United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division
F. McDonald United States Magistrate Judge.
plaintiff, proceeding pro se, brought this action to
obtain judicial review of a final decision of the
Commissioner of Social Security's administrative decision
denying supplemental security income benefits (doc. 1 at 3).
This matter is before the court for a Report and
Recommendation pursuant to Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(a),
DSC and Title 28, United States Code, Section 636(b)(1)(B).
For the reasons set forth below, it is recommended that the
case be dismissed for the plaintiff's failure to
prosecute and failure to comply with a court order.
order filed on March 12, 2018, the plaintiff was informed
that his case was not in proper form for service, and
provided with instructions for bringing the case into proper
form (doc. 11). The court directed the plaintiff to provide
service documents and to complete the Court's Special
Interrogatories. The plaintiff was given twenty-one (21) days
from the date the order was entered, plus three (3) days for
mailing to comply with the court's order (Id. at
1). The order warned the plaintiff that his failure to comply
with the order within the time permitted would subject his
case to dismissal for failure to prosecute and failure to
comply with an order of this court under Rule 41 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Id.). On April 6,
2018, the plaintiff responded to the court's proper form
order by submitting service documents and answers to the
Court's Special Interrogatories (Id. at 15 and
17). However, the service documents submitted were not
responsive to the court's order as the plaintiff failed
to comply with the court's directions in completing these
April 17, 2018, the court entered a second order advising the
plaintiff that his case was not in proper form (doc. 19). The
order directed the plaintiff to follow the directions in the
court's proper form order when completing the summonses
and the forms USM-285. The plaintiff was also advised that
the “Court's Special Interrogatories” must be
signed and dated and that the plaintiff must attach a copy of
the Social Security Appeals Counsel's decision and a copy
of the notice the plaintiff received stating that his appeal
had been denied. The plaintiff was given twenty-one (21) days
from the date of the date the order was entered, plus three
(3) days for mailing to comply with the court's order
(Id. at 2). The order warned the plaintiff that his
failure to comply with the order within the time permitted
would subject his case to dismissal for failure to prosecute
and failure to comply with an order of this court under Rule
41 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Id. at
1). The time for response expired on May 8, 2018, and the
plaintiff did not file a response.
indicated above, the plaintiff failed to comply with the
court's orders of March 12, 2018 and April 17, 2018 and
failed to provide necessary information and paperwork to
accomplish review and possible service of process under 28
U.S.C. § 1915. The court warned the plaintiff that
failure to comply with its orders would subject his case to
dismissal for failure to prosecute. As previously noted, the
plaintiff did respond to the court's March 12, 2018
proper form order but the documents submitted were not
responsive to the court's order. The plaintiff has not
responded to the court's April 17, 2018 proper form
well established that a district court has authority to
dismiss a case for failure to prosecute. “The authority
of a court to dismiss sua sponte for lack of
prosecution has generally been considered an ‘inherent
power, ' governed not by rule or statute but by the
control necessarily vested in courts to manage their own
affairs so as to achieve the orderly and expeditious
disposition of cases.” See Link v. Wabash R.R.
Co., 370 U.S. 626, 630-31 (1962). In addition to its
inherent authority, this court may also sua sponte
dismiss a case for lack of prosecution under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 41(b) (Id. at 630).
a pro se litigant is not held to the same high
standards as an attorney, see Hughes v. Rowe, 449
U.S. 5, 10 n. 7 (1980) (per curiam); Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), pro se
litigants must meet certain standards, including
“respect for court orders without which effective
judicial administration would be impossible.”
Ballard v. Carlson, 882 F.2d 93, 96 (4th Cir.1989).
Thus, pro se litigants are subject to the provisions
of Rule 41.
on the plaintiff's failure to fully respond to the
court's March 12, 2018 order and failure to respond to
the court's April 17, 2018 order, the undersigned
concludes the plaintiff does not intend to pursue the
above-captioned matter. Because the plaintiff failed to fully
comply with an order of this court after being warned that
his failure to comply would result in dismissal, it does not
appear that any sanction less drastic than dismissal is
available. See Ballard, 882 F.2d at 96 (finding the
magistrate judge's explicit warning that a recommendation
of dismissal would result from the plaintiff's failure to
obey his order gave the district court little alternative to
dismissal). As such, this case should be dismissed pursuant
to Rule 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
See Ballard, 882 F.2d at 95 (finding that dismissal
of a suit did not constitute abuse of discretion where the
plaintiff “failed to respond to a specific directive
from the court”).
the undersigned recommends that this case be dismissed
without prejudice for failure to prosecute and failure to
comply with this court's orders pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 41(b). The plaintiff's
attention is directed to the important notice of the
of Right to File Objections to Report ...