United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
Anthony Lamar Wright a/k/a Anthony L. Wright, Plaintiff,
Dr. Darby, in his individual capacity, Dr. Randolph, in her individual capacity, Dr. Grant, in his individual capacity, Sheriff Strickland, in his individual capacity, Sheriff Koon, in his individual capacity, Sheriff Leon Lott, in his individual capacity, Correct Care Solutions, Southern Health Partners, Sgt. Holley, Dr. Chaves, in his individual capacity, Charleston County Detention Center, Sheriff Al Cannon, Nurse Herndon, in her individual capacity, Defendants.
L. Wooten Chief United States District Judge
Anthony Lamar Wright, proceeding pro se, filed this action
alleging violations of his constitutional rights while he was
incarcerated in several correctional institutions pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. ECF Nos. 1, 13. Specifically,
Plaintiff claims that prison medical staff denied him
medication and “disease modifying therapy” for
multiple sclerosis, and he alleges that prison officials
verbally and physically abused him in the Colleton,
Lexington, and Richland County Jails. ECF No. 13 at 3-10.
matter now comes before this Court for review of four Report
and Recommendations(R&Rs) filed by Magistrate Judge
Rogers, to whom this case was assigned pursuant to the
provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil
Rule 73.02(B)(2), DSC. ECF Nos. 90, 126, and139. In the first
R&R, the Magistrate Judge recommends that the Court
dismiss the Charleston County Detention Center without
prejudice because it is not a “person” who is
subject to suit under § 1983. ECF No. 17. In the second
R&R, the Magistrate Judge recommends that the Court grant
summary judgment as to Defendants Sheriff Koon and Sgt.
Holley because there is no evidence that Plaintiff exhausted
his administrative remedies with regard to the allegations
against these Defendants. ECF No. 90 at 8. In the third
R&R, the Magistrate Judge recommends dismissal with
prejudice pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b)
as to the claims against Defendants Southern Health Partners
and Nurse Herndon because Wright failed to respond to their
motion for summary judgment and court orders directing him to
do so. ECF No. 126. In the fourth R&R, the Magistrate
Judge recommends dismissal with prejudice pursuant to Rule
41(b) as to the claims against Defendants Sherriff
Strickland, Sherriff Lott, Correct Care Solutions, Dr. Darby,
Dr. Chaves, and Dr. Randolph because Wright failed to respond
to their motions for summary judgment and court orders
directing him to do so. ECF No. 139. The time to file
objections to each R&R has expired and Plaintiff did not
file objections despite being granted an extension of time to
Court is charged with conducting a de novo review of any
portion of the Magistrate Judge's R&Rs to which a
specific objection is registered, and may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the recommendations contained in
the R&Rs. 28 U.S.C. § 636. In the absence of
objections to an R&R, this Court is not required to give
any explanation for adopting the recommendation. See
Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983).
Court carefully reviewed the R&Rs in this case and
accepts the analysis set forth by the Magistrate Judge.
Noting also that there were no objections by Plaintiff, the
R&Rs are hereby ACCEPTED. After careful consideration of
the record and evidence before the Court, the Court finds
that it is appropriate to summarily dismiss the Charleston
County Detention Center without prejudice and without service
for the reasons set forth in the first R&R, ECF No. 17.
Additionally, noting that the Plaintiff's response to the
motion fails to address any of the arguments asserted, the
Court finds that summary judgment in favor of Sheriff Koon
and Sgt. Holley is appropriate for the reasons set forth in
the second R&R, ECF No. 90. Further, for the reasons set
forth in the third and fourth R&Rs, ECF Nos. 126 and 139,
the claims against Defendants Sherriff Strickland, Sherriff
Lott, Southern Health Partners, Nurse Herndon, Correct Care
Solutions, Dr. Darby, Dr. Chaves, and Dr. Randolph are
dismissed with prejudice pursuant to Rule 41(b).
careful consideration, the Court concludes that the remaining
claims in the case are properly dismissed based on
Plaintiff's failure to comply with court orders and
failure to diligently prosecute his case. Based on
Plaintiff's actions, and noting his release from
incarceration, it is reasonable to conclude he has abandoned
his remaining claims.
to Rule 41(b), an action may be involuntarily dismissed when
“the plaintiff fails to prosecute or to comply with
[the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure] or a court order . . .
