Crawford v. Jackson County Adult Detention Center et al
ORDER: Ordered that this case is dismissed without prejudice for failure to obey the Court's Orders. Signed by District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr on 8/2/22. (JCH)
Case 1:21-cv-00291-LG-BWR Document 25 Filed 08/02/22 Page 1 of 5
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
CLIFFORD ONEIL CRAWFORD, #39303
CAUSE NO. 1:21-CV-00291-LG-BWR
JACKSON COUNTY ADULT
DETENTION CENTER, ET AL.
ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE
FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH COURT ORDERS
This matter is before the Court sua sponte. After considering the record and
relevant legal authority, the Court finds that this cause should be dismissed without
Crawford brings his Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that he was
exposed to COVID-19 while housed in the Jackson County Adult Detention Center.
(Compl. 5, ECF 1). At the time he filed his Complaint, Crawford’s injuries were
“unknown” because Defendants allegedly refused to test inmates for COVID-19. (Id.)
Crawford has since advised the Court that he “got sick” during his detention in
Jackson County and was unable to “eat or taste.” (Resp. 2, ECF 15). He says he
asked to be tested for COVID-19 at that time, but his medical providers never
followed through. (Resp. 2, ECF 15; Resp. 3, ECF 22). Crawford apparently believes
that he contracted COVID-19 from other inmates “that had the symptoms.” (See
Resp. 3, ECF 22). Crawford has since recovered. (See id.)
Crawford named Jackson County Adult Detention Center, the State of
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Mississippi, and Sheriff Mike Ezell as Defendants. (Compl. 2-3, ECF 1). The Court
informed Crawford that Jackson County Adult Detention Center “is an extension of
the county rather than a separate legal entity that may be named as a party in an
action.” (Order 2, ECF 8). Crawford was thus advised that he “cannot maintain this
civil action against Defendant Jackson County Adult Detention Center” but was
“given an opportunity to name Jackson County, Mississippi, as a Defendant” instead.
(Id.) Crawford was also instructed to assert specific allegations against Defendant
Sheriff Mike Ezell. (Id.)
Crawford did not address the Court’s instructions in his Response. (See Resp.
1-2, ECF 15). He did not voluntarily dismiss Jackson County Adult Detention Center
as a Defendant; add Jackson County as a Defendant; or offer more information about
his claim against Defendant Sheriff Ezell. (See id.) Crawford merely belabored the
allegations of medical neglect and advised the Court that he had gotten sick too. (Id.
The Court found Crawford’s Response insufficient and granted him an
extension of time within which to fully comply with its Order. (Order 3, ECF 17).
Crawford was again instructed to state whether he intended to voluntarily dismiss
Defendant Jackson County Adult Detention Center; name Jackson County as a
Defendant; and assert specific facts against the properly named parties.
Crawford did not respond. A month later, the Court entered an Order to Show Cause,
directing Crawford to answer its questions and show cause why the case should not
Case 1:21-cv-00291-LG-BWR Document 25 Filed 08/02/22 Page 3 of 5
be dismissed for his failure to comply with the Court’s Orders. (Order 1-2, ECF 18).
Again, Crawford did not respond. The Court entered a Second and Final Order to
Show Cause over another month later. (ECF 19). And that deadline was extended
by another two weeks from an abundance of caution. (ECF 20).
Crawford responded within that final deadline, but his second Response was
also insufficient. (See ECF 22). He maintains “the Jackson County Adult Detention
Center as [his] Defendant,” and he failed to include any information about Sheriff
Ezell’s involvement in the alleged medical neglect. (See id. at 1-2). The Court granted
Plaintiff yet another extension of time within which to name the proper parties and
support his Complaint with specific allegations. (ECF 23). Crawford was directed to
answer the questions previously posed on or before July 15, 2022. (Order 3, ECF 23).
He did not.
At all times, the Court’s Orders were mailed to Crawford at the address on the
docket (where he is currently housed),1 and none of the substantive orders discussed
here were returned as undeliverable.2 Each order warned Crawford that failure to
timely comply with the Court’s Orders may result in the dismissal of this lawsuit.
(Order 3, ECF 8; Order 3, ECF 17; Order 2, ECF 18; Order 2, ECF 19; Order 3, ECF
The docket reflects that Crawford is housed at Marion Walthall County Correctional Facility.
(See ECF 12). The Mississippi Department of Corrections’ website reflects that same information. See
Inmate Details, available at https://www.ms.gov/mdoc/inmate/Search/GetDetails/39303 (last accessed
Aug. 1, 2022).
One Order (directing Crawford to sign a pleading) was returned as undeliverable. (See ECF
13). The same day, the Clerk of Court noted Crawford’s change of address (ECF 12) and mailed him
another copy of the Order at issue. It was not returned as undeliverable, nor were any of the Court’s
Orders since then.
Case 1:21-cv-00291-LG-BWR Document 25 Filed 08/02/22 Page 4 of 5
20; Order 4, ECF 23).
“A district court may sua sponte dismiss an action for failure to prosecute or to
comply with any court order.” Dunn v. Farrell, 598 F. App’x 332, 333 (5th Cir. 2015)
(citing FED. R. CIV. P. 41(b); McCullough v. Lynaugh, 835 F.2d 1126, 1127 (5th Cir.
1988)). Crawford did not comply with six Court Orders, after being warned that
failing to do so may result in the dismissal of his case. (Order 3, ECF 8; Order 3, ECF
17; Order 2, ECF 18; Order 2, ECF 19; Order 3, ECF 20; Order 4, ECF 23). Although
Crawford has shown an “ability to file numerous other pleadings . . . in the relevant
time frame,” he has failed to comply with the Court’s “explicit directive” to name the
proper parties or provide more information on the properly named parties. See Dunn,
598 F. App’x at 333 (affirming sua sponte dismissal for prisoner’s failure to comply
with district court’s order to file an amended complaint); Rice v. Doe, 306 F. App’x
144, 146 (5th Cir. 2009) (affirming sua sponte dismissal for prisoner’s failure to
comply with district court’s order to further identify the defendants).
What’s more, Crawford’s failure to comply with the Court’s Orders “appears to
be willful and intentional, rather than based upon a misunderstanding of the type of
pleadings the [Court] require[s].” See Dunn, 598 F. App’x at 333. On three occasions,
the Court explicitly instructed Crawford that Jackson County Adult Detention Center
cannot be named as a party to this lawsuit. (Order 2, ECF 8; Order 2, ECF 17; Order
2, ECF 23). Yet his last Response maintains “the Jackson County Adult Detention
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Center as [his] Defendant.” (Resp. 2, ECF 22). So lesser sanctions than dismissal
have not “prompt[ed] diligent prosecution,” and dismissal without prejudice is now
warranted. See Tello v. C.I.R., 410 F.3d 743, 744 (5th Cir. 2005) (quoting Berry v.
CIGNA/RSI-CIGNA, 975 F.2d 1188, 1191 (5th Cir. 1992)).
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that this civil action is
DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE for failure to obey the Court’s Orders. A
separate judgment will be entered under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 58.
SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED this the 2nd day of August, 2022.
Louis Guirola, Jr.
LOUIS GUIROLA, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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