Dupree v. Hardy, No. 16-2212 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
The Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of two prisoner cases for failure to prosecute. Dupree had sued Illinois prison staff under 42 U.S.C. 1983 for allegedly prolonging his incarceration. Proceedings were protracted, primarily because Dupree, who had been in and out of jail, dropped out of contact with the court and the lawyer the court had recruited on his behalf. Schneider’s suit also claimed that the defendants detained him for too long. The Seventh Circuit considered Schneider’s case twice before. Schneider tried repeatedly to disqualify the defendants’ counsel, filed an interlocutory appeal, neglected to prepare his case for trial, failed to attend a witness’s deposition, did not respond to defense counsel’s communications, and failed to submit a witness list, exhibit list, proposed jury instructions, proposed voir dire questions, or his objections to the defendants’ pretrial submissions. His subsequently-recruited attorney stated that she had been unable to convince Schneider to attend any meetings and had not heard from him in months. At one point, Schneider “literally threw” a motion to recuse the judge at the courtroom deputy and told the judge “you’re recused” then “abruptly left.” The Seventh Circuit stated that the district courts showed more patience than necessary before dismissing the suits.