Dennison v. Social Security Administration, Commissioner
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION - Therefore, due to Dennison's failure to prosecute, the Court dismisses this matter without prejudice. A separate order consistent with this opinion will be entered. Signed by Judge L Scott Coogler on 11/14/2023. (MEB2)
2023 Nov-14 AM 11:11
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
JIMMIE LEE DENNISON,
Social Security Administration,
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION
On December 11, 2020, Jimmie Lee Dennison (“Dennison” or “Plaintiff”)
filed a complaint against the Acting Commissioner of the Social Security
Administration and a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Docs. 1, 2.)
Upon an answer from the defendant, this Court issued a briefing letter. (Doc. 9.) This
letter was sent to both parties and stated “[t]he plaintiff must file and serve on the
Commissioner a brief for the requested relief within 30 days after the answer is
filed.” (Id.) (emphasis added). The plaintiff never filed a brief, and this Court
received the Government’s brief on September 5, 2023. (Doc. 10.) On October 27,
2023, this Court ordered the Plaintiff to file his brief within fourteen (14) days from
the date of the order because “[i]t has been nearly three months since the Plaintiff’s
brief was due, and this Court has not received one.” (Doc. 11.) The Court went
further and warned Dennison that “this Court is prepared to dismiss this case for
failure to prosecute.” (Id.) The order was mailed to plaintiff via first class mail the
same day the order was entered. It has now been eighteen (18) days since the order
was issued, and the Court has received nothing from Dennison.
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b), "If the plaintiff fails to prosecute
or to comply with these rules or a court order, a defendant may move to dismiss the
action or any claim against it." Further, "A district court has the inherent authority
to manage its docket and thus may dismiss an action sua sponte for failure to
prosecute." Nail v. Collado, 737 F. App'x 960, 962 (11th Cir. 2018) (citing Betty K
Agencies, Ltd. V. M/V MONADA, 432 F.3d 1333, 1337 (11th Cir. 2005)). “The
power to invoke this sanction is necessary in order to prevent undue delays in the
disposition of pending cases and to avoid congestion in the calendars of the District
Court.” Durham v. Fla. East Coast Ry. Co., 385 F.2d 366, 367 (5th Cir. 1967).1
Additionally, when a litigant is forewarned, dismissal for failure to obey a court
order is generally not an abuse of discretion. See Moon v. Newsome, 863 F.2d 835,
837 (11th Cir. 1989).
Fifth Circuit Opinions prior to October 1, 1981 are binding in the Eleventh Circuit and thus on
this Court. See Bonner v. City of Prichard, 661 F.2d 1206, 1209 (11th Cir. 1981) (en banc).
Dennison has undoubtedly failed to prosecute this case. To date, the only
actions that Dennison has taken in this case were nearly three years ago when he
filed his complaint and motion to proceed in forma pauperis. (Docs. 1, 2.) He never
submitted a brief after a briefing letter told him he must, and then still did not submit
one upon an order from this Court to do so. (Docs. 9, 11.) Plaintiff has been afforded
an opportunity to be heard and has received due process. The Court's prior orders
were designed to facilitate the disposition of this case on the merits, but Plaintiff has
not timely responded or taken any action whatsoever to move this case forward.
Therefore, due to Dennison's failure to prosecute, the Court dismisses this
matter without prejudice. A separate order consistent with this opinion will be
DONE and ORDERED on November 14, 2023.
L. Scott Coogler
United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?