POOLE v. MERCER COUNTY CORRECTION CENTER et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION filed. Signed by Judge Mary L. Cooper on 2/21/2014. (jjc)
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
CIVIL ACTION NO. 11-3730 (MLC)
MERCER COUNTY CORRECTION CENTER,
THE PLAINTIFF, pro se prisoner Marcello Poole, brought this
action against the remaining defendants, Officer L. Klosinski,
Officer K. Jones, and Warden Ellis (collectively, the
“defendants”), for violations of his constitutional rights.
dkt. entry no. 1, Compl.)
THE DEFENDANTS moved for summary judgment, on June 18, 2013,
in their favor and against the plaintiff pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 56 (the “Motion”).
(See dkt. entry no. 30,
Notice of Mot.; dkt. entry no. 23-1, Defs.’ Br.)
Judge instructed the plaintiff to file any opposition to the Motion
no later than July 22, 2013.
(See dkt. entry no. 29, 6-18-2013
The plaintiff did not file opposition by July 22,
THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE, by Letter Order dated January 9, 2014,
directed the plaintiff to send a letter to the Court by January 28,
2014 - if he intended to file an opposition to the Motion – (1)
explaining why he did not file opposition by July 22, 2013, and (2)
requesting permission to file opposition to the Motion out of time.
(See dkt. entry no. 31, 1-9-14 Letter Order.)
The Magistrate Judge
mailed the January 9, 2014 Letter Order to the plaintiff at the
Northern State Prison
PO Box 2300
Newark, NJ 07114
The Magistrate Judge mailed the January 9, 2014 Letter Order to the
above address because the most recent correspondence from the
plaintiff included a return address indicating that he remained
incarcerated at that address.
Letter from Marcello Poole.)
(See dkt. entry no. 21, 2-22-13
Indeed, the defendants led the
Magistrate Judge to believe that the plaintiff remained
(See Notice of Mot. at 1 (listing Newark
address for plaintiff).)
THE PLAINTIFF, however, was actually transferred to Southern
State Correctional Facility, 4295 Rt. 47, Delmont, NJ, 08314 at
some time prior to the date the January 9, 2014 Letter Order was
mailed to him.
The plaintiff never advised the Court of any change
in his address in contravention to Local Civil Rule 10.1(a), which
states in relevant part that “unrepresented parties must advise the
Court of any change in their . . . address within seven days of . .
. such change by filing a notice of said change with the Clerk.”
THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE - as the plaintiff failed to advise the
Court of the change in his address – thus had to mail another
Letter Order to the plaintiff.
2-11-14 Letter Order.)
(See generally dkt. entry no. 32,
The February 11, 2014 Letter Order states
that if the plaintiff intends to file an opposition to the Motion,
the plaintiff is required to send a letter to the Court by March 4,
2014 explaining why he did not file by July 22, 2013 and requesting
permission to file opposition to the Motion out of time.
THE COURT is aware that the plaintiff is a pro se prisoner
litigant and recognizes that pro se litigants are traditionally
given greater leeway where they have not followed the technical
rules of pleading and procedure.
153 n.2 (3d Cir. 1993).
See Tabron v. Grace, 6 F.3d 147,
Furthermore, the Court has the inherent
power to control its own docket by issuing a stay.
See Landis v.
N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936) (stating “the power to stay
proceedings is incidental to the power inherent in every court to
control the disposition of the causes on its docket with economy of
time and effort for itself, for counsel, and for litigants”); Rolo
v. Gen. Dev. Corp., 949 F.2d 695, 702 (3d Cir. 1991) (noting
district court exercised its inherent power to control its docket).
THE COURT thus intends to stay and administratively terminate
the Motion, pending whether the Court receives a response from the
plaintiff to the February 11, 2014 Letter Order.
plaintiff not send such a letter to the Court by March 4, 2014, the
Court will decide the Motion on the merits.
See Xenos v.
Hawbecker, 441 Fed.Appx. 128, 131 (3d Cir. 2011) (“[U]nless a
plaintiff’s failure to oppose a motion can truly be understood to
reflect that the motion is unopposed — for instance, when the
plaintiff is represented by counsel — we have expressed a
preference for an assessment of the complaint on its merits.”);
Tygart v. AM Resorts, LLC, No. 11-3714, 2011 WL 4402549, at *4
(E.D.Pa. Sept. 22, 2011) (“When a party fails to respond to a
motion for summary judgment, a court must nevertheless address the
merits of the unopposed motion.”).
THE COURT will enter an appropriate Order.
s/ Mary L. Cooper
MARY L. COOPER
United States District Judge
Dated: February 21, 2014
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