Higginbotham v. Social Security Administration
PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION recommending that Higginbotham's 1 complaint be dismissed without prejudice. Objections due within 14 days of this Recommendation. Signed by Magistrate Judge Patricia S. Harris on 11/9/2017. (ljb)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
MELISSA ANN HIGGINBOTHAM
CASE NO. 4:16CV00520 KGB/PSH
NANCY A. BERRYHILL, Acting Commissioner,
Social Security Administration
PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
The following recommended disposition has been sent to United States District Court Judge
Kristine G. Baker. You may file written objections to all or part of this Recommendation. If you
do so, those objections must: (1) specifically explain the factual and/or legal basis for your
objection; and (2) be received by the Clerk of this Court Clerk within fourteen (14) days of this
Recommendation. By not objecting, you may waive the right to appeal questions of fact.
An initial scheduling order was entered in this case on January 5, 2017. Plaintiff Melissa
Ann Higginbotham (“Higginbotham”) was directed to file her brief by February 16, 2017.
Although almost nine months have passed since that deadline, no brief has been filed. No extension
of time has been requested.
The federal courts are vested with the inherent power to police the docket. One consequence
flowing from that power is the option to dismiss a proceeding when a party has failed to prosecute
it. Rule 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure recognizes that a failure to prosecute or
comply with a court order is grounds for an involuntary dismissal. And although Rule 41(b)
contemplates a dismissal following the motion of a defendant, it has been recognized that district
courts possess the power to dismiss sua sponte pursuant to Rule 41(b). See Link v. Wabash R.R. Co.,
370 U.S. 626, 630-31 (1962).
Higginbotham has failed to prosecute this proceeding in a timely and diligent manner. She
has not filed any pleading since her complaint was filed on July 19, 2016 (Doc. No. 1). She has
failed to comply with the Court’s initial scheduling order dated January 5, 2017directing her to file
her brief by February 16, 2017 (Doc. No. 6). For these reasons, the undersigned recommends that
Higginbotham’s complaint be dismissed without prejudice.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 9th day of November, 2017.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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