United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
CHARLES S. COODY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Ryan Smith, an indigent state inmate, initiated this 42
U.S.C. § 1983 action on September 12, 2018. In this
case, Smith challenges actions which occurred at the Crenshaw
County Detention Facility on June 24, 2018. Doc. 1 at 2-3.
order of procedure entered on September 14, 2018 instructed
Smith 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 docket indicates Smith received a copy
of this order. However, the postal service returned as
undeliverable orders entered on March 5, 2019 (Docs. 32 &
33) because Smith no longer resided at the last address he
had provided to the court.
on the foregoing, the court entered an order requiring Smith
to inform the court of his current address on or before March
22, 2019. Doc. 34 at 1-2. This order directed Smith 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. 34
at 2. The court “specifically cautioned [Smith] that if
he fails to respond to this order the Magistrate Judge will
recommend that this case be dismissed.” Doc. 34 at 2.
As of the present date, Smith 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. 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 Smith is an indigent individual and the imposition
of monetary or other punitive sanctions against him would be
ineffectual. Moreover, Smith has failed to comply with the
directives of the orders entered by this court regarding
provision of a current address. It likewise appears that
Smith 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, this case cannot properly proceed when
Smith's whereabouts are unknown.
the court concludes that Smith's failure to comply with
the orders of this court warrant 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). This authority
empowers the courts “to manage their own affairs so as
to achieve the orderly and expeditious disposition of
cases.” Id. 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.” Id.
above stated reasons, it is the RECOMMENDATION of the
Magistrate Judge that this case be dismissed without
before April 11, 2019 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- ...