United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MALACHY E. MANNION UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Andrew Fields, an inmate confined in the United States
Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, filed the above
captioned Bivensaction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1331.
(Doc. 1, complaint). The named Defendants are the Federal
Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) and nineteen (19) BOP
employees. Id. The allegations in Plaintiff's
thirty-three (33) page complaint span the months of March
2017 through January 2018, and contain claims of “all
sorts of deliberate harassment from: excessive unnecessary
use of pepper spray, cruel and unusual punishment, mail
tampering, inadequate celling whereas Plaintiff is always
housed in cells located at the rear of the housing unit
tiers, denied recreation, denied access to the law library,
denied the right to receive legal copies, grievance
procedures and sexual harassment.” Id.
April 17, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file a
supplemental complaint, in which Plaintiff attaches a
fourteen (14) page supplemental complaint, which seeks to add
additional Defendants and claims to Plaintiff's original
complaint. (Doc. 20).
Order dated April 18, 2018, the Court construed
Plaintiff's motion to supplement as a motion to amend his
complaint and granted him until May 9, 2018 to file one
complete and all inclusive amended complaint. (Doc. 23).
Order dated May 9, 2018, Plaintiff was granted an enlargement
of time, until May 28, 2018, to file his amended complaint.
Order dated June 7, 2018, Plaintiff was granted an additional
enlargement of time, until June 29, 2018 within which to file
an amended complaint. (Doc. 27). The Court noted that no
further enlargements of time would be granted.
date, Plaintiff has neither filed an amended complaint, nor
requested an enlargement of time within which to do
courts have the inherent power to dismiss an action for
failure to prosecute sua sponte. Chambers v.
NASCO, Inc., 501 U.S. 32, 44 (1991). The United States
Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has identified six
factors a court should consider before dismissing an action
for failure to prosecute:
(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.
v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 747 F.2d 863, 868 (3d
Cir. 1984). No single factor is dispositive, and
“[e]ach factor need not be satisfied for the trial
court to dismiss a claim.” Ware v. Rodale Press,
Inc., 322 F.3d 218, 221 (3d Cir. 2003). However, the
factors “should be weighed by the district courts in
order to assure that the ‘extreme' sanction of
dismissal ... is reserved for the instances in which it is
justly merited.” Poulis, 747 F.2d at 870.
was advised of the necessity of responding to the Orders of
Court dated April 18, 2018, May 9, 2018 and June 7, 2018, and
is personally responsible for failing to do so. See
Poulis, 747 F.2d at 868 (identifying “extent of
the party's personal responsibility” as a factor).
Plaintiff's conduct has prejudiced Defendants by
requiring them to assume the cost of continued legal
preparation. See id. (identifying “[p]rejudice
to the adversary” as a factor). Plaintiff's failure
to respond to the deadlines in the above-captioned action and
to the Orders of Court dated April 18, 2018, May 9, 2018 and
June 7, 2018, constitutes a history of dilatoriness, see
id. (identifying “history of dilatoriness”
as a factor), and constitutes willful disregard of the
Court's authority. See Id. at 868-69
(identifying “willful” or “bad faith”
conduct as a factor). Alternative sanctions would be
ineffective to deter Plaintiff's conduct because the
Court is unable to move forward with the above-captioned
action without the filing of an amended complaint. See
Id. at 869 (identifying availability of
“[a]lternative sanctions” to dismissal as ...