Newsome v. Higham et al

Filing 53

ORDER dismissing the case. Ordered by Judge Hugh Lawson on 8/26/2010. (nbp)

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Newsome v. Higham et al Doc. 53 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT F O R THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA V A L D O S T A DIVISION P E N N Y NEWSOME, P la in tiff, C A S E NO. 7:08-CV-8 (HL) v. T O D D A. HIGHAM, and SHERIFF C H A R L E S NICK NORTON, Defendants. ORDER T h is civil rights case was filed on January 14, 2008. Plaintiff settled her case w ith Defendant Charles Nick Norton, and Defendant Norton was dismissed as a p a rty defendant by order of the Court on July 12, 2010. On March 19, 2008, the C le rk of Court filed an entry of default against Defendant Higham. No other action h a s been taken by Plaintiff with regard to Defendant Higham since the entry of d e f a u lt . In its July 12, 2010 order, the Court directed Plaintiff to take the necessary s te p s by August 31, 2010 to conclude her case against Defendant Higham. Plaintiff w a s instructed to inform the Court in writing if she could not meet that deadline for s o m e reason. C o u n s e l for Plaintiff has informed the Court that Plaintiff has moved and re lo c a te d without leaving counsel a new address. Counsel has attempted to contact P la in tiff by telephone and in writing, both to no avail. Counsel has also conducted a search for Plaintiff, but has not located her. In light of counsel's inability to find Plaintiff, the case against Defendant Higham will not be completed by August 31, 2010. U n d e r Rule 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a case may be d is m is s e d upon a determination of a "clear record of delay or willful contempt and a finding that lesser sanctions would not suffice." Goforth v. Owens, 766 F.2d 1533, 1 5 3 5 (11th Cir. 1985). The Court's inherent power to dismiss cases in which the p la in tiff has failed to diligently prosecute his action "is necessary in order to prevent u n d u e delays in the disposition of pending cases and to avoid congestion in the c a le n d a rs of the District Courts." Link v. Wabash R.R., 370 U.S. 626, 630 (1962). T h e Court finds that there has been delay on the part of Plaintiff with regard to her case against Defendant Higham. Plaintiff has had more than adequate time to pursue her claim or a default judgment against Defendant Higham but she has fa ile d to do so. The Court finds that lesser sanctions than dismissal will not suffice, e s p e c ia lly in light of Plaintiff's recent failure to maintain contact with her counsel. T h is case is dismissed. The Clerk of Court is instructed to close this file. S O ORDERED, this the 26 th day of August, 2010. s / Hugh Lawson HUGH LAWSON, SENIOR JUDGE m bh 2

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