United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
KENNETH R. SEXTION
JEFFERSON PARISH CORRECTIONAL CENTER, ET AL.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
M. DOUGLAS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Kenneth R. Sextion, filed this pro se and in
forma pauperis civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. In this lawsuit, he claimed that excessive force was
used against him, he was denied appropriate medical care, and
he was falsely charged with resisting arrest and battery on
Court issued an order scheduling a preliminary conference in
this matter for July 11, 2019. However, on June 26, 2019, the
Court was notified that plaintiff was no longer incarcerated
at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center, his address of
record. In light of that fact, the preliminary conference was
canceled, and plaintiff was ordered to file a change of
address with the Court on or before August 1,
2019. To date, plaintiff has not notified the
Court of his current address.
defendants have now filed a motion requesting that the Court
dismiss this civil action for lack of
prosecution. Plaintiff has filed no response to that
motion. For the following reasons, the defendants' motion
should be granted.
Court's Local Rules provide: “Each attorney and pro
se litigant has a continuing obligation promptly to notify
the court of any address or telephone number change.”
Local Rule 11.1. It is clear that plaintiff was in fact aware
of that obligation, in that his complaint included the
following declaration: “I understand that if I am
released or transferred, it is my responsibility to keep the
Court informed of my whereabouts and failure to do so may
result in this action being dismissed with
prejudice.” Further, on February 19, 2019, Chief
Magistrate Judge Karen Wells Roby again expressly advised
plaintiff that he must notify the Court in writing of his new
address and telephone number if he was transferred or
released from custody.
this Court's Local Rules provide:
The failure of an attorney or pro se litigant to notify the
court of a current e-mail or postal address may be considered
cause for dismissal for failure to prosecute when a notice is
returned to the court because of an incorrect address and no
correction is made to the address for a period of 35 days
from the return.
Local Rule 41.3.1. More than thirty-five days ago, mail sent
to plaintiff at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center, his
address of record, was returned by the United States Postal
Service as undeliverable.
light of the foregoing, it is appropriate to dismiss
plaintiff's complaint for want of prosecution. The
authority of a federal trial court to dismiss a
plaintiff's action because of failure to prosecute is
clear. Link v. Wabash R.R., 370 U.S. 626 (1962);
McCullough v. Lynaugh, 835 F.2d 1126 (5th Cir.
1988). The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure specifically
provide that a court may, in its discretion, dismiss a
plaintiff's action for failure to prosecute or for
failure to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
or any order of the court and that such a dismissal is
considered to be an adjudication on the merits. Fed.R.Civ.P.
41(b). The Court's power to dismiss for want of
prosecution should be used sparingly, although it may be
exercised sua sponte whenever necessary to achieve
the orderly and expeditious disposition of cases. Ramsay
v. Bailey, 531 F.2d 706, 707 (5th Cir. 1976).
plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court need only
consider his conduct in determining whether dismissal is
proper under Rule 41(b). Here, plaintiff has failed to
provide the Court with his current address despite being
aware of his obligation to do so, and mail sent to him at his
address of record has been returned as undeliverable. Due
solely to plaintiffs failure, his whereabouts are unknown,
and this Court has no way to contact him in order to schedule
a preliminary conference or to otherwise advance his case on
the docket. Accordingly, the complaint should be dismissed
for failure to prosecute.
therefore RECOMMENDED that the
defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of prosecution be
GRANTED and that plaintiffs complaint be
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
party's failure to file written objections to the
proposed findings, conclusions, and recommendation in a
magistrate judge's report and recommendation within
fourteen (14) days after being served with a copy shall bar
that party, except upon grounds of plain error, from
attacking on appeal the unobjected-to proposed factual
findings and legal conclusions accepted by the district
court, provided that the party has been served with notice
that such consequences will result from a failure ...