United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Russ Walker, United States Magistrate Judge
U.S.C. § 1983 action is pending before the court on a
complaint filed by Daniel Miller, an indigent inmate
currently incarcerated at the Covington County Jail. In the
instant complaint, Miller maintains that upon his release
from the Alabama Department of Corrections in October of 2017
he did not receive his 30-day supply of anti-psychotic
medication or an appointment with a specific free world
mental health provider. Doc. 1-1 at 2. Miller alleges that
these failures violated his constitutional rights during a
period of time unrelated to his incarceration. Doc. 1 at 2-3.
defendants filed special reports supported by relevant
evidentiary materials, including affidavits and medical
records, in which they address the claims for relief
presented by Miller. The mental health defendant avers that
she ordered Miller's end of sentence medications and
that, on the day prior to his release, another member of the
mental health staff provided Miller information regarding his
appointment with a free world mental health provider. Doc.
34-1 at 4-5; Doc. 34-2 at 10, 13. The correctional and
medical defendants deny any personal involvement with the
alleged constitutional violations. In addition, the
correctional defendants maintain that the law does not
require the defendants to provide mental health care to an
inmate after his release from prison. Doc. 41 at 5-6.
Finally, insofar as Miller seeks to hold the defendants
responsible for his commission of a criminal offense almost
two months after his release from prison, the court finds
this argument untenable as a basis for relief in a §
light of the foregoing, the court issued an order directing
Miller to file a response to the defendants' written
reports. Doc. 42. The order advised Miller 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. 42 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. 42
at 1 (emphasis in original). The time allotted Miller for
filing a response in compliance with the directives of this
order expired on January 11, 2019. Miller has failed to file
the required response in opposition to the defendants'
written reports. The court therefore finds 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 this review, it is clear that dismissal of this case is
the proper course of action at this time. Specifically,
Miller is an indigent individual. Thus, the imposition of
monetary or other punitive sanctions against him would be
ineffectual. Next, the plaintiff's inaction in the face
of the defendants' reports and evidence suggests a loss
of interest in the continued prosecution of this case.
Moreover, the evidentiary materials submitted by the
defendants, which are at this point undisputed by Miller,
demonstrate that no violation of the Constitution occurred.
Finally, it appears that any additional effort by this court
to secure Miller's compliance would be unavailing and a
waste of this court's scarce judicial resources.
Consequently, the court concludes that the abandonment of
this case by Miller and his failure to comply with an order
of this court warrant dismissal. 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 April 16, 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.