United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division
M. BROWN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court in this civil rights action is Sean Williams'
motion for summary judgment. Doc. #12.
February 9, 2018, James Arthur Sharkey, with the assistance
of counsel, filed a complaint in this Court against (1)
Humphreys County, Mississippi; (2) J.D. Roseman, in his
individual capacity and official capacity as sheriff of
Humphreys County; and (3) Sean Williams, in his individual
capacity and official capacity as deputy sheriff of Humphreys
County. Doc. #1. The complaint alleges state and federal
claims arising from an allegedly unlawful arrest of Sharkey
by Williams, which included the use of excessive force.
Id. at 2-5. The defendants jointly answered the
complaint on March 5, 2018. Doc. #8.
April 9, 2018, Williams, asserting the defense of qualified
immunity, filed a motion seeking summary judgment on the
claims brought against him in his individual capacity. Doc.
#12. That day, United States Magistrate Judge Jane M. Virden
stayed the case pending a decision on the summary judgment
motion. Doc. #14.
days later, Sharkey's counsel filed a motion to withdraw
due to “a fundamental difference between himself and
… Sharkey ….” Doc. #15. On April 30,
2018, Judge Virden granted Sharkey's counsel's motion
to withdraw, and provided Sharkey “thirty (30) days to
obtain other counsel … or notify the court that he
intends to proceed pro se in the above styled
cause.” Doc. #18 at 1. Sharkey, though not obtaining
other counsel, did not file a notice within thirty days.
31, 2018, the defendants moved to dismiss Sharkey's
claims for his failure to comply with a court order. Doc.
#19. On June 13, 2018, the Court received from Sharkey a
document dated May 29, 2018. Doc. #20. Although less than
clear, the document, which listed claims Sharkey wished to
pursue, appeared to be a response to Judge Virden's April
30 order. See id. On June 22, 2018, Judge Virden
issued a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”)
finding that Sharkey's filing “however off center,
does not signal to the court that the plaintiff has abandoned
his claims or ignored the court's order.” Doc. #21
at 2. Thus, the R&R recommended that the motion to
dismiss be denied and that “Plaintiff be given one last
opportunity to properly comply with the court's
order.” Id. at 3. To that end, the R&R
directed that Sharkey “within (14) days of today's
date, comply with the  order of the court to retain new
counsel, or to inform the court that he will proceed pro
se, or show cause why his cause should not be dismissed,
sua sponte, for failure to comply.”
Id. at 1. On July 11, 2018, this Court received from
Sharkey a document dated July 6, 2018, which states that he
is proceeding pro se and appears to respond to the motion for
summary judgment with medical records and a series of unsworn
declarations. Docs. #22, #22-1.
October 1, 2018, this Court by order adopted the R&R and
denied the defendants' motion to dismiss. Doc. #23. The
order provided, “Sharkey may file a response to
Williams' motion for summary judgment within fourteen
(14) days of this order.” Id. at 3.
about October 16, 2018, Sharkey filed a handwritten document
which the Clerk of the Court docketed as an objection to the
R&R but, in substance, is a motion for a pretrial
conference. Doc. #24. Shortly after, on November 5, 2018, the
defendants moved to strike Sharkey's October 16 motion.
for Pretrial Conference and Motion to Strike
handwriting is difficult to parse. However, it appears his
October 16 motion states:
Your Honor, I James Arthur Sharkey; request for a motion for
pre-trial conference using our adversary system. Rules of law
that will warrant a fair proceeding and using perjury to the
fullest extent of the law, I believe that our country is
obligated to expose law enforcement officers that obstruct
justice instead of enforce justice, not having probable cause
only proximate cause. I have prepared my witnesses to testify
on my behalf, including my brother Charles Edward Sharkey,
the Humphrey County Sheriff Department called my brother
while he and his wife were shopping to come to the Sheriff
Department in an attempt after lying on the offender report.
I and my brother believe that it was an ...