United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division
BARRY A. BRYANT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Randy Blanchett proceeds in this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 matter
pro se and in forma pauperis. The Parties
have consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge to
conduct any and all proceedings in this case, including
conducting the trial, ordering the entry of a final judgment,
and conducting all post-judgment proceedings. ECF No. 13.
Currently before the Court are Defendants’ Motion to
Compel and Extension of Time to File Motion for Summary
Judgment (ECF No. 18) and Plaintiff’s Motion for
Extension of Time for Summary Judgment or in the Alternative
Motion to Dismiss. ECF No. 19.
August 11, 2015, Plaintiff filed his Complaint alleging his
constitutional rights were violated by Defendants during his
incarceration in the Hempstead County Detention Center.
Defendants served Plaintiff with discovery requests on March
9, 2016 to ADC - Grimes Unit, 300 Correction Drive, Newport,
Arkansas. Plaintiff did not respond and the requests were not
returned as undeliverable. On April 13, 2016, Defendant
resent their discovery requests to Plaintiff and informed
Plaintiff if they did not receive a response by April 27,
2016 they would file a Motion to Compel. Again, the requests
were not returned as undeliverable and Plaintiff did not
Initial Scheduling Order I set deadlines for completion of
discovery by May 2, 2016 and filing of a Motion for Summary
Judgment by March 28, 2016. ECF No. 12. The hearing on the
motion for summary judgment was originally set for Thursday,
May 12, 2016 in Texarkana, Arkansas. ECF No. 12. Defendants
requested an extension in order to complete discovery prior
to filing the motion for summary judgment. Defendants also
requested the date for the hearing on summary judgment be
reset and held 45 days after the deadline for filing the
motion for summary judgment. ECF No. 15. I granted
Defendants’ Motion on April 6, 2016 giving Defendants
until May 15, 2016 to file their Motion for Summary Judgment
and reset the hearing on the Motion for Summary Judgment for
November 10, 2016. ECF No. 17.
2, 2016 Defendants’ filed a Motion to Compel and
Extension of Time to File Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF
No. 18. On May 3, 2016 Plaintiff filed a Motion to Extend
Summary Judgment Deadlines or in the Alternative Motion to
Dismiss. ECF No. 19.
pro se pleadings are to be construed liberally, a
pro se litigant is not excused from complying with
substantive and procedural law. Burgs v. Sissel, 745
F.2d 526, 528 (8th Cir. 1984). The Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure specifically contemplate dismissal of a case on the
grounds the plaintiff failed to prosecute or failed to comply
with orders of the court. Fed.R.Civ.P. 41. A plaintiff may
also voluntarily dismiss his claims without prejudice by
court order on terms that the court considers proper.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 41 (a)(2).
Motion Plaintiff states he “is filing for motion for
Extension of time for summary of Judgement to be reset until
after the month of the 3-30-2017, due to the fact that I am
unable to obtain legal assistant at this time, if motion is
not granted I would like to go through with dismissal.”
ECF No. 19. Plaintiff’s claims do not appear legally or
factually complex and Plaintiff is capable of prosecuting his
claims without appointed counsel. In addition, Plaintiff has
been given two chances to respond to discovery requests and
has failed to do so. The Court has already rescheduled the
summary judgment hearing date once because Plaintiff did not
respond to Defendants’ discovery requests.
Plaintiff’s inability to obtain legal assistance is no
excuse for failing to respond to Defendants’ discovery
requests nor does it constitute good cause to extend the
summary judgment hearing until after March 30, 2017.
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 41 (a)(2), Plaintiff is entitled to dismiss
his case only by court order at this stage of the litigation.
Plaintiff has made clear he “wants to go through with
dismissal” if his request to extend the hearing date
for summary judgment is denied. ECF No. 19. Instead of
dismissing Plaintiff’s case with prejudice for failure
to prosecute, the Court will grant Plaintiff’s request
to dismiss his case without prejudice.
Motion to Extend Summary Judgment Deadlines or in the
Alternative Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 19) will be granted in
part and denied in part. Plaintiff’s Motion to Extend
Summary Judgment Deadlines (ECF No.19) is DENIED.
Plaintiff’s Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 19) is GRANTED
and Plaintiff’s claims are DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.