Hakata v. Wolcott
ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE. Signed by Honorable Barry A. Bryant on June 7, 2021. (mll)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
CHRISTOPHER TINASHE HAKATA
Civil No. 4:20-cv-4090
Plaintiff Christopher Tinashe Hakata filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action pro se on October
7, 2020. (ECF No. 1). His application to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”) was granted on
November 2, 2020. (ECF No. 7). On February 25, 2021, the parties consented to the undersigned
to conduct all proceedings in this case including the trial, the entry of final judgment, and all posttrial proceedings. (ECF No. 14). Before the Court is Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss based on
Plaintiff’s failure to keep the Court and Defendant informed of his address. (ECF No. 17).
On May 19, 2021, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss stating he was unable to effect
service of correspondence requesting to take Plaintiff’s deposition at Plaintiff’s address of record
– the Sevier County Jail in DeQueen, Arkansas. (ECF No. 17, p. 1). Defendant attached an
“Affidavit of Attempted Service” stating “the Defendant, by his attorneys, have attempted to send
the Plaintiff correspondence, but have been unable to make contact with the Plaintiff.” (ECF No.
19, p. 1).
That same day, the Court entered an order directing Plaintiff to file a response to
Defendant’s motion by June 9, 2021. (ECF No. 20). On June 1, 2021, the order sent to Plaintiff’s
address of record was returned as undeliverable noting “DTS RETURN TO SENDER NOT
DELIVERABLE AS ADDRESSED UNABLE TO FORWARD”. (ECF No. 21).
Although pro se pleadings are to be construed liberally, a pro se litigant is not excused
from complying with substantive and procedural law. Burgs v. Sissel, 745 F.2d 526, 528 (8th Cir.
1984). Local Rule 5.5(c)(2) states in pertinent part:
It is the duty of any party not represented by counsel to promptly notify the Clerk
and the other parties to the proceedings of any change in his or her address, to
monitor the progress of the case, and to prosecute or defend the action diligently
. . . If any communication from the Court to a pro se plaintiff is not responded to
within thirty (30) days, the case may be dismissed without prejudice. Any party
proceeding pro se shall be expected to be familiar with and follow the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure.
Local Rule 5.5(c)(2).
Additionally, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure specifically contemplate dismissal of a
case on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to prosecute or failed to comply with orders of the
court. Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b); Link v. Wabash R.R. Co., 370 U.S. 626, 630–31 (1962) (stating the
district court possesses the power to dismiss sua sponte under Rule 41(b)). Pursuant to Rule 41(b),
a district court has the power to dismiss an action based on “the plaintiff's failure to comply with
any court order”. Brown v. Frey, 806 F.2d 801, 803–04 (8th Cir. 1986) (emphasis added).
Plaintiff has failed to keep the Court informed of his address and failed to prosecute this
case. Therefore, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) and Local Rule 5.5(c)(2), the
Court finds that this case should be dismissed. Accordingly, Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (ECF
No. 17) is GRANTED and Plaintiff’s Complaint (ECF No. 1) is DISMISSED WITHOUT
IT IS SO ORDERED, this 7th day of June 2021.
/s/ Barry A. Bryant
HON. BARRY A. BRYANT
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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