Wesley v. Department of Veteran's Affairs et al
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS that this case be Dismissed without prejudice - re 1 Complaint filed by Michael Wesley. Objections to R&R due by 5/8/2017. Signed by Magistrate Judge Brian K. Epps on 4/20/17. (cmr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, )
and “CLINIC A,” Charlie Norwood,
MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Plaintiff commenced the above-captioned case pro se and requested permission to
proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”). (Doc. no. 2.) By Order dated March 29, 2017, the Court
denied the request to proceed IFP and directed Plaintiff to submit the full $400.00 filing fee
within twenty-one days. (Doc. no. 8.) Specifically, the Court found that Plaintiff receives
$4,084.00 per month from VA Compensation and Social Security disability and is therefore
capable of paying the full fee. (See id.) The deadline to pay the fee has passed, and Plaintiff
has not paid the $400.00 or further communicated with the Court in any way to explain why
he has not paid the fee.
A district court has authority to manage its docket to expeditiously resolve cases, and
this authority includes the power to dismiss a case for failure to prosecute or failure to
comply with a court order. Equity Lifestyle Props., Inc. v. Fla. Mowing & Landscape Serv.,
Inc., 556 F.3d 1232, 1240 (11th Cir. 2009) (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b)); see also Eades v.
Ala. Dep’t of Human Res., 298 F. App’x 862, 863 (11th Cir. 2008) (“District courts possess
the ability to dismiss a case . . . for want of prosecution based on two possible sources of
authority: Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b) or their inherent authority to manage their dockets.”).
Moreover, the Local Rules of the Southern District of Georgia dictate that an “assigned
Judge may, after notice to counsel of record, sua sponte . . . dismiss any action for want of
prosecution, with or without prejudice . . . [for] failure to prosecute a civil action with
reasonable promptness.” Loc. R. 41.1(c).
Local Rule 4.2(2) also provides that if the filing fee is not paid within twenty-one
days of the denial of an IFP petition, the civil action will be dismissed. Finally, dismissal
without prejudice is generally appropriate pursuant to Rule 41(b) where a plaintiff has failed
to comply with a court order, “especially where the litigant has been forewarned.” Owens v.
Pinellas Cnty. Sheriff’s Dep’t, 331 F. App’x 654, 655 (11th Cir. 2009) (citing Moon v.
Newsome, 863 F.2d 835, 837 (11th Cir. 1989)); see also Loc. R. 41.1(b) (Court may dismiss
an action sua sponte for “willful disobedience or neglect of any order of the Court”).
Here, Plaintiff’s failure to pay the filing fee after an order from the Court directing
him to do so, or to communicate with the Court about missing the April 19th deadline
amounts not only to a failure to prosecute, but also an abandonment of his case. This is
precisely the type of neglect contemplated by the Local Rules. The Court also finds the
imposition of monetary sanctions is not a feasible sanction because Plaintiff has already
chosen not to pay the filing fee necessary to commence a case in District Court.
Accordingly, the Court REPORTS and RECOMMENDS this case be DISMISSED
SO REPORTED and RECOMMENDED this 20th day of April, 2017, at Augusta,
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?