United States District Court, D. Minnesota
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
E. RAU UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court sua sponte. For the
reasons stated below, the Court recommends this case be
dismissed without prejudice.
is a prisoner confined in the Minnesota Correctional Facility
in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota (“MCF-OPH”).
(Compl.) [Doc. No. 1 ¶ 3]. He alleges that the Minnesota
Department of Corrections (the “DOC”) transferred
him from the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater
(“MCF-Stillwater”) to MCF-OPH allegedly because
of “bed space.” (Id. ¶¶ 11,
13). Hines nevertheless alleges the real reason he was
transferred was in retaliation for his filing of federal
lawsuits. See (id. ¶¶
11, 41, 105).
alleges inmates assigned to cells near him are located there
to intimidate or kill him. See (id.
¶¶ 18-27, 31, 38, 42, 51, 56, 58, 60, 62-63, 77,
80, 134, 136-37). Hines alleges that he informed various
MCF-OPH employees about the threats on his life, but no
action was taken. (Id. ¶¶ 29-30, 39, 45,
48-49, 55-56, 92, 121, 131-32). Instead, Hines alleges that
MCF-OPH employees took further action that endangered his
life, such as trying to move him to various areas within
MCF-OPH and conspiring with each other and with other inmates
to kill him in retaliation for filing a lawsuit.
(Id. ¶¶ 31, 34, 37-39, 41-42, 56-57, 60,
63, 65, 68, 106, 108, 141, 147).
result of the actions described above, Hines alleges that
Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his safety in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. (Id. ¶¶
151-57). Hines seeks (1) declaratory judgment; (2) an
injunction ordering him to be transferred to one of three
specific facilities, that Defendants and other DOC employees
be prohibited from harassing him, filing false reports,
opening his mail, and retaliating against him; and (3)
compensatory and punitive damages. (Id. at 32-34).
October 2017, this Court recommended, among other things,
granting Hines's motions to amend his complaint. See
Hines v. Smith, No. 16-cv-3797 (DSD/SER), 2017 WL
5593526 (D. Minn. Oct. 23, 2017) (Rau, Mag. J.). The
Honorable David S. Doty adopted the recommendations.
Hines v. Smith, No. 16-cv-3797 (DSD/SER), 2017 WL
5564556 (D. Minn. Nov. 17, 2017). The Court advised Hines
that failure to file an amended complaint within the
requisite time period would result in dismissal of his case
without prejudice for lack of prosecution. Hines,
2017 WL 5593526, at *6; see also 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 claim against it.”).
The Court reiterated the potential for dismissal in its most
recent Report and Recommendation. See (Mar. 2018
R&R at 5 n.5).
amended complaint was initially due on December 18, 2017, but
he received two extensions of this deadline. See Hines v.
Smith, 2017 WL 5564556, at *1 (stating on November 17,
2017, that Hines's amended complaint was due in thirty
days); (Text Only Order Dated Jan. 9, 2018) [Doc. No. 116]
(extending deadline to February 15, 2018); (Text Only Order
Dated Feb. 12, 2018) [Doc. No. 120] (extending deadline to
April 13, 2018). Since the Court granted Hines's most
recent request for extension of time to file his amended
complaint, Hines sought preliminary relief, which was denied
because-as was the case with his similar motions in the
past-the relief he sought was not related to his original
complaint, and he had not yet filed an amended complaint.
See (Mar. 2018 R&R); (Order Dated Apr. 20, 2018)
[Doc. No. 135]. To date, Hines has not yet filed an amended
41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states:
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 claim against it. Unless the dismissal order
states otherwise, a dismissal under this subdivision (b) and
any dismissal not under this rule-except one for lack of
jurisdiction, improper venue, or failure to join a party
under Rule 19-operates as an adjudication on the merits.
is well-settled . . . that a federal court has inherent power
to dismiss a civil case for want of prosecution.”
Grunewald v. Missouri Pac. R.R., 331 F.2d 983, 985
(8th Cir. 1964); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b).
Such dismissal is within the court's discretion and
“must focus on the facts and circumstances of the
particular case.” Fitzpatrick v. Hennepin
County, No. 09-cv-1954 (RHK/JJK), 2010 WL 1626906, at *2
(D. Minn. Apr. 21, 2010) (Kyle, J.) (citing Wright v.
Sargent, 869 F.2d 1175, 1176 (8th Cir. 1989) (per
curiam); Navarro v. Chief of Police, Des
Moines, 523 F.2d 214, 217 (8th Cir. 1975) (per
Hines sought extensions to file his amended complaint and
preliminary relief based on allegations that when he was
transferred from one DOC facility to another, his legal
papers were not sent to his new location or are otherwise
missing. See, e.g., (Letter Dated Jan. 28, 2018)
[Doc. No. 119]; (Mar. 2018 R&R at 3). To plead a
claim, an amended complaint “must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). An amended complaint, however, must rely on the
facts of the incidents Hines experienced. It is not
necessary, as Hines seems to believe, to submit an extensive
cache of documents. See Id. Thus, the Court finds
that there is no reason to continue to keep this case open
when it appears that Hines could submit an amended complaint
even without his legal papers.
Hines's continued communication with the Court shows a
desire to continue to prosecute this case. That prosecution,
however, cannot take place without an amended complaint. This
is especially true because Hines's most recent motion
sought relief based on allegations not found in the initial
complaint. See (Mar. 2018 R&R at 5). Further, he
continues to file letters regarding new allegations. See,
e.g., (Letter Dated Apr. 13, 2018) [Doc. No.
136]. In other words, Hines's communications
with the Court express a desire to prosecute a different-or
at least, more expansive-case than the one he initially
filed. The Court has advised Hines that to move forward with
a more expansive case, he must file an amended complaint.
Hines, 2017 WL 5593526, at *5-6; (Mar. ...