Ritter v. South Carolina Department of Parole and Pardon Services et al
ORDER RULING ON REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION: The Court accept the Magistrate Judge's Report and concludes that this action should be dismissed without prejudice pursuant to Rule 41. Signed by Honorable Terry L Wooten on 11/13/2023. (agaz, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
South Carolina Department of Parole
and Pardon Services, South Carolina
Correctional Institution, Jerry Adger,
Brian Stirling, Kimberly Yon, Kenneth
Nelson, Aurrah Rodgers, Aaron Joyner.
Civil Action No: 9:23-cv-00038-TLW
On January 5, 2023, Plaintiff Willie Ritter filed this civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the above-named Defendants. ECF No. 1.
Plaintiff’s complaint notes that, at the time of filing, he was 79 years old and
serving a twenty-year sentence in the custody of the South Carolina Department of
Corrections (“SCDC”). ECF No. 10 at 7. Plaintiff’s complaint alleges claims related
to the diagnosis and treatment of his cataracts during his incarceration. Id. Since
filing his lawsuit, Plaintiff was released from SCDC custody. ECF No. 15 at 2 n. 2.
Moreover, the Court has been notified that Plaintiff is now deceased. ECF Nos. 17 &
After Plaintiff filed this action, it was referred to the Magistrate Judge Molly
H. Cherry for initial review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil
Rule 73.02, (D.S.C.). On February 9, 2023, after reviewing Plaintiff’s complaint, the
Magistrate Judge issued a Proper Form Order, which provided Plaintiff the
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necessary information and paperwork for bringing his action into proper form. ECF
No. 7. Specifically, in order to proceed with his suit, the Magistrate Judge requested
that Plaintiff complete and submit the necessary summons forms and Forms USM285. Id.
In response, Plaintiff submitted some of the necessary forms, filed an
amended complaint, and moved for the appointment of counsel. ECF Nos. 10 & 11.
Finding that Plaintiff’s action was still not in proper form, the Magistrate Judge
issued a second Proper Form Order on August 21, 2023. ECF No. 13. This order
specifically directed Plaintiff to provide both a summons form listing the abovenamed Defendants and a completed and signed Form USM-285s for several of the
Defendants. Id. The order advised Plaintiff that his case would be subject to
dismissal should he fail to comply with the Proper Form Orders. Id.
On October 15, 2023, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and
Recommendation (“Report”), which recommends Plaintiff’s action be dismissed
without prejudice pursuant to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for
failure to comply with the Proper Form Orders. ECF No. 15. The Report again
provided the Plaintiff with the opportunity to comply with the outstanding Proper
Form Orders. Id. It also gave Plaintiff time to file objections to the Report for this
Court’s review. Id. Plaintiff has not complied with the Proper Form Orders, nor has
he filed objections to the Report.
As noted, Plaintiff was released from the SCDC’s custody while this matter
was pending and the record before the Court reflects that he has subsequently
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passed away. He is therefore unable to either comply with the Proper Form Orders
or continue to prosecute this action. Accordingly, the Court accept the Magistrate
Judge’s Report and concludes that this action should be dismissed without prejudice
pursuant to Rule 41. 1
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/Terry L. Wooten
Senior United States District Judge
November 13, 2023
Columbia, South Carolina
Plaintiff’s motion requesting the appointment of counsel, ECF No. 11, is denied as moot.
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