Rupple v. Longino et al
ORDER AND REASONS: IT IS ORDERED that plaintiff's complaint is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE for failure to prosecute. Signed by Magistrate Judge Janis van Meerveld on 10/5/2017.(ajn)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
DUSTIN JAMES RUPPLE
GREGORY C. LONGINO, ET AL.
ORDER AND REASONS
Plaintiff, Dustin James Rupple, a state prisoner, filed this pro se and in forma pauperis
civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Gregory C. Longino, Randy Smith, Deputy
Billiot, Deputy Whittle, and Deputy Eason. In this lawsuit, plaintiff claimed that the defendants
failed to protect him from violence at the hands of other inmates. The parties have consented to
the jurisdiction of the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge. 1
This Court’s Local Rules provide: “Each attorney and pro se litigant has a continuing
obligation promptly to notify the court of any address or telephone number change.” Local Rule
11.1. It is clear that plaintiff was in fact aware of that obligation, in that his complaint included
the following declaration: “I understand that if I am released or transferred, it is my responsibility
to keep the Court informed of my whereabouts and failure to do so may result in this action being
dismissed with prejudice.” 2 Moreover, plaintiff was again expressly warned of that obligation
both orally at the preliminary conference held on August 1, 2017, and in writing in the Court’s
scheduling order. 3
Rec. Doc. 16.
Rec. Doc. 1, p. 6.
Rec. Doc. 15, p. 3.
Additionally, this Court’s Local Rules further provide:
The failure of an attorney or pro se litigant to notify the court of a current
e-mail or postal address may be considered cause for dismissal for failure to
prosecute when a notice is returned to the court because of an incorrect address and
no correction is made to the address for a period of 35 days from the return.
Local Rule 41.3.1. More than thirty-five days ago, mail sent to plaintiff at the Allen Correctional
Center, his address of record, was returned by the United States Postal Service as undeliverable. 4
In a telephone call on October 3, 2017, officials at the Allen Correctional Center also confirmed
to the undersigned’s staff that plaintiff was no longer incarcerated at that facility.
In light of the foregoing, it is appropriate to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint for want of
prosecution. The authority of a federal trial court to dismiss a plaintiff’s action because of failure
to prosecute is clear. Link v. Wabash R.R., 370 U.S. 626 (1962); McCullough v. Lynaugh, 835
F.2d 1126 (5th Cir. 1988). The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure specifically provide that a court
may, in its discretion, dismiss a plaintiff’s action for failure to prosecute or for failure to comply
with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or any order of the court and that such a dismissal is
considered to be an adjudication on the merits. Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b). The Court’s power to dismiss
for want of prosecution should be used sparingly, although it may be exercised sua sponte
whenever necessary to achieve the orderly and expeditious disposition of cases. Ramsay v. Bailey,
531 F.2d 706, 707 (5th Cir. 1976).
Because plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court need only consider his conduct in
determining whether dismissal is proper under Rule 41(b). Here, plaintiff has failed to provide the
Court with his current address despite being aware of his obligation to do so, and mail sent to him
Rec. Doc. 18. A subsequent mailing to plaintiff at that same address was likewise returned as undeliverable. Rec.
at his address of record has been returned as undeliverable. Due solely to plaintiff’s failure, his
whereabouts are unknown, and this Court has no way to contact him concerning this case with
respect to the scheduled jury trial. Therefore, dismissal is appropriate.
IT IS ORDERED that plaintiff’s complaint is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE for
failure to prosecute.
New Orleans, Louisiana, this fifth day of October, 2017.
JANIS VAN MEERVELD
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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?