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Brown v. Oakland County Jail

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

August 12, 2016

RYAN BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
OAKLAND COUNTY JAIL, Defendant.

          Ryan Brown, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

          Oakland County Jail, Defendant, represented by David N. Asmar, Oakland County Corporation Counsel & Mary M. Mara, Oakland County Corporation Counsel.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          R. STEVEN WHALEN, Magistrate Judge.

         On October 10, 2014, Plaintiff Ryan Brown, an inmate in the custody of the Oakland County Jail, filed a pro se civil complaint against the Oakland County Jail. Before the Court is the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Failure to Prosecute [Doc. #19], which has been referred for a Report and Recommendation under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). For the reasons discussed below, I recommend that the motion be DENIED.

         I. FACTS

         In his handwritten complaint [Doc. #1], Mr. Brown alleges that following an attempted assault by another inmate, Oakland County Deputies ordered him and other inmates in the cell to get on their bunks. Mr. Brown did so, but the Deputies pulled him off of the bunk and dropped him face-first on the concrete floor. He alleges that they also slammed the right side of his face on the floor, and that they dislocated his shoulder when carrying him out of the cell. In addition to the dislocated shoulder, he claims injuries to his chest and back, his left eye socket, and the side of his head. He further alleges that he was denied medical treatment for his injuries. On January 30, 2015, Defendant filed an answer to complaint, with affirmative defenses [Doc. #14].

         In the motion to dismiss, Defendant's counsel states that on October 7, 2015, he served interrogatories and requests for production of documents on Mr. Brown by mail, but that he has received no responses. The docket entries do not show that the Defendant filed a motion to compel discovery.

         In his responses to this motion [Doc. #21, #23, and #24], Mr. Brown states that owing to his status as an inmate, he has been stymied in his efforts to obtain documents, including his medical records, from the jail administration.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The Court may dismiss a complaint for failure to prosecute pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b) and Rule 41.2 of the Local Rules of the Eastern District of Michigan. Mulbah v. Detroit Board of Education, 261 F.3d 586, 589 (6th Cir.2001). Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b) provides:

"(b) Involuntary Dismissal: Effect Thereof. For failure of the plaintiff to prosecute or to comply with these rules or any order of court, a defendant may move for dismissal of an action or of any claim against the defendant. Unless the court in its order for dismissal otherwise specifies, a dismissal under this subdivision and any dismissal not provided for in this rule, other than a dismissal for lack of jurisdiction, for improper venue, or for failure to join a party under Rule 19, operates as an adjudication upon the merits."

         In the case of a pro se litigant, "the Court must take into consideration the difficulties an individual faces in bringing forward their case without the benefit of legal representation." Bunting v. Hansen, 2007 WL 1582236, *2 (E.D.Mich.2007). Nonetheless, because defendants are entitled "to a fair and timely resolution of the litigation... pro se litigants are not to be accorded any special consideration when they fail to adhere to readily-comprehended court deadlines." Id .; Jourdan v. Jabe, 951 F.2d 108, 110 (6th Cir.1991).

         In determining whether to dismiss a complaint for failure to prosecute, the Court generally looks to four factors for guidance: (1) whether the party's failure is due to willfulness, bad faith, or fault; (2) whether the adversary was prejudiced by the dismissed party's conduct; (3) whether the dismissed party was warned that failure to cooperate could lead to dismissal; and (4) whether less drastic sanctions were imposed or considered before dismissal was ordered. Knoll v. American Telephone & Telegraph Co.,176 ...


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