United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Southern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
F. MOORER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
U.S.C. § 1983 action is pending before the court on a
complaint filed by Cody Lee Fulgham, an indigent inmate
incarcerated in the Houston County Jail at the time he filed
this action. In the instant complaint, Fulgham challenges the
constitutionality of his placement in disciplinary
segregation. Doc. 1 at 2-4. Specifically, Fulgham complains
the defendants denied him due process when they placed him in
segregation immediately upon various rules violations and
only provided him a hearing on the disciplinary charges after
his placement in segregation. Doc. 1 at 2- 3. Fulgham also
challenges the conditions of disciplinary segregation. Doc. 1
to the orders of this court, the defendants filed a special
report and supplemental special reports supported by relevant
evidentiary materials, including affidavits, jail records and
a DVD recording, in which they address the claims for relief
presented by Fulgham. The reports and evidentiary materials
dispute the self-serving, conclusory allegations set forth in
light of the foregoing, the court issued an order directing
Fulgham to file a response to the defendants' written
reports. Doc. 32. The order advised Fulgham that his failure
to respond to the reports 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.” Doc. 32 at 1 (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. Doc. 32
at 1 (emphasis in original). The time allotted Fulgham for
filing a response in compliance with the directives of this
order expired on August 10, 2018. Doc. 34. As of the present
date, Fulgham has failed to file a response in opposition to
the defendants' written reports. 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. After such
review, it is clear that dismissal of this case is the proper
course of action at this time. First, Fulgham is an indigent
individual. Thus, the imposition of monetary or other
punitive sanctions against him would be ineffectual.
Additionally, Fulgham's inaction in the face of the
defendants' reports and evidence suggests a loss of
interest in the continued prosecution of this case. As such,
it appears that any additional effort by this court to secure
Fulgham's compliance would be unavailing and a waste of
this court's scarce resources. Finally, the evidentiary
materials submitted by the defendants, which are at this
point undisputed by Fulgham, indicate that no violation of
the Constitution occurred. Consequently, the court concludes
that Fulgham'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, generally, 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). 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; Mingo v.
Sugar Cane Growers Co-Op of Fla., 864 F.2d 101, 102
(11th Cir. 1989) (holding that a “district court
possesses the inherent power to police its docket.”).
“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 September 4, 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.