United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MALACHY E. MANNION United States District Judge.
before the court is the report and recommendation of
Magistrate Judge Susan E. Schwab, (Doc. 17),
recommending that the court deny petitioner John
McDonald's petition for writ of habeas corpus, (Doc.
1). Mr. McDonald has failed to advise the court of
his address since his release from custody. Because of this
the Clerk of Court was unable to deliver Judge Schwab's
report to him, which would allow him an opportunity to object
to the report pursuant to Local Rule 72.3. The court finds
that Mr. McDonald has failed to prosecute this action and
failed to comply with the local rules of this court. As such,
his petition is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
December 9, 2013, Mr. McDonald filed a petition for writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2254. (Doc. 1). On
November 18, 2016, Judge Schwab provided a report
recommending that the court deny Mr. McDonald's petition
due to his failure to exhaust state remedies. (Doc. 17). The
report was mailed to Mr. McDonald at the Rockview State
Correctional Institution in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania
(“SCI-Rockview”) where he was housed as an inmate
at the time of his initial petition filing. On November 11,
2016, the report was returned to the court and was marked as
undeliverable, with no forwarding address. (See Doc. 18). On
December 12, 2016, the court was informed by the records
department at SCI-Rockview that Mr. McDonald was no longer an
inmate and that he was released on parole approximately two
(2) years ago. Mr. McDonald failed to provide this court with
his personal address upon his release from custody. His last
contact with the court occurred approximately three (3) years
ago, on December 19, 2013, when he elected to have the court
rule on his petition under 28 U.S.C. §2254. (See Doc.
4). At this stage, it appears quite clear that Mr. McDonald
has abandoned his petition. As such, dismissal is warranted
Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b).
41(b) allows the court to dismiss an action where a party has
failed to prosecute or failed to comply with the district
court's rules or orders. The rule empowers the district
court to dismiss a civil action sua sponte.
Briscoe v. Klaus, 538 F.3d 252, 258 (3d Cir. 2008).
Normally, district courts are required to evaluate the six
factors set forth in Poulis v. State Farm Fire &
Insurance Casualty, 747 F.2d 863 (3d Cir. 1984), prior
to the dismissal. See, e.g., id. at 257-58.
A district court should also provide the party with an
opportunity to explain the reasons for failing to prosecute
and/or comply with rules and orders. In re Asbestos
Prods. Liab. Litig. (No. VI), 718 F.3d 236, 247 (3d Cir.
2013). “However, when a litigant's conduct makes
adjudication of the case impossible, such balancing under
Poulis is unnecessary.” McLaren v. N.J.
Dep't of Educ., 462 F. App'x 148, 149 (3d. Cir.
2012) (nonprecedential) (citing Guyer v. Beard, 907
F.2d 1424, 1429-30 (3d Cir. 1990)). In addition, where a
party has failed to provide a current address, an order
attempting to contact the party to warn him or her of
sanctions and to prompt a response “would only find
itself taking a round trip tour through the United States
mail.” Id. (quoting Carey v. King,
856 F.2d 1439, 1441 (9th Cir. 1988)).
McDonald has failed to comply with the court's local
rules. Local Rule 83.18 imposes an affirmative obligation on
pro se litigants to keep the court informed of their
whereabouts. The rule provides as follows:
Whenever a party by whom or on whose behalf an initial paper
is offered for filing is not represented in the action, such
party shall maintain on file with the clerk a current address
at which all notices and copies of pleadings, motions or
papers in the action may be served upon such party.
R. 83.18. Mr. McDonald's failure to keep the court
apprised of his whereabouts upon his release from
SCI-Rockview was a clear violation of the rules of this
court. His release occurred nearly two (2) years ago and the
court can find no justification for Mr. McDonald's
failure to contact the court within that time frame.
present circumstance does not present an instance where there
may have been a postal error and additional service may
rectify the problem, but presents a complete and total
failure of Mr. McDonald to keep the court apprised of his
whereabouts. Compare McLaren, 462 F. App'x at
149, with Bishop v. USDA, ___ F. App'x ___, 2016
WL 3743162 (3d Cir. July 13, 2016). Because of this, the
court is unable to communicate with Mr. McDonald, warn him
that his petition faces dismissal, and allow him to respond.
Nor can the court meaningfully engage in an analysis of the
Poulis factors. See McLaren, 462 F. App'x at149.
Accordingly, Mr. McDonald's abandonment of the action and
his failure to comply with local rules warrants dismissal
under Rule 41(b).
accordance with the above findings, Mr. McDonald's
petition for writ of habeas corpus filed pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §2254 is DISMISSED WITH
PREJUDICE and the report and recommendation of Judge
Schwab, (Doc. 17), is now moot. A separate order shall issue.
 Although the court finds that Judge
Schwab's report is now moot, the court has reviewed the
conclusions reached therein and agrees with Judge
Schwab's analysis and recommendation. Thus, if Mr.
McDonald were to attack this court's judgment under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60, the court can see no