Alexander v. USA
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn on 7/8/15. (MRR)
2015 Jul-08 PM 03:45
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
HUGHES A. ALEXANDER,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Case No. 4:14-cv-1615-SLB-TMP
The magistrate judge filed a report on June 2, 2015, recommending that the
federal claims in this action be dismissed without prejudice for failing to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). The
magistrate judge further recommended that any state law claims asserted in the
complaint be dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3). The
plaintiff has responded to the report and recommendation by submitting a pleading
in which he states that he is “unable to continue this case while am (sic) here in
Alabama due to the fact that I am limited to what I can do here.” (Doc. 14). He states
that he needs to “put a hold” on this action “for right now,” and that he will continue
with the case “when I get back to Florida.” Id. He contends that because of constant
back pain he “can’t be consistent working on the computer” at the Etowah facility.
The plaintiff’s pleading is in essence a motion for indefinite stay. Although
courts have “discretionary power to stay proceedings” for the purpose of controlling
their dockets or in the interest of justice, a stay order is subject to reversal when it is
“found to be immoderate or of an indefinite duration.” McKnight v. Blanchard, 667
F.2d 477, 479 (5th Cir. 1982) (emphasis added); see also King v. Cessna Aircraft, 505
F.3d 1160, 1172 (11th Cir. 2007) (“We have repeatedly held that a stay order which
is immoderate and involves a protracted and indefinite period of delay is impermissible”). In this instance, the plaintiff appears to seek an indefinite stay of these
proceedings pending the unknown date at which he might be released or transferred
from the Etowah County Detention Facility. The grant of an indefinite stay under
those circumstances would be improper.
Furthermore, this court has “broad discretion” in the exercise of its authority
to grant or deny a stay of the proceedings. Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 706-07
(1997). This discretion stems from “the power inherent in every court to control the
disposition of the causes on its docket with economy of time and effort for itself, for
counsel, and for litigants.” Landis v. North American Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936).
In this instance, it is the court’s opinion that the plaintiff has failed to submit facts
sufficient to justify a stay of even a finite duration. Therefore, to the extent the
plaintiff’s pleading can be construed as a motion to stay, the motion is DENIED.
Although extremely vague, a small portion of the plaintiff’s pleading appears
to directly address the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation. He states that
his claims are not frivolous, that he has sufficiently described the injury that occurred
in Jena, Louisiana, and that he has “tingling and numbness” in his thighs on a daily
basis. (Doc. 14). He also contends that “every judge” in the United States is aware
that the constitutional rights of “recent immigrants” have been violated. To the extent
that these assertions can be construed as objections to the report and recommendation,
they are not a sufficient basis to override the magistrate judge’s recommendation and
are therefore OVERRULED.
Accordingly, having carefully reviewed and considered de novo all the
materials in the court file, including the report and recommendation and response
thereto, the Court is of the opinion that the magistrate judge's report is due to be and
hereby is ADOPTED and the recommendation is ACCEPTED. Therefore, in
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), the federal claims in this action are
due to be dismissed without prejudice for failing to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted. Additionally, any state law claims asserted in the complaint are due
to be dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3). A Final
Judgment will be entered contemporaneously herewith.
Done this 8th day of July, 2015.
SHARON LOVELACE BLACKBURN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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