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Pedro Honesto v. Arnold Schwarzenegger

May 23, 2011

PEDRO HONESTO,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, DEFENDANTS.



ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION F O R J O I N D E R A N D / O R C L A S S CERTIFICATION

(ECF No. 12)

ORDER

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff Pedro Honesto ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed this action on June 22, 2010 and consented to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction on July 29, 2010. (ECF Nos. 1 & 9.) Plaintiff's Complaint has yet to be screened by the Court.

Currently pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for miscellaneous relief. (ECF No. 12.) Plaintiff requests class certification, joinder, service of his complaint, and injunctive relief. Each of these will be address in turn below.

CLASS ACTION

Plaintiff seeks certification of this litigation as a class action. Plaintiff states that other similarly situated inmates should be included in his action. He states that the claims involve questions or law or fact common and that he will fairly and adequate protect the interests of the class.

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.

JOINDER

Plaintiff also seeks joinder. Again, Plaintiff states that the claims involve the same questions of law or fact.

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20(a), persons may be joined in one action as defendants if any right to relief asserted against them arises out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions and occurrences, and any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action. See also George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007) ("Unrelated claims against unrelated defendants belong in different suits").

Plaintiff does not specify what Defendants he would like joined, nor does he specify what claims he is referring to. Thus, this request is denied.

The Court also notes that at this stage in the proceedings, Plaintiff is allowed to amend his complaint. If Plaintiff believes that he mistakenly named a defendant or failed to name an individual as a defendant, he is free to file an amended complaint, keeping in mind that an amended complaint ...


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