.” The Rules recognize that courts must have the
authority to control litigation before them, and this
authority includes the power to order dismissal of an action
for failure to comply with court orders. Link v. Wabash
R. Co., 370 U.S. 626, 630-31 (1962); Ballard v.
Carlson, 882 F.2d 93, 95 (4th Cir. 1989). The propriety
of a dismissal depends on the particular circumstances of the
case viewed in light of the following factors: (i) the degree
of personal responsibility of the plaintiff; (ii) the amount
of prejudice caused the defendant; (iii) the existence of a
history of deliberately proceeding in a dilatory fashion, and
(iv) the existence of a sanction less drastic than dismissal.
Ballard, 882 F.2d at 95. The Court is mindful that
dismissal is not a sanction to be invoked lightly.
Id. In this case, however, the factors cited weigh
in favor of dismissing the remaining claims for the reasons
set forth below.
Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and, therefore, only he is to
blame for his failure to respond to motions and
the remaining Defendants, Sherriff Al Cannon and Dr. Grant,
would not be prejudiced by the dismissal of Plaintiff's
claims at this point in the proceeding.
Plaintiff's actions in this case demonstrate a history of
deliberately proceeding in a dilatory fashion. Initially,
Plaintiff responded to the first Roseboro Order
entered by the Magistrate Judge directing him to respond to
the motion for summary judgment filed by Sheriff Koon and
Sgt. Holley. ECF Nos. 61, 70. However, Plaintiff then failed
to timely respond to three subsequent Roseboro
Orders directing him to respond to motions for summary
judgment filed by Southern Health Partners, Nurse Herndon,
Sheriff Strickland, Correct Care Solutions, Dr. Darby, Dr.
Chaves, and Dr. Randolph. ECF Nos. 94, 105, and 114. After
the time to respond to these motions expired, Plaintiff filed
a motion stating: “I need at least a 45 day
continuance, due to having staples in my head from an assault
and robbery.” ECF No. 112. The Magistrate Judge treated
this as a motion for an extension of time and granted it in
part as follows:
Defendants Southern Health Partners and Nurse Herndon filed a
motion for summary judgment on August 26, 2016. The court
issued an order filed August 29, 2016, pursuant to
Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975),
advising Plaintiff of the motion for summary judgment
procedure and the possible consequences if he failed to
respond adequately. (Doc. #94). The response is currently due
October 3, 2016. On September 21, 2016, Plaintiff filed the
motion for an extension but did not indicate which motion he
was addressing. (Doc. #112). The motion is granted in part
and denied in part. The motion is granted to the extent
Plaintiff is given until November 3, 2016, to file a response
to the motion for summary judgment filed by Defendants
Southern Health Partners and Nurse Herndon pursuant to the
Roseboro order or his case against these Defendants may be
dismissed for failure to prosecute pursuant to Rule 41 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
It is noted that there are three other outstanding motions
for summary judgment filed by Defendant Strickland (Doc.
#103), Defendant Lott (doc.#107), and Defendants Correct Care
Solutions, Darby, Chaves, and Randolph (doc.#110). Roseboro
Orders have been issued for each of these motions. The
responses to these motions for summary judgment are due
October 20, 2016, October 24, 2016, and October 27, 2016,
respectively. The time to respond to these three motions for
summary judgment is extended until November 20, 2016,
pursuant to the Roseboro order or his case against these
Defendants may be dismissed for failure to prosecute. No
further extensions will be granted absent extraordinary
ECF No. 116 at 1-2. Despite being granted an extension of
time to respond to all pending motions, Plaintiff failed to
file a response. Instead, on November 30, 2016, Plaintiff
filed a document entitled “Objection to Report and
Recommendation” in which he requested another extension
of time to obtain additional information from a doctor's
appointment he asserted was scheduled for December 9, 2016.
ECF No. 129. This Court construed this as a request for an
extension of time to respond to the most recent R&R
entered, ECF No. 126, and granted an extension of time until
December 16 to file objections to that R&R. ECF No. 133.
Again, Plaintiff failed to file an objection despite having
been granted an extension of time to do so. In sum,
Plaintiff's failure to comply with multiple
Roseboro Orders and failure to take appropriate
actions to pursue his case even when granted extensions of
time to do so demonstrate a history of him deliberately
proceeding in a dilatory fashion.
no other reasonable sanctions are available. As stated, the
Magistrate Judge warned Plaintiff that his case may be
dismissed pursuant to Rule 41 if he failed to respond to the
motions filed. ECF No. 116 at 2. Nonetheless, Plaintiff
failed to ...