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Burrus v. Peterson

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division

July 27, 2017

TIMOTHY LAWRENCE BURRUS PLAINTIFF
v.
TROY PETERSON, DEFENDANTS

          ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE

          Louis Guirola, Jr. Chief U.S. District Judge

         This matter is before the Court sua sponte. After consideration of the record in this case and relevant legal authority, and for the reasons discussed below, the Court finds that this civil action should be dismissed without prejudice.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Pro Se Plaintiff Timothy Lawrence Burrus brings this conditions of confinement Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. At the time of filing this action, Burrus was incarcerated at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center in Gulfport, Mississippi. Burrus is proceeding in forma pauperis. See Order [7].

         A. Notice of Assignment

         On December 2, 2016, the Clerk issued a Notice of Assignment [Ex. 1-2] advising Burrus that he was required to notify the Court in writing if his address changed and it also warned Burrus that his failure to advise the Court of a change of address or his failure to timely comply with any order of the Court would be deemed a purposeful delay and contumacious act that may result in the dismissal of this case.

         B. Order of February 17, 2017

         On February 17, 2017, the Court entered an Order [8] directing Burrus to file a written response to provide specific information regarding three of the Defendants. The Order [8] directed Burrus to file his response on or before March 10, 2017. The Order [8] also warned Burrus that failure to timely comply or failure to keep the Court informed of his current address will lead to the dismissal of this case. Burrus filed a Response [9] to the Order that appeared to voluntarily dismiss some Defendants and possibly add others as Defendants.

         C. Order of May 24, 2017

         On May 24, 2017, the Court entered an Order [10] directing Burrus to file a written response to clarify the Defendants. The Order [10] directed Burrus to file his response on or before June 14, 2017. The Order [10] also warned Burrus that failure to timely comply or failure to keep the Court informed of his current address will result in the dismissal of this case. The Order was mailed to Burrus at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center which is the address Burrus provided in his Complaint. Compl. [1] at 1-2. On June 1, 2017, the envelope [11] containing this Order [10] was returned by the postal service with the label “return to sender - refused - unable to forward.” Ret. Mail [11]. Burrus failed to comply with this Order or otherwise contact the Court.

         D. Show Cause Order of June 28, 2017

         On June 28, 2017, the Court entered a Show Cause Order [12] directing Burrus to show cause, on or before July 12, 2017, why this case should not be dismissed for his failure to comply with the Court's previous Order [10]. The Show Cause Order [10] warned Burrus that failure to timely comply or failure to advise the Court of a change of address would result in the dismissal of this case without further written notice. The Show Cause Order was also mailed to Burrus at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center. On July 5, 2017, the envelope [13] containing the Show Cause Order [12] was returned by the postal service with the label “return to sender - not deliverable as addressed - unable to forward.” Ret. Mail [13]. Burrus failed to comply with the Show Cause Order or otherwise contact the Court.

         II. DISCUSSION

         This Court has the authority to dismiss an action sua sponte for failure to prosecute and failure to comply with court orders under Rule 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and under its inherent authority. See Link v. Wabash R.R., 370 U.S. 626 (1962); Larson v. Scott, 157 F.3d 1030 (5th Cir.1998); McCullough v. Lynaugh, 835 F.2d 1126 (5th Cir. 1988). The Court must be able to clear its calendar of cases that remain dormant because of the inaction or dilatoriness of the parties seeking relief, so as to achieve the orderly and expeditious disposition of cases. Link, 370 U.S. at 630. Such a ...


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