United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division
O. Hickey United States District Judge
a civil rights action filed by the Plaintiff, Justin Anthony
Shutes, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Currently before
the Court is Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 27)
for Plaintiff’s failure to comply with the
Court’s orders. After thorough consideration, the Court
issues this Order.
originally filed this case pro se on September 9,
2014. ECF No. 1. In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims that his
constitutional rights were violated when Defendants failed to
provide him with adequate medical care. ECF No. 1. On
September 9, 2014, the Court granted Plaintiff’s
application to proceed in forma pauperis and advised
Plaintiff to keep the Court informed of his address. ECF No.
3. Plaintiff was housed in the Union County Detention Center
(“UCDC”) when he filed his Complaint. On March 2,
2015, mail sent to Plaintiff at the UCDC was returned to the
Court as undeliverable. The Court determined, based on its
own research, that Plaintiff was incarcerated in Florida and
ordered the Clerk to change Plaintiff’s address
accordingly. ECF No. 6. In this Order, Plaintiff was reminded
by the Court of his obligation to keep the Court informed of
his current address. On April 9, 2015, the Court issued an
Order to Show Cause as to why Plaintiff failed to keep the
Court informed of his current mailing address. ECF No. 7. On
April 13, 2015, Plaintiff responded to the Order to Show
Cause informing the Court of his Florida address. ECF No. 10.
On June 16, 2015, mail sent to Plaintiff at the Florida
address was returned as undeliverable. The Court obtained a
new Florida address for Plaintiff, and on July 16, 2015
ordered the Clerk to change Plaintiff’s address and
resend the documents. ECF No. 19. In this Order, Plaintiff
was reminded by the Court of his obligation to keep the Court
informed of his current address. On November 19, 2015, the
Court issued a second Order to Show Cause why Plaintiff had
failed the keep the Court informed of his address. ECF No.
20. Plaintiff did not respond to the Show Cause Order. On
January 25, 2016, mail sent to Plaintiff’s Florida
address was returned. ECF No. 23. The Court obtained a new
address for Plaintiff, and on January 29, 2016 ordered the
Clerk to change Plaintiff’s address and resend the
documents. ECF No. 24. In the Order, Plaintiff was reminded
of his obligation to keep the Court informed of his current
address. On April 13, 2016, Plaintiff notified the Court that
his current address is the UCDC. ECF No. 28.
first served discovery requests on Plaintiff on September 22,
2015 and the requests were not returned as undeliverable. ECF
No. 21. Plaintiff did not respond to the requests. On
November 3, 2015 Defendants sent a letter asking Plaintiff to
respond to the discovery requests and informing Plaintiff
that, if he failed to respond, Defendants would file a motion
to compel. This request was not returned as undeliverable.
Plaintiff did not respond to the requests. On December 1,
2015, Defendants filed a Motion to Compel. ECF No. 21. The
Court granted Defendants’ Motion to Compel on March 9,
2016 and directed Plaintiff to provide the required responses
by March 25, 2016. ECF No. 25. The Court advised Plaintiff
that failure to comply with this Order may result in the
dismissal of his case. To date, Plaintiff has not responded
to the Motion to Compel nor has he provided discovery
responses to Defendants.
January 29, 2016, the only communication the Court has
received from Plaintiff was on April 13, 2016 when he
notified the Court of his incarceration at the UCDC. ECF No.
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(b); Link v.
Wabash R.R. Co., 370 U.S. 626, 630-31 (1962) (the
district court possesses the power to dismiss sua
sponte under Rule 41(b)). Pursuant to Rule 41(b), a
district court has the power to dismiss an action based on
“the plaintiff’s failure to comply with
any court order.” Brown v. Frey, 806
F.2d 801, 803-04 (8th Cir. 1986) (quoting Haley v. Kansas
City Star, 761 F.2d 489, 491 (8th Cir. 1985)) (emphasis
has failed to respond to Defendants’ discovery requests
despite this Court’s Order to do so. In total,
Plaintiff has failed to comply with two of the Court’s
Orders (ECF No. 20 and 25). Accordingly, Plaintiff’s
Complaint is dismissed without prejudice. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 41(b).
Plaintiff has failed to comply with this Court’s
Orders, the Court finds that Defendants’ Motion to
Dismiss (ECF No. 27) is GRANTED. Plaintiff’s Complaint
should be and hereby ...