United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statebsoro Division
RANDAL HALL, chief JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
before the Court is a "Motion to Relate" filed on
Plaintiffs behalf. (Doc. 13.) For the reasons which follow,
the Court DENIES Plaintiffs Motion. The
Court's Order dated December 12, 2016, remains the Order
of the Court, and this case remains closed.
filed his Complaint on August 11, 2016. (Doc. 1.) The
Magistrate Judge recommended Plaintiffs Complaint be
dismissed based on Plaintiffs failure to follow this
Court's Orders and his failure to prosecute after
Plaintiff failed to return his consent to collection of fees
and his trust account statement, as the Court ordered
Plaintiff to provide. (Doc. 10.) The Court adopted this
recommendation as the opinion of the Court and dismissed
Plaintiffs Complaint on December 12, 2016. (Doc. 11.)
Motion, Plaintiff states that two cases filed by fellow
inmates are related to this case. (Id.) (citing
Ouintanilla v. Bryson, et al, Civil Case No.
6:17-cv-4 (S.D. Ga.), and Grazeta v. Bryson, et al.,
Civil Case No. 6:16-cv-141 (S.D. Ga.)). Plaintiff requests
that the Court consolidate these cases because "each of
the. . . actions revolve essentially around Plaintiffs'
claims of denial of due process and cruel and unusual
punishment in connection with their segregation proceedings,
and involve several of the same defendants."
(Id. at p. 1.)
district court has authority to consolidate multiple actions
if they "involve a common question of law or fact."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 42(a). Consolidation under Rule 42(a) "is
permissive and vests a purely discretionary power in the
district court." Young v. City of Augusta, 59
F.3d 1160, 1168 (11th Cir. 1995) (internal quotes omitted).
In exercising that discretion, district courts must weigh the
risk of prejudice and confusion wrought by consolidation
against the risk of inconsistent rulings on common factual
and legal questions; the burden on the parties and the Court
posed by multiple lawsuits as opposed to one; the length of
time required to conclude multiple lawsuits as opposed to
one; and the relative expense of proceeding with separate
lawsuits if they are not consolidated. Hendrix v.
Ravbestos-Manhattan, Inc., 776 F.2d 1492, 1495 (11th
Cir. 1985). "District courts in this circuit have been
urged to make good use of Rule 42(a) ... in order to expedite
the trial and eliminate unnecessary repetition and
confusion." Young, 59 F.3d at 1169 (internal
quotes omitted). The decision of whether to consolidate
"is entirely within the discretion of the district court
as it seeks to promote the administration of justice."
Gentry v. Smith, 487 F.2d 571, 581 (5th Cir. 1973).
these standards, consolidation of Plaintiff s action with
those of his fellow inmates would be improper. The Court
notes that Plaintiff and his fellow inmates have raised
common questions of law and fact. Indeed, they have filed
many nearly identical pleadings. Nonetheless, as a case
progresses, the parties and the Court must focus not on legal
principles in the abstract but instead on whether Plaintiffs
individual rights have been violated. Furthermore, Plaintiffs
case has already been closed, obviating any benefit to
consolidating this case with those of Plaintiff s fellow
inmates. (Docs. 11, 12.)
several courts have found that allowing prisoner plaintiffs
to proceed together in one action poses a litany of practical
problems. See, e.g., Gentry v. Lawton Corr.
Facility, No. CIV-14-310-W, 2014 WL 2712305, at *1 (W.D.
Okla. May 13, 2014); Pinson v. Haynes, No. CIV. A.
H-08-2237, 2008 WL 4857944, at *2 (S.D. Tex. Nov. 6, 2008)
("Among the concerns noted are the possibility of inmate
transfