Valentine v. Mitchel et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION by Senior Judge Thomas B. Russell on 3/6/2018. The Court will enter a separate Order consistent with this Memorandum Opinion.cc: Plaintiff, pro se (MNM)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:18CV-P2-TBR
CORPAL MITCHEL et al.
Plaintiff Marlowe Valentine filed a pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
(DN 1). Upon filing the instant action, he assumed the responsibility of keeping this Court
advised of his current address and to actively litigate his claims. See LR 5.2(e) (“All pro se
litigants must provide written notice of a change of residential address . . . to the Clerk and to the
opposing party or the opposing party’s counsel. Failure to notify the Clerk of an address change
may result in the dismissal of the litigant’s case or other appropriate sanctions.”).
On January 18, 2018, the Clerk of Court sent Plaintiff a notice of deficiency (DN 3). On
January 25, 2018, the copy of that notice sent to Plaintiff at his address of record was returned to
the Court by the United States Postal Service with the envelope marked “Return to Sender” and
“Attempted Not Known” (DN 4). Plaintiff apparently is no longer housed at his address of
record, and he has not advised the Court of a change of address. Therefore, neither notices from
this Court nor filings by Defendants in this action can be served on Plaintiff.
Rule 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure authorizes the involuntary dismissal
of an action if a plaintiff fails to prosecute or to comply with an order of the court. See Jourdan
v. Jabe, 951 F.2d 108, 109 (6th Cir. 1991) (“Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b) recognizes the power of the
district court to enter a sua sponte order of dismissal.”). Although federal courts afford pro se
litigants some leniency on matters that require legal sophistication, such as formal pleading rules,
the same policy does not support leniency from court deadlines and other procedures readily
understood by laypersons, particularly where there is a pattern of delay or failure to pursue a
case. Id. at 110. “Further, the United States Supreme Court has recognized that courts have an
inherent power to manage their own affairs and may dismiss a case sua sponte for lack of
prosecution.” Lyons-Bey v. Pennell, 93 F. App’x 732, 733 (6th Cir. 2004) (citing Link v.
Wabash R.R. Co., 370 U.S. 626, 630-31 (1962)).
Because Plaintiff has failed to comply with this Court’s Local Rules by failing to provide
written notice of a change of address, the Court concludes that this case must be dismissed for
lack of prosecution. See, e.g., White v. City of Grand Rapids, 34 F. App’x 210, 211 (6th Cir.
2002) (“[Plaintiff’s] complaint was subject to dismissal for want of prosecution because he failed
to keep the district court apprised of his current address.”); Hananiah v. Shelby Cty. Gov’t,
No. 12-3074-JDT-TMP, 2015 WL 52089, at *3 (W.D. Tenn. Jan. 2, 2015) (“Without such basic
information as a plaintiff’s current address, courts have no recourse but to dismiss a complaint
for failure to prosecute.”).
The Court will enter a separate Order consistent with this Memorandum Opinion.
March 6, 2018
Plaintiff, pro se
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