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Nelson v. Young

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division

July 21, 2016

Jimmie Nelson, aka Jimmie Devoux Plaintiff,
v.
Harold Young, County Commissioner, In his individual and official capacities, Leroy Ravenell, Sheriff of Orangeburg County, In his individual and official capacities, Zenetia Dozier, Director of Orangeburg County Jail, In her individual and official capacities, Defendants.

          Jimmie Nelson, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

          ORDER

          TERRY L. WOOTEN, Chief District Judge.

         Plaintiff, Jimmie Nelson ("Plaintiff"), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 alleging violation Plaintiff alleges violations of his "Civil and Constitutional" rights. (ECF No. 1).

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff states that he is a former "inmate at the Orangeburg County Jail" and that he was released on March 7, 2016 after serving a ninety (90) day sentence based upon an August 26, 2008 Bench Warrant relating to child support. (ECF No. 1 at 1-2). Plaintiff filed a complaint on April 13, 2016 asserting various claims against Defendants arising out of his incarceration.

         On April 27, 2016, the magistrate judge issued a proper form order directing Plaintiff to bring the case into proper form within 21 days (plus three days for mail time). (ECF No. 7). The magistrate judge's proper form order directed Plaintiff to complete a new summons listing every Defendant, to sign, and return a Form USM-285 for each defendant and to answer Rule 26.01 Interrogatories. This order also outlined the steps necessary to properly complete the Forms USM-285 and the summons and warned Plaintiff that his case could be dismissed if he failed to bring his case into proper form. On May 6, 2016, Plaintiff partially responded to the magistrate judge's proper form order. (ECF Nos. 10, 11). However, on May 25, 2016, because the case was still not in proper form, the magistrate judge issued a second proper form order. (ECF No. 14). The second proper form order directed Plaintiff to once again submit a summons listing every Defendant and to submit Forms USM-285 for all Defendants. Additionally the second proper form order directed Plaintiff to complete, sign and return a "complaint form[1]". (ECF No. 14). In the second proper form order, Plaintiff was warned that his case could be dismissed if he failed to bring his case into proper form. (ECF No. 14 at 1). On June 3, 2016, Plaintiff submitted documents purportedly in response to the magistrate judge's second proper form order. However, the documents submitted were either incomplete or not properly completed.

         Therefore, on June 9, 2016, the magistrate judge issued a third proper form order. (ECF No. 20). The third proper form order carefully outlined what Plaintiff needed to do to bring the instant action into proper form and contained the same warning that had been outlined in the two previous proper form orders. Specifically, the warning in the order stated:

The Plaintiff is hereby advised that if Plaintiff does not bring this case into "proper form" within the time period specified by this Order, this case may be dismissed for failure to prosecute and for failure to comply with an order of this Court under Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

(ECF No. 20 at 2)

         On June 17, 2016, Plaintiff submitted additional documents to the Court. However, the documents submitted did not comply with the court's third proper form order. For example, although Plaintiff returned the requested complaint form, it was unsigned and blank except for listing the names of Plaintiff and Defendants. (ECF No. 16). Additionally, the summons and Forms USM-285 submitted were incomplete and unsigned. (ECF Nos. 16 at 12, 15-17).

         DISCUSSION

         Federal Rule 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure authorizes a court to dismiss an action due to the plaintiff's failure to prosecute or to comply with the Federal Rules. Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b); Link v. Wabash R.R. Co., 370 U.S. 626, 629-30, 82 S.Ct. 1386, 8 L.Ed.2d 734 (1962) (finding that a court may, sua sponte, dismiss a case pursuant to Rule 41(b)), reh'gdenied, 371 U.S. 873, 83 S.Ct. 115, 9 L.Ed.2d 112 (1962). In considering whether to dismiss an action pursuant to Rule 41(b), the court must "ascertain":

(1) the degree of personal responsibility on the part of the ...

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