United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Southern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
M. BORDEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Terry McDougald, an indigent inmate, initiated this 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 action on November 13, 2017 while confined in the
Houston County Jail. In this complaint, McDougald challenges
the constitutionality of conditions at the jail. Doc. 1 at
2-3. Upon initiation of this case, the court entered an order
of procedure instructing McDougald that he must immediately
inform the court and defendants of any new address. Doc. 4 at
4. McDougald specifically was advised to “immediately
inform the court and the defendants or . . . counsel of
record of any change in his address” and cautioned that
“[f]ailure 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.” Doc. 4 at 4.
The court's docket indicates that McDougald received a
copy of this order.
separate case filed by McDougald with this court,
McDougald v. Woodall, et al., Civil Action No.
1:18cv748-WKW-GMB (M.D. Ala. 2018), the court issued an Order
and Final Judgment on December 10, 2018 (Docs. 6 & 7),
copies of which the Clerk mailed to McDougald. The postal
service returned these documents because the plaintiff no
longer resided at the Houston County Jail--the last address
he had provided for service. It is apparent that McDougald
has failed to comply with the requirement that he keep the
court informed of his current address, and the instant case
cannot properly proceed in this court if his whereabouts
on the foregoing, the court entered an order noting
McDougald's failure to furnish the court with his current
address and requiring “that on or before January 3,
2019 Plaintiff shall show cause why this case should not be
dismissed for his failure to comply with the order of this
court regarding provision of his current address and his
failure to adequately prosecute this action.” Doc. 35
at 1-2. The court “specifically cautioned [Plaintiff]
that if he fails to respond to this order the Magistrate
Judge will recommend that this case be dismissed.” Doc.
35 at 2. As of the present date, McDougald has failed to
provide the court with his current address pursuant to the
directives of the orders entered in this case. 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. Sys. of Ga., 248
Fed.Appx. 116, 117-18 (11th Cir. 2007). After this review,
the court finds that the dismissal of this case is the proper
course of action. Initially, the court notes that McDougald
is an indigent individual and therefore the imposition of
monetary or other punitive sanctions against him would be
ineffectual. Moreover, McDougald has failed to comply with
the directives of the orders of this court regarding a
current address. It likewise appears that McDougald 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.
this case cannot properly proceed when McDougald fails to
advise the court of his whereabouts.
the court concludes that McDougald's failure to comply
with the orders of this court warrants dismissal of this
case. 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.
these reasons, it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate
Judge that this case be dismissed without prejudice.
before March 5, 2019 the parties may file
objections to this 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; se ...