United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
ORDER DENYING CLASS ACTION REQUEST
P. JORDAN III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
cause is before the Court, sua sponte, for
consideration of Plaintiff Danyall Deviccio Myles's
request to “form a class action lawsuit.” Compl.
 at 8. Plaintiff's Complaint  has a list of
signatures of 23 other inmates housed at Lauderdale County
Jail in B-Tower who wish to pursue a Complaint against Billie
Sollie, Sheriff of Lauderdale County, Mississippi, and
Lauderdale County, Mississippi. Id. at 8-9. Myles states
that “[t]his statement and list of signatures hereby
states that all prisoners listed in this petition stand by
and confirm that the complaints listed in this formal written
petition are true and were either witnesse[s] and/or
experienced personally . . . the conditions listed during
their incarceration.” Id. at 8.
considered the Complaint, the Court finds that Myles's
attempt to institute a class action should be denied but that
he may continue to seek relief in his individual capacity.
Additionally, the Court finds that the claims of the 23 other
inmates who signed the Complaint will not be added as
Plaintiffs in this civil action.
[T]he class action device exists primarily, if not solely, to
achieve a measure of judicial economy, which benefits the
parties as well as the entire judicial system. It preserves
the resources of both the courts and the parties by
permitting issues affecting all class members to be litigated
in an efficient, expedited, and manageable fashion.
Allison v. Citgo Petroleum Corp., 151 F.3d 402, 410
(5th Cir. 1998). To obtain class certification under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a), the plaintiffs must satisfy
the following requirements:
(1) numerosity (a ‘class [so large] that joinder of all
members is impracticable');
(2) commonality (‘questions of law or fact common to
the class'); (3) typicality (named parties' claims or
defenses ‘are typical . . . of the class'); and (4)
adequacy of representation (representatives ‘will
fairly and adequately protect the interests of the
Amchem Prods., Inc. v. Windsor, 521 U.S. 591, 613
(1997) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a)). Additionally, Plaintiff
must show that the action is maintainable pursuant to Rule
23(b)(1), (2) or (3). Id. at 614.
though Myles asserts that there are questions of law common
to all, he has not demonstrated that the remaining
requirements for class certification are met. Therefore, the
denial of class certification is appropriate. See Berger
v. Compaq Comput. Corp., 257 F.3d 475, 479 n.4 (5th Cir.
2001) (citations omitted) (stating that a party seeking
certification bears the burden of proof to establish that all
four requirements of Rule 23(a) are satisfied). Having
reviewed the Complaint, the Court finds that it does not
present allegations and arguments to meet the requirements of
Rule 23(a). As a result, this civil action may proceed but
will not be treated as a class action.
the Court must consider, sua sponte, whether Myles
and the 23 other inmates should be required to proceed in
separate civil actions. The enactment of the Prison
Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (“PLRA”) militates
against multi-plaintiff prisoner complaints. For example,
prisoner plaintiffs proceeding in forma pauperis
(“IFP”) are required to pay the full amount of
the filing fee and costs. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(b)(1)
and (f)(2)(A) (2012). Prisoner plaintiffs who have, on three
or more prior occasions, brought frivolous or malicious
complaints or complaints which failed to state a claim may
not proceed IFP. Id. § 1915(g). Additionally,
multi-prisoner-plaintiff complaints present a variety of
administrative, logistical problems not associated with other
civil actions. See Beaird v. Lappin, No.
3:06-cv-967, 2006 WL 2051034, *3 (N.D. Tex. July 24, 2006)
(noting impracticalities to include possible transfers of
some plaintiffs, security, the need for each plaintiff to
sign his own pleading and represent himself, the possibility
of changes to documents during circulation among the
plaintiffs, the possibility of coercion by other prisoners,
and issues raised by the inmates' desire to meet within
the prison to discuss joint litigation).
“like all persons who claim a deprivation of
constitutional rights, ” each plaintiff is
“required to prove some violation of [his] personal
rights.” Coon v. Ledbetter, 780 F.2d 1158,
1160 (5th Cir. 1986). Commingling the various claims of
multiple plaintiffs makes it difficult for courts to discern
how the alleged constitutional violations affected each
plaintiff. Meritorious claims may be obscured by the
in mind these concerns and the objectives of judicial economy
and efficiency, the Court finds it appropriate to require
that the other 23 inmates who signed the Complaint file a
separate, individual civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, including paying the filing fee of ...