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 he is
requesting "for this Complaint to be authorized as a
'class action' status case." 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. Attach. [1-2] at 1-2.
The Court liberally construing Plaintiffs 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.
Attach.. [1-2] at 1-2. 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 Plaintiffs
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 ORDERED 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