United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Mobile Division.
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
K. EFPS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
incarcerated at United States Medical Center in Springfield,
Missouri, have submitted to the Court for filing a civil
complaint. Both Plaintiffs are proceeding pro se and
Plaintiff Edmond Smith filed two motions to proceed in
forma pauperis (“IFP”). (Doc. nos. 2, 4.)
commenced this case by submitting a 314-page complaint, along
with a three-page notice, to the Clerk of Court in the
Southern District of Alabama. (Doc. nos. 1, 1-1.)
Plaintiffs' complaint raises 112 claims against all
Defendants as one enterprise under 18 U.S.C. § 1961(4).
Both Plaintiffs signed the complaint, but only Plaintiff
Smith filed motions to proceed IFP. (See doc. no. 1,
p. 146; doc. no. 2; doc. no. 4.)
Eleventh Circuit has considered the issue of whether
“the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act
[“PLRA”] permits multi-plaintiff [IFP] civil
actions.” Hubbard v. Haley, 262 F.3d 1194,
1196 (11th Cir. 2001). In Hubbard, the Eleventh
Circuit noted that “the intent of Congress in
promulgating the PLRA was to curtail abusive prisoner tort,
civil rights and conditions of confinement litigation.”
Id. (citing Anderson v. Singletary, 111
F.3d 801, 805 (11th Cir. 1997)). The Eleventh Circuit upheld
a district court's dismissal of a
multiple-prisoner/plaintiff lawsuit wherein the plaintiffs
sought to proceed together IFP. Id. at 1198. The
Eleventh Circuit concluded “the PLRA clearly and
unambiguously requires that ‘if a prisoner brings a
civil action or files an appeal in forma pauperis, the
prisoner shall be required to pay the full amount of the
filing fee.'” Id. at 1197 (citing 28
U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)). Allowing multiple prisoners to
bring complaints in a single lawsuit circumvents the
Congressional purpose in promulgating the PLRA. Id.
at 1197-98. That is, “[t]he modest monetary outlay will
force prisoners to think twice about the case and not just
file reflexively.” Id. at 1198 (quoting 141
Cong. Rec. S7526 (daily ed. May 25, 1995) (statement of Sen.
Kyl)). The Eleventh Circuit held “the plain language of
the PLRA requires that each prisoner proceeding IFP pay the
full filing fee . . . .” Id. Therefore, the
“district court properly dismissed the multi-plaintiff
action in this instance.” Id.
case, Plaintiffs are in a position similar to the plaintiffs
in Hubbard. Allowing them to proceed together in
this action would permit them to divide the filing fee
between themselves and defy the Eleventh Circuit's
conclusion that “the PLRA clearly and unambiguously
requires that ‘if a prisoner brings a civil action or
files an appeal in forma pauperis, the prisoner shall be
required to pay the full amount of the filing
fee.'” Id. at 1197 (citing 28 U.S.C.
“it is plain error to permit [an] imprisoned litigant
who is unassisted by counsel to represent his fellow inmates
in a class action.” Wallace v. Smith, 145
Fed.Appx. 300, 302 (11th Cir. 2005) (quoting Oxendine v.
Williams, 509 F.2d 1405, 1407 (4th Cir. 1975)); see
also Massimo v. Henderson, 468 F.2d 1209, 1210 (5th Cir.
1972) (affirming dismissal of portion of petitioner's
complaint seeking relief on behalf of fellow
inmates). Simply put, pro se
Plaintiffs proceeding IFP shall not be permitted to bring an
action on behalf of other prisoners. Wallace, 145
Fed.Appx. at 302 (11th Cir. 2005).
the Court recognizes Plaintiffs are proceeding pro
se and will therefore give them an opportunity to
proceed as individual Plaintiffs in separate cases. In
accordance with the procedure affirmed by the Eleventh
Circuit in Hubbard, the Court
REPORTS and RECOMMENDS the
above-captioned case be DISMISSED without
prejudice, the CLERK be
DIRECTED to file and docket the instant
complaint in two new lawsuits, with the same filing dates and
two separate case numbers, and the CLERK be
DIRECTED to file and docket Plaintiff
Smith's motions to proceed IFP into the new case number
associated with him. Once the two new lawsuits are opened,
Plaintiff Holger must submit his own motion to proceed IFP
within fourteen days of the date the Clerk opens the case.
Lastly, pursuant to the Eleventh Circuit Court of
Appeals' designation, Chief United States District Judge
J. Randal Hall and the undersigned shall remain assigned and
referred, respectively, to the two new cases. (See
doc. no. 3.)
REPORTED and RECOMMENDED.
In Bonner v. City of
Prichard, 661 F.2d 1206, 1209 (11th Cir. 1981) (en
banc), the Eleventh Circuit adopted as binding precedent
all decisions of the former Fifth Circuit handed ...