Jones v. Berryhill
OPINION. Signed by Honorable Judge Myron H. Thompson on 12/7/2017. (alm, )
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, NORTHERN DIVISION
PATRICIA A. JONES,
NANCY A. BERRYHILL,
Acting Commissioner of
CIVIL ACTION NO.
On April 10, 2017, plaintiff filed her complaint
determination as to disability benefits.
On June 15,
2017, the United States Magistrate Judge held a hearing
with plaintiff and discussed her motion to proceed in
magistrate judge also explained that proceeding pro se
After the hearing, the court entered an order granting
plaintiff’s request to proceed without the prepayment
of filing fees and setting forth that plaintiff’s brief
defendant filed her answer.
The order also included a
detailed statement on what the brief should contain.1
Defendant filed her answer on September 21, 2017.
such, plaintiff’s brief was due on October 31, 2017.
The order states:
“The plaintiff's brief shall contain a section
titled ‘Statement of the Issues.’
section in numbered paragraphs, the plaintiff
shall state in a concise, specific manner each
issue which the plaintiff presents to the court
Issues not presented in the
Statement of the Issues will not be considered
... The briefs shall not exceed a total of 15
pages, except as approved by the court upon
motion. ... Claims or contentions by the
plaintiff alleging deficiencies in the ALJ[‘s]
consideration of claims or alleging mistaken
conclusions of fact or law ... must include a
specific reference by page number, to the
portion of the record which (1) recites the
ALJ’s consideration or conclusion and (2) which
supports the party’s claims, contentions or
Order (doc. no. 7) at ¶¶ 4 & 6 (emphases omitted).
On November 6, 2017, the court entered an order
requiring plaintiff to show cause why she failed to
file her brief in support of the complaint.
specifically cautioned that if she fails to respond to
this order, this case will be dismissed for failure to
Order (doc. no. 15) at 2 (emphasis in
Plaintiff has filed no response to the
This case merits dismissal for failure to prosecute
as there have been no responses to the court’s orders,
issued on June 15, 2017, and November 6, 2017, the
“[E]ven a non-lawyer should realize the peril
to her case, when she ... ignores numerous notices” and
fails to comply with court orders.
Anthony v. Marion
Cty. Gen. Hosp., 617 F.2d 1164, 1169 (5th Cir. 1980);2
see also Moon v. Newsome, 863 F.2d 835, 837 (11th Cir.
1989) (As a general rule, where a litigant has been
forewarned, dismissal for failure to obey a court order
is not an abuse of discretion.).
Therefore, the court
finds it appropriate to exercise its “inherent power”
to “dismiss [plaintiff’s claims] sua sponte for lack of
Link v. Wabash R.R. Co., 370 U.S. 626,
630 (1962); see also Betty K Agencies, Ltd. v. M/V
(describing the judicial power to dismiss sua sponte
for failure to comply with court orders).
An appropriate judgment will be entered.
DONE, this the 7th day of December, 2017.
/s/ Myron H. Thompson
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
2. The Eleventh Circuit has adopted as precedent
all decisions of the former Fifth Circuit rendered
prior to October 1, 1981. See Bonner v. City of
Prichard, 661 F.2d 1206, 1207 (11th Cir. 1981) (en
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