United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE
MARY GORDON BAKER, Magistrate Judge.
Plaintiff, represented by counsel at the time, filed the instant action in the Charleston County Court of Common Pleas. (See Dkt. No. 1-1.) On May 16, 2012, the case was removed to this court. (Dkt. No. 1.) On September 24, 2012, the Honorable Patrick M. Duffy granted the request of Plaintiff's counsel to withdraw, and Plaintiff was given time to find new counsel. (See Dkt. No. 18; Dkt. No. 25.) Plaintiff did not obtain other counsel; he is therefore proceeding pro se. (Dkt. No. 31.) On January 16, 2013, the Plaintiff was notified that he was required to keep the Clerk of Court advised-in writing-of his address; that Order states, inter alia:
Plaintiff is a pro se litigant. Plaintiff's attention is directed to the following important notice:
You are ordered to always keep the Clerk of Court advised in writing (Post Office Box 835, Charleston, South Carolina 29402) if your address changes for any reason, so as to assure that orders or other matters that specify deadlines for you to meet will be received by you. If as a result of your failure to comply with this order, you fail to meet a deadline set by this court, your case may be dismissed for violating this order. Therefore, if you have a change of address before this case is ended, you must comply with this order by immediately advising the Clerk of Court in writing of such change of address and providing the Court with the docket number of all pending cases you have filed with this court. Your failure to do so will not be excused by the court.
(Dkt. No. 31 at 1-2.)
This case has been pending in federal court for nearly three years, with no action taken to move the case forward in nearly two years. On May 7, 2013, the Honorable Bruce Howe Hendricks issued an Order granting the Plaintiff's motion to stay in light of his overseas deployment. (Dkt. No. 40.) On January 10, 2014, Judge Hendricks issued the following Text Order:
STATUS REPORT TEXT ORDER. On May 7, 2013, the undersigned issued an order staying the instant matter in light of the Plaintiff's deployment. (Dkt. No. 40.) According to Plaintiff's Motion to Stay, his deployment was scheduled to end on November 30, 2013. (See Dkt. No. 36.) It is therefore ORDERED that all parties, Plaintiff and Defendants, shall file a status report in the instant matter on or before 1/31/2014. AND IT IS SO ORDERED.
(Dkt. No. 45.) Defendants filed a Status Report on January 31, 2014, stating that Defendants "have heard nothing from Plaintiff Grant Liverett since his last filing on February 11, 2013" and that Defendants "would welcome the dismissal of this case due to Plaintiff's failure to prosecute his alleged claims." (Dkt. No. 46.) Plaintiff-who has been granted permission to file and to receive documents electronically in light of his overseas deployment-filed his Status Report on February 12, 2014. (Dkt. No. 49.) In his Status Report, Plaintiff stated,
I am only now aware of this email and have never received anything by mail of the matter. I apologize for the delay due to being deployed. Noting my deployment and having to be away from my family is directly related to IBI's failure to keep their obligations. I will be in Charleston in mid April to resume the case with an attorney and DO NOT wish to have it dismissed.
(Dkt. No. 49.)
Having heard nothing from Plaintiff in April of 2014, Judge Hendricks issued another Status Report Order on May 8, 2014; that Order stated:
STATUS REPORT TEXT ORDER. On May 7, 2013, the undersigned issued an order staying the instant matter in light of the Plaintiff's deployment. (Dkt. No. 40.) According to Plaintiff's latest Status Report, he was scheduled to return to Charleston in mid-April 2014 to resume his case. (See Dkt. No. 49.) It is therefore ORDERED that all parties, Plaintiff and Defendants, shall file a status report in the instant matter on or before 5/28/2014.
(Dkt. No. 51.) Defendants filed a Status Report on May 28, 2014, indicating that they "have heard nothing from Plaintiff Grant Liverett since his last filing on February 14, 2014" and that they "would welcome dismissal of this case due to Plaintiff's failure to prosecute his alleged claims." (Dkt. No. 53.) On May 28, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Stay, wherein Plaintiff stated,
Requested update: Unfortunately for me I am still overseas. This legal process has been extremely difficult on me being out of the Country, but I DO NOT wish to have my case dismissed. I am overseas to support my family and protect our Country from extremist because IBI recklessly disregarded our agreement. I have very limited resources here to aid me in this legal process. I request a Motion to Stay until September 15, 2014, by this ...