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Dawkins v. Whalen

January 28, 2009

JERMAINE DAWKINS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. WHALEN, HEAD PHYSICIAN; AND MRS. T. DOWNER, ACTING NURSE ADMINISTRATOR, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby, United States District Judge

DECISION and ORDER

Currently before the Court in this pro se prisoner civil rights action are Defendants' motion for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 61), and the Report-Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge Gustave J. DiBianco that Defendants' motion be granted (Dkt. No. 65). Plaintiff has not filed any objections to the Report-Recommendation, despite having been granted an extension of time in which to do so. (Dkt. No. 67.) For the reasons set forth below, the Report-Recommendation is accepted, and Defendants' motion is granted.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Plaintiff's Amended Complaint

On August 9, 2004, Plaintiff Jermaine Dawkins ("Plaintiff"), a prison inmate, filed this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Dkt. No. 1.) On March 6, 2006, he filed an Amended Complaint. (Dkt. No. 33.) Generally, his Amended Complaint alleges that four employees of Bare Hill Correctional Facility in Malone, New York ("Bare Hill C.F.") were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs under the Eighth Amendment between approximately June of 2003 to July of 2004, when they failed to properly treat an injury he sustained to his left ring finger. (Id.) On March 29, 2007, Plaintiff's claims against two of these four employees were dismissed, by Order of Senior District Judge Lawrence E. Kahn. (Dkt. No. 44.) Remaining in this case were Plaintiff's claims against Dr. Timothy E. Whalen (a physician) and Terri Downer (a nurse administrator). (Dkt. Nos. 33, 41, 44.)

B. Defendants' Motion and Magistrate Judge's Report-Recommendation

On February 29, 2008, Defendants moved for summary judgment with regard the aforementioned remaining claims. (Dkt. No. 61.) On April 21, 2008, Plaintiff opposed Defendants' motion (after receiving an extension of time in which to do so). (Dkt. No. 63.) On September 18, 2008, Magistrate Judge DiBianco issued a Report-Recommendation recommending that Defendants' motion be granted, and that Plaintiff's Amended Complaint be dismissed in its entirety. (Dkt. No. 65.) Familiarity with the grounds of Magistrate Judge DiBianco's Report-Recommendation is assumed in this Decision and Order. (Id.)

On September 25, 2008, Plaintiff requested an extension of the deadline by which he had to file objections to Magistrate Judge DiBianco's Report-Recommendation. (Dkt. No. 67.) On October 2, 2008, the Court granted Plaintiff's request, extending his response deadline to January 5, 2009. (Id.) Despite receiving this extension, Plaintiff has not filed any objections to the Report-Recommendation. (See generally Docket Sheet.)

II. ANALYSIS

A. Clear-Error Review of Report-Recommendation

For the sake of brevity, the Court will not recite the well-known legal standard of clear error that governs the review of a magistrate judge's report-recommendation to which a party has made no objection, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). Rather, the Court will merely refer the parties to its decision in Vigliotti v. Daly, 05-CV-1320, 2008 WL 5423453, at *1 (N.D.N.Y. Dec. 30, 2008) (Suddaby, J.), which recites that legal standard. After carefully reviewing all of the papers in this action, including Magistrate Judge DiBianco's Report-Recommendation, the Court concludes that the Report-Recommendation is not clearly erroneous. (Dkt. No. 65.) Magistrate Judge DiBianco employed the proper legal standards, accurately recited the disputed material facts, and reasonably applied the law to those facts. (Id.) As a result, the Court adopts the Report-Recommendation. (Id.)*fn1

B. Alternative Ground for Dismissal: Failure to Notify Court of Address

The Second Circuit has identified five factors that it considers when reviewing a district court's order to dismiss an action for failure to prosecute (or failure to obey a court order) under Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b):

(1) the duration of the plaintiff's failures, (2) whether plaintiff had received notice that further delays would result in dismissal, (3) whether the defendant is likely to be prejudiced by further delay, (4) whether the district judge has taken care to strike the balance between alleviating court calendar congestion and protecting a party's right to due process and a fair ...


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