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Thomas v. Ashcroft

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


March 8, 2006

CHARLES THOMAS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHN ASHCROFT, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Caputo

ORDER

Plaintiff, Charles Thomas, an inmate at the Allenwood Federal Correctional Institution ("FCI-Allenwood") in White Deer, Pennsylvania, commenced this pro se action with a complaint setting forth a Bivens*fn1 civil rights claim, a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act*fn2 ("FTCA"), and a claim under the Privacy Act.*fn3 Plaintiff names several Defendants including a Defendant identified only as "Mr. Erickson." Subsequently, service was effected upon all of the Defendants except Erickson. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint, and in their brief in support of the motion (Doc. 40), Defendants claim that there is no Defendant Erickson associated with Plaintiff's claims, and the Defendant is unknown at this time. (Doc. 40, n. 5.)

Absent compelling reasons, a district court may dismiss unknown defendants if a plaintiff, after being granted a reasonable period of discovery, fails to identify them. Hindes v. F.D.I.C., 137 F.3d 148, 155 (3d Cir. 1998) (citations omitted). Based on this Court's review of the record, although this action was filed over a year ago, Plaintiff has not yet provided this Court with a further identification of Mr. Erickson. Thus, Plaintiff will be granted leave to properly provide a more specific identification of Mr. Erickson. If Plaintiff fails to adequately identify this defendant, he shall be dismissed from this action under the authority of Hindes.

ACCORDINGLY, THIS 8th DAY OF MARCH, 2006, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT Plaintiff shall identify the Defendant referred to in the complaint as "Mr. Erickson" on or before March 20, 2006. If Plaintiff fails to adequately identify this Defendant in the time prescribed, such Defendant will be dismissed from this case. Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b); Hindes v. F.D.I.C., 137 F.3d 148, 155 (3d Cir. 1998).

A. RICHARD CAPUTO United States District Judge


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