Bridgeforth v. Thayer et al
DECISION AND ORDER dismissing plaintiff's complaint. Signed by Judge Glenn T. Suddaby on 7/16/12. [Served by cert. mail.](sfp, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Civ. No. 1:12-CV-519
PO THAYER; PO TABONE; SPO M. COLEMAN;
PO HAUGHES; DAN DECKER, Parole Officer
Appointed to Case and VOR establisher; and SUSAN
JEFFORDS, Parole Revocation Specialist,
Plaintiff, Pro Se
Rensselaer County Jail
4000 Main Street
Troy, NY 12180
GLENN T. SUDDABY, United States District Judge
DECISION and ORDER
On May 3, 2012, United States Magistrate Judge Randolph F. Treece issued an Order in
this pro se civil rights action that, inter alia, directed Otis Bridgeforth ("Plaintiff") to pay the
Court's three-hundred-fifty-dollar fee for the action within thirty days of the date of the Order, or
have his Complaint promptly dismissed by the undersigned. (Dkt. No. 8.) Plaintiff did not
subsequently pay that filing fee. (See generally Docket Sheet.) Magistrate Judge Treece's Order
of May 3, 2012, does not appear to have reached Plaintiff. (See Dkt. No. 9 [Mail Returned as
Undeliverable].) However, that fact was due to Plaintiff's failure to notify the Clerk of the Court
of his current address, as expressly required by Local Rules 10.1(c)(2) and 41.2(b) of the Local
Rules of Practice for this Court. (See generally Docket Sheet.)
The Court has carefully weighed the factors governing a court's dismissal of a plaintiff's
action under Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b) for failure to comply with a court order (specifically, by
failing to comply with Magistrate Judge Treece's Order of May 3, 2012) and/or failure to
prosecute (specifically, by failing to notify the Clerk of the Court of his current address), and
finds that, under the circumstances, those factors weigh decidedly in favor of dismissal.
Specifically, the Court renders the following five factual findings.
First, the duration of Plaintiff's failure to comply with Magistrate Treece’s Order is more
than a month, having begun on June 2, 2012, when he failed to pay the Court’s filing fee.
Furthermore, the duration of Plaintiff’s failure to prosecute is more than two months, having
begun on May 11, 2012, when he was released from the custody of Rensselaer County Jail yet
failed to notify the Clerk of this Court of his new address. (Dkt. No. 9.)
Second, Plaintiff has received adequate notice that his failures would result in dismissal.
Plaintiff’s duty to keep the Clerk’s Office apprised of his current address is clearly stated in
Local Rules 10.1(c)(2) and 41.2(b) of the Local Rules of Practice for this Court. It is also stated
on page 43 of the District’s Pro Se Handbook. Plaintiff received copies of these documents in
the numerous of the other cases he had filed before filing this case on March 21, 2012.1
Furthermore, Plaintiff received adequate notice that he had acquired at least “three strikes” for
See, e.g., Bridgeforth v. Cnty. of Rensselaer, 08-CV-0779, Notice of Receipt by
Otis Bridgeforth (N.D.N.Y. filed July 28, 2008); Bridgeforth v. Popavics, 09-CV-0545, Docket
Entry Reflecting Mailing of Pro Se Handbook (N.D.N.Y. filed May 8, 2009); Bridgeforth v.
Burke, 09-CV-1435, Acknowledgment of Receipt of Pro Se Handbook and Local Rules of
Practice (N.D.N.Y. filed Jan. 28, 2010).
purposes of Prison Litigation Reform Act, sufficient for him to either pay the filing fee or allege
facts plausibly suggesting that he was in imminent danger of serious physical injury at the time
of the filing his motion to proceed in forma pauperis (which he clearly did not do in this case).2
Third, Defendants are likely to be prejudiced by further delay in this action, which may
well affect the ability to locate witnesses (who might retire from, or be transferred within, the
New York State Division of Parole), and the preservation of evidence. See Georgiadis v. First
Boston Corp., 167 F.R.D. 24, 25 (S.D.N.Y. 1996) (finding that passage of time would cause
memories to fade).
Fourth, under the circumstances, the need to alleviate congestion on the Court’s docket
outweighs Plaintiff’s right to receive a further chance to be heard in this case. It is the need to
monitor and manage dilatory cases like this one that delay the resolution of other cases, and that
contribute to the Second Circuit's relatively long median time to disposition for prisoner civil
Fifth, the Court has carefully considered less drastic sanctions and has found them to be
inadequate under the circumstances, especially given the fact that any Order issued by the Court
admonishing Plaintiff for his dilatory conduct would likely never reach him. The Court would
add only that (1) it has reviewed the docket sheets of Plaintiff's various other actions in this
District, and cannot discern Plaintiff's current address, and (2) Plaintiff's abusive litigation
See, e.g., Bridgeforth v. U.S. Navy Recruitment Office, 11-CV-0431, ReportRecommendation, at 2-9 (N.D.N.Y. filed May 18, 2011) (Treece, M.J.); Bridgeforth v. Officer
Coffman, 11-CV-0422, Decision and Order, at 2-6 (N.D.N.Y. Dec. 28, 2011) (Mordue, J.);
Bridgeforth v. Mahar, 11-CV-0578, Decision and Order, at 2-5 (N.D.N.Y. filed Dec. 28, 2011)
(Mordue, J.); Bridgeforth v. Div. of Parole, 11-CV-0402, Decision and Order, at 2-6 (N.D.N.Y.
filed Jan. 20, 2012) (McAvoy, J.).
history in this District, the Court is not confident that Plaintiff will reappear in the near future
and diligently prosecute this action.
ACCORDINGLY, it is
ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Complaint (Dkt. No. 1) is DISMISSED; and it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall enter judgment in favor of Defendant and
close this case.
Date: July 16, 2012
Syracuse, New York
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