United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
Carlson Magistrate Judge
Kane, District Judge
BACKGROUND OF THIS ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS:
November 7, 2016, pro se Plaintiff John Tiebout
initiated the above-captioned action by filing a complaint
and a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
(Doc. Nos. 1, 2.) On November 8, 2016, upon screening the
complaint as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, Magistrate
Judge Carlson entered a Report and Recommendation in which he
recommended dismissal of the complaint without prejudice for
failure to state a claim under to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Specifically, Magistrate Judge Carlson found that Plaintiff
failed to “identify any federal constitutional or
statutory right that the defendants allegedly violated by
refusing his demand to be released from confinement in a
halfway house under supervision so that he can reside with
his fiancee.” (Doc. No. 5 at 4.) On December 1, 2016,
the Court adopted Magistrate Judge Carlson's Report and
Recommendation and dismissed Plaintiff's complaint
without prejudice, permitting Plaintiff twenty (20) days from
the date of its Order to amend his complaint to correct the
pleading deficiencies identified by Magistrate Judge Carlson
in his Report and Recommendation. (Doc. No. 7.)
Plaintiff's failure to file an amended complaint within
twenty days of the Court's Order, on December 29, 2016,
Magistrate Judge Carlson issued a Report and Recommendation
recommending that Plaintiff's complaint be dismissed with
prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted. (Doc. No. 8.) No timely objections to Magistrate
Judge Carlson's Report and Recommendation have been
filed. At this time, no operative pleading exists on the
docket as the initial complaint has been dismissed, and
Plaintiff has since failed to file an amended complaint.
to Rule 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and
“by virtue of its inherent powers, ” a district
court may sua sponte dismiss a suit for failure to
prosecute Azubuko v. Bell Nat'l Org., 243 F.
App'x 728, 729 (3d Cir. 2007); see Fed.R.Civ.P.
41(b) (“If the plaintiff fails to prosecute or to
comply with these rules or a court order, a defendant may
move to dismiss the action or any claims against it.”).
A dismissal under Rule 41(b) constitutes an adjudication on
the merits, barring any further action between the parties.
Landon v. Hunt, 977 F.2d 829, 833 (3d Cir. 1992).
Decisions regarding whether to dismiss an action under Rule
41(b) are committed to the sound discretion of the district
court. Emerson v. Thiel College, 296 F.2d 184, 190
(3d Cir. 2002). In exercising this discretion, however, the
district court is required to balance six factors enumerated
by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
in Poulis v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., 747
F.2d 863 (3d Cir. 1984), prior to dismissing a case under
Rule 41(b). Emerson, 296 F.3d at 190. The
(1) the extent of the party's personal responsibility;
(2) the prejudice to the adversary caused by the failure to
meet scheduling orders and respond to discovery; (3) a
history of dilatoriness; (4) whether the conduct of the party
or the attorney was willful or in bad faith; (5) the
effectiveness of sanctions other than dismissal, which
entails an analysis of alternative sanctions; and (6) the
meritoriousness of the claim or defense.
Id. (citing Poulis, 747 F.2d at 868). The
Poulis factors are not “a magic formula
whereby the decision to dismiss or not to dismiss a
plaintiff's complaint becomes a mechanical
calculation.” Mindek v. Rigatti, 964 F.2d
1369, 1373 (3d Cir. 1992). Indeed, no one factor is
determinative. Id. at 1373.
regard to factor (1), as Plaintiff is proceeding pro
se in this matter, the Court must view him as personally
responsible for his failure to comply with the Court's
Order. Further, as to factor (6) and the meritoriousness of
Plaintiff's claim, Magistrate Judge Carlson's initial
screening of Plaintiff's complaint revealed that
Plaintiff failed to identify any constitutional or statutory
right allegedly violated by his inability to reside with his
fiancee instead of in a halfway house. Finally as to factor
(5), as there is currently no operative pleading on the
docket in this matter, it is difficult to see what course the
Court can take other than dismissal.
on this 24th day of January 2017, upon independent review of
the record and the applicable law, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
Court adopts the Report and Recommendation of Magistrate
Judge Carlson (Doc. No. 8);
Plaintiff's complaint (Doc. No. 1), is DISMISSED WITH
Clerk of Court is ...