United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
M. BORDEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
U.S.C. § 1983 action is pending before the court on a
complaint filed by Willie Carter, an indigent state inmate
currently incarcerated at the Ventress Correctional Facility.
In the instant complaint, Carter asserts that the defendants
deprived him of due process and equal protection when they
removed him from the substance abuse program based on their
determination that he was under the influence of narcotics.
Doc. 1 at 3.
defendants filed a special report supported by relevant
evidentiary materials, including affidavits and prison
records, in which they address the claims for relief
presented by Carter. The report and evidentiary materials
refute the self-serving, conclusory allegations presented by
Carter. Specifically, the defendants maintain that Carter had
no liberty interest in continued participation in the
substance abuse program protected by due process, Doc. 13 at
8-9, and further argue that his removal from the program
occurred not for any constitutionally impermissible reason
but because his actions during a group meeting on September
13, 2018-slumping in his chair, dozing off, slurring his
speech, imbalance, and uncharacteristically belligerent
behavior-indicated to defendant Gissendanner, a drug
treatment counselor at Ventress, that Carter was under the
influence of drugs. Doc. 13-1 at 1-2.
light of the foregoing, the court issued an order directing
Carter to file a response to the defendants' written
report. Doc. 14. The order advised Carter 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. 14 at 1. Additionally, the order “specifically
cautioned [Carter] 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. 14 at 1.
The time allotted to Carter for filing a response in
compliance with the directives of this order expired on April
5, 2019. Doc. 14 at 1. As of the present date, Carter has
failed to file a response in opposition to the
defendants' written report. In light of Carter's
failure to file a response to the written report of the
defendants, the court finds that this case should be
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 concludes that dismissal of this case is the proper
course of action at this time. Specifically, Carter is an
indigent individual, so the imposition of monetary or other
punitive sanctions against him would be ineffectual.
Additionally, his inaction in the face of the defendants'
report and evidence suggests a loss of interest in the
continued prosecution of this case. Finally, the evidentiary
materials submitted by the defendants, which are at this
point undisputed by Carter, demonstrate that no violation of
the Constitution occurred. It likewise appears that any
additional effort by this court to secure Carter'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 Carter
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.” Id. at 630-31; Mingo v. Sugar Cane
Growers CoOp 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.
these reasons, it is the RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate
Judge that this case be dismissed without prejudice.
before June 5, 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. 3-1; se ...