United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Eastern Division
ORDER DENYING CLASS ACTION REQUEST
STARRETT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court, sua sponte, for screening.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and § 1915A.
Plaintiff files this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. See Compl.  at 1. Plaintiff states
in the relief portion of the Complaint  that “I am
seeking this suit to be classified as a class action
suit.” Id. at 4. Plaintiff alleges that the
conditions of confinements at the Jasper County Jail, Bay
Springs, Mississippi, violate the constitutional rights of
the inmates. Id. at 5-6. The Court liberally
construing Plaintiff's Complaint will address his
statement that he is bringing a class action.
as well as the other inmates referred to in the Complaint are
inmates at the Jasper County Jail, Bay Springs, Mississippi.
Compl.  at 5-6. Plaintiff complains about the general
conditions of confinement of the Jasper County Jail.
Id. Plaintiff also alleges that the constitutional
rights of the detainees are being violated by the Jasper
County court system, including the Jasper County Circuit
considered the Complaint, the Court finds that
Plaintiff's attempt to institute a class action should be
denied. Additionally, the Court finds that if the other
inmates wish to pursue a Complaint relating to the conditions
of confinement at Jasper County Jail, Bay Springs,
Mississippi, each inmate must file a separate complaint.
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 Rule
23(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiff 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 class')." 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 Plaintiffs allegations, liberally construed, assert
questions of law that are common to all inmates at the Jasper
County Jail, Bay Springs, Mississippi, 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
Computer Corp., 257 F.3d 475, 479 n.4 (5th Cir. 2001)
(citations omitted) (stating that Plaintiff has the burden of
proof to establish that all four requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P.
23(a) are satisfied). Having reviewed the Complaint, the
Court finds that it does not present allegations and
arguments to meet the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 23(a). As a result, this civil action will not be
treated as a class action.
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). 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. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
Additionally, multi-prisoner plaintiff complaints present a
variety of administrative and 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) (citations omitted) (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,
1160-61 (5th Cir. 1986) (citations omitted). Commingling the
various claims of multiple plaintiffs makes it difficult for
the court to discern how the alleged constitutional violation
affected each plaintiff. Meritorious claims may be obscured
by the frivolous.
these concerns in mind, and with the objective of achieving
judicial economy and maintaining efficient control of its
docket, the Court finds that if the other inmates wish to
pursue a civil action concerning the conditions of
confinement in the Jasper County Jail, Bay Springs,
Mississippi, they may do so by filing a separate individual
Complaint. Accordingly, it is
that to the extent Plaintiff is seeking certification of a
class action pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23
such a request is denied. This case will proceed only as to
the claims of Plaintiff Wilson.