United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
CHARLES S. COODY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Wadsworth, an indigent inmate, initiated this 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 action in which he challenges conditions at the
Elmore County Jail. Upon review of the complaint, the court
issued orders granting Wadsworth leave to proceed in
forma pauperis (Doc. 3) and requiring a response to the
complaint from the defendants (Doc. 4). The Clerk mailed a
copy of each order to Wadsworth at the Elmore County Jail -
the last address he provided for service. The docket
indicates that Wadsworth received copies of these orders.
order of procedure, the court instructed Wadsworth to
immediately inform the court of any new address. Doc. 4 at 4,
¶8 (“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
court, however, recently obtained information that Wadsworth
is no longer in the Elmore County Jail. Specifically, mail
sent to Wadsworth in a separate case pending before this
court, Wadsworth v. Franklin, et al., Civil Action
No. 2:18-CV-937-WHA-CSC (M.D. Ala.), was returned by the
postal service as undeliverable because Wadsworth is not
currently confined in the Elmore County Jail. Based on the
foregoing, the court entered an order in this case requiring
that on or before December 10, 2018 Wadsworth “shall
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. 12
at 1. The order specifically advised Wadsworth that this case
could not properly proceed if his whereabouts remained
unknown and cautioned him that his failure to comply with its
directives would result in the dismissal of this case. Doc.
12 at 1-2. As of the present date, the court has received no
response from Wadsworth to the aforementioned order nor has
he provided the court with his current address as is
necessary to proceed before this court. 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 such review, the court finds
that dismissal of this case is the proper course of action.
Initially, the court notes that Wadsworth is an indigent
individual and the imposition of monetary or other punitive
sanctions against him would be ineffectual. It likewise
appears that Wadsworth is 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, this case cannot
properly proceed when Wadsworth's whereabouts are
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 December 26, 2018 the plaintiff may
file objections to the Recommendation. The plaintiff 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 the
plaintiff 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; s ...