See Abreu-Velez v. Board of
Regents of Univ. System of Georgia, 248 Fed.Appx. 116,
117-18 (11th Cir. 2007). After this review, the court finds
that dismissal of this case is the proper course of action.
Barrow is indigent, and the imposition of monetary or other
punitive sanctions against him would be ineffectual.
Moreover, Barrow has failed to comply with the orders entered
by this court regarding provision of a current address. It
likewise appears that Barrow is simply no longer interested
in the prosecution of this case and any additional effort to
secure his compliance would be unavailing and a waste of this
court's scarce resources. Finally, as previously noted,
this case cannot properly proceed when Barrow's
whereabouts are unknown.
the court concludes that this case is due to be dismissed.
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 acknowledged 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). “The district
court possesses the inherent power to police its
docket.” Mingo v. Sugar Cane Growers Co-Op of
Fla., 864 F.2d 101, 102 (11th Cir. 1989). This authority
empowers the courts “to manage their own affairs so as
to achieve the orderly and expeditious disposition of
cases.” Link, 370 U.S. at 630-31. “The
sanctions imposed [upon dilatory litigants] can range from a
simple reprimand to an order dismissing the action with or
without prejudice.” Mingo, 864 F.2d at 102.
above stated reasons, it is the RECOMMENDATION of the
Magistrate Judge that this case be dismissed without
before July 2, 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.
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 grounds of plain error or manifest injustice. 11TH Cir.
R. 3-1; see Resolution Trust Co. v. Hallmark Builders,
Inc., 996 F.2d 1144, 1149 (11th Cir. 1993); Henley
v. Johnson, 885 F.2d 790, 794 (11th Cir. 1989).
The last address Barrow submitted to
the court is the Decatur Work Release Center. A search of the
inmate database maintained by the Alabama Department of
indicates that Barrow is no ...