United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
STEPHEN C. WILLIAMS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
pro se, Plaintiff Trent Young filed the present
lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging
violations of his constitutional rights while incarcerated as
a state inmate. This matter is before the Court on two oral
motions to dismiss for want of prosecution raised by
Defendants at a summary judgment hearing. For the reasons
discussed below, the undersigned RECOMMENDS
that the district judge GRANT the motions.
filed the present lawsuit on April 24, 2017. (Doc. 1). At the
time, he was incarcerated at Pinckneyville Correctional
Center (“Pinckneyville”). (Id. at 1). On
June 14, 2017, Chief District Judge Reagan entered an Order
conducting a merits review of Plaintiff's Complaint.
(Doc. 11). In that Order, Plaintiff was advised that he was
under a continuing obligation to keep the Clerk of Court and
each opposing party informed of any change in his address.
(Id. at 12).
December 5, 2017, Defendant Scott filed a Motion for Summary
Judgment based on failure to exhaust administrative remedies.
(Doc. 45). On May 23, 2018, that motion was set for hearing
by the Court to take place on July 6, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.
(Doc. 63). After setting the hearing, the Court was informed
by prison officials that Plaintiff had been paroled. The
Court then entered a notice informing Plaintiff that his
appearance was mandatory, and that “[f]ailure to appear
may result in dismissal and/or sanctions.” (Doc. 66).
The Court held the evidentiary hearing on July 6th, as
scheduled; however, Plaintiff did not appear. Both counsel
for Defendants orally moved to dismiss this matter for want
Rule 41(b), a court may dismiss an action with prejudice
“if the plaintiff fails to prosecute or to comply with
[the Federal Rules] or a court order.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
41(b). A district court should dismiss a suit under Rule
41(b) “when there is a clear record of delay or
contumacious conduct, or when other less drastic sanctions
have proven unavailing.” Salata v. Weyerhauser
Co., 757 F.3d 695, 699 (7th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Webber v. Eye Corp., 721 F.2d 1067, 1069 (7th Cir.
1983)) (internal quotations omitted). In addition, district
courts have an inherent power to dismiss suits due to a
plaintiff's failure to prosecute. Link v. Wabash
Railroad Co., 370 U.S. 626, 629, 82 S.Ct. 1386, 8L.Ed.2d
734 (1962). This power is necessary in order to prevent
unnecessary delays in disposing of pending cases and to avoid
clogging the district courts' calendars.
at 629 - 30.
of Plaintiff's claims is appropriate. Plaintiff has not
followed the Court's directives and has not shown an
interest in pursuing his case. Not only did Plaintiff fail to
update his address as instructed, he also failed to appear
for the evidentiary hearing. Though Plaintiff likely did not
receive notice of the hearing, as the notice was sent to his
last known address at Pickneyville, his lack of notice is by
his own design of failing to notify the Court of his new
address. Moreover, the docket for this matter is viewable to
the public, and Plaintiff could have accessed it to view the
notice. Finally, Plaintiff was informed ahead of the hearing
that failing to appear could result in dismissal of his suit.
Therefore, the undersigned finds that Plaintiff had adequate
warning of the consequences of failing to notify the Court of
a new address and of failing to appear at the hearing.
See Ball v. City of Chicago, 2 F.3d 752, 760 (7th
Cir. 1993) (holding “there must be an explicit
warning before the case is dismissed” for failure to
prosecute). The undersigned can only conclude that
Plaintiff has abandoned his interest in this case. Dismissal
is therefore appropriate.
Plaintiff has failed to update his address and pursue his
case, the undersigned RECOMMENDS that the
district judge GRANT the motions to dismiss
and DISMISS Plaintiff's claims in this
matter with prejudice.
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Rule 73.1(b), the
parties may object to any or all of the proposed dispositive
findings in this Recommendation. The failure to file a timely
objection may result in the waiver of the right to challenge
this Recommendation before either the District Court or the
Court of Appeals. See, e.g., Snyder v.
Nolen, 380 F.3d 279, 284 (7th Cir. 2004). Accordingly,
Objections to this Report and Recommendation must be filed on
or before July 23, 2018.