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Hughes v. City of Mariposa

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


February 17, 2010

BERNARD C. HUGHES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF MARIPOSA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR CERTIFICATION AS CLASS ACTION (Doc. 15.)

Plaintiff Bernard C. Hughes ("Plaintiff") filed this action on December 29, 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).

Therefore, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion for certification of this litigation as a class action is DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20100217

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