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Rollings v. Harrington

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


July 20, 2009

ALFRED ROLLINGS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WARDEN HARRINGTON, DEFENDANT

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER CONSTRUING ACTION AS AN INDIVIDUAL CIVIL SUIT

Plaintiff Alfred Rollings ("Plaintiff") filed this action on June 22, 2009. Plaintiff seeks certification of this litigation as a class action. Plaintiff, however, is a non-lawyer proceeding without counsel. It is well established that a layperson cannot ordinarily represent the interests of a class. See McShane v. United States, 366 F.2d 286 (9th Cir. 1966). This rule becomes almost absolute when, as here, the putative class representative is incarcerated and proceeding pro se. Oxendine v. Williams, 509 F.2d 1405, 1407 (4th Cir. 1975). In direct terms, plaintiff cannot "fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class" as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(4). See Martin v. Middendorf, 420 F. Supp. 779 (D.D.C. 1976). This action, therefore, will not be construed as a class action and instead will be construed as an individual civil suit brought by plaintiff.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20090720

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