Mitchell v. Sullenger

Filing 6

MEMORANDUM AND OPINION by Senior Judge Thomas B. Russell on 10/8/2019. A separate order of dismissal shall plaintiff pro se (KJA)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY AT PADUCAH CINDY MITCHELL v. PLAINTIFF CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:18-CV-P152-TBR LORI SULLENGER DEFENDANT MEMORANDUM OPINION Plaintiff Cindy Mitchell initiated this pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil-rights action. Upon filing the instant action, she assumed the responsibility of keeping this Court advised of her current address and to actively litigate her 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 August 21, 2019, an Order sent to Plaintiff at the McCracken County Jail was returned to the Court by the United States Postal Service with the envelope marked “Return to Sender” (DN 5). Plaintiff apparently is no longer housed at her address of record, and she has not advised the Court of a subsequent change of address. Therefore, neither notices from this Court nor filings by Defendant 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.”). The Court will enter a separate Order of dismissal consistent with this Memorandum Opinion. Date: October 8, 2019 cc: Plaintiff, pro se 4413.011

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