United States District Court, D. Minnesota
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
N. Leung, United States Magistrate Judge
Marvin Spencer, a federal prisoner, filed this action
alleging deliberate indifference to his medical needs by
officials at a county jail where he previously was
incarcerated. In an order dated November 13, 2017, this Court
ordered Spencer to pay an initial partial filing fee,
see 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b), but also noted that
his complaint was deficient, see ECF No. 3 at 3 n.2.
“For example, ” as this Court explained,
“although many correctional officers are included in
this action because they are claimed to have been responsible
for Spencer's health and safety, Spencer does not allege
what those specific defendants actually did, or failed to do,
that violated the law.” Accordingly, Spencer was warned
that it would be in his “best interest to file an
amended complaint if he intends to prosecute this lawsuit and
thereby commit $350.00 to this litigation.”
paid the required initial partial filing fee, but he did not
submit an amended complaint. Instead, Spencer initiated an
entirely separate action through the filing of a complaint
containing largely the same allegations and suffering the
same deficiencies. See Spencer v. Brott, No.
17-CV-4220 (WMW/KMM) (D. Minn. filed Nov. 27, 2017). Rather
than recommend dismissal of this lawsuit, this Court implored
Spencer to submit an amended complaint in this action
correcting the identified problems by no later than February
12, 2018, failing which it would be recommended that this
matter be dismissed without prejudice for failure to
prosecute. See ECF No. 8. The deadline has now
passed, and Spencer has not filed an amended complaint.
Spencer's failure to do so in accordance with this
Court's previous order is reason enough to recommended
that this action be dismissed without prejudice. See
Henderson v. Renaissance Grand Hotel, 267 Fed. App'x
496, 497 (8th Cir. 2008) (per curiam) (“A district
court has discretion to dismiss an action under Rule 41(b)
for a plaintiff's failure to prosecute, or to comply with
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or any court
said, as this Court has previously explained, Spencer's
complaint is substantively deficient, and those deficiencies
also serve as an independent basis for recommending
dismissal. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. In order to
state a claim for relief arising from deliberate indifference
to medical needs, a plaintiff needs to allege specific
conduct ascribable to a specific defendant. See Roberts
v. Lombardi, 512 Fed. App'x 645, 647 (8th Cir.
2013). Spencer's complaint, by contrast, ties no specific
conduct to any specific defendant or defendants; each of the
defendants is alleged only to have responsibilities that
“include but [are] not limited to . . . health care and
safety.” Compl. at 11-19 [ECF No. 1]. This, by itself,
is not sufficient to put any particular defendant on notice
of the allegations and claims being raised against him or her
in particular. Without further allegations, no defendant can
know from the complaint what, exactly, Spencer believes that
defendant has done that violates the law. Put another way,
Spencer's complaint does not state a claim upon which
relief may be granted against any defendant named in the
those reasons, it is hereby recommended that this matter be
dismissed without prejudice. Spencer may still amend his
complaint once as a matter of course during the pendency of
this recommendation, in which event the amended complaint
will itself be screened pursuant to § 1915A.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(1).
upon the foregoing, and on all of the files, records, and
proceedings herein, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that this action
be DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE both under Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b)
for failure to prosecute and pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915A for failure to state a claim on which relief may be
Report and Recommendation is not an order or judgment of the
District Court and is therefore not appealable directly to
the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Local Rule 72.2(b)(1), “a party may file and serve
specific written objections to a magistrate judge's
proposed finding and recommendations within 14 days after
being served a copy” of the Report and Recommendation.
A party may respond to those objections within 14 days after
being served a copy of the objections. LR 72.2(b)(2). All
objections and responses must comply with the word or line
limits set forth in LR 72.2(c).
Spencer's complaint also fails to
specify whether his claims are brought against defendants in
their personal capacities or in their official capacities as
officers and employees of the county in which the jail is
located. The complaint must therefore be interpreted as
raising official-capacity claims only. See Egerdahl v.
Hibbing Comm. Coll., 72 F.3d 615, 619-20 (8th Cir.
1995). But Spencer does not ...