Adams v. Liggett
ORDER re 20 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Prosecution filed by Liggett. Judgment will be entered accordingly. Signed by Honorable P. K. Holmes, III on June 19, 2017. (hnc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
HOT SPRINGS DIVISION
GEORGE EDWARD ADAMS, III
Civil No. 6:16-CV-06096-PKH-BAB
Plaintiff, George Edward Adams, III, submitted this pro se action for filing on September
26, 2016. (Doc. 2). Currently before the Court is Plaintiff’s failure to follow a Court order and
failure to prosecute, as well as Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 20).
Plaintiff filed his complaint on September 26, 2016. (Doc. 2). An order granting IFP was
entered on October 21, 2016. (Doc. 6). In this order, Plaintiff was advised his case could be
dismissed if he did not keep the Court apprised of his current address.
On May 22, 2017, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 20). As grounds for
dismissal, Defendant states he served Plaintiff with Requests for Admissions on April 3, 2016.
Plaintiff did not respond to the discovery request. Defendant further states a search of the Arkansas
Department of Correction Inmate Population database indicates Plaintiff has been paroled, and did
not notify either Defendant or the Court of his parole.
Research by the Court indicates Plaintiff was paroled on March 22, 2017. Plaintiff has not
communicated with the Court since November 14, 2016. (Doc. 10).
While 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
Local Rule 5.5(c)(2)
Additionally, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure also specifically contemplate dismissal
of a case with prejudice on the grounds 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)
(the district Court possess 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,” and such a dismissal may be with prejudice if there has been “‘a clear record
of delay or contumacious conduct by the plaintiff.’” Brown v. Frey, 806 F.2d 801, 803–04 (8th Cir.
1986) (quoting Haley v. Kansas City Star, 761 F.2d 489, 491 (8th Cir. 1985)) (emphasis added).
Dismissal with prejudice is an extreme sanction, and only to be used in cases of “willful
disobedience of a Court order” or “where a litigant exhibits a pattern of intentional dely.” Hunt v.
City of Minneapolis, 203 F.3d 524, 527 (8th Cir. 2000). The Court does not, however, need to find
that Plaintiff acted in bad faith, but “only that he acted intentionally as opposed to accidentally or
involuntarily.” Id. (quoting Rodgers v. Univ. of Missouri, 135 F.3d 1216, 1219 (8th Cir. 1998)).
Plaintiff has failed to keep the Court apprised of his current address as required by Local
Rule 5.5(c)(2). Plaintiff has failed to comply with a Court order. Plaintiff has failed to prosecute
this matter. Accordingly, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) and Local Rule
5.5(c)(2) Plaintiff’s Complaint should be dismissed without prejudice for failure to comply with the
Court’s Local Rules and Orders and failure to prosecute this case. See Local Rule 5.5(c)(2); Fed.
R. Civ. P. 41(b).
For these reasons, Plaintiff’s complaint is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
Judgment will be entered accordingly.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 19th day of July, 2017.
HON. P. K. HOLMES, III
CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
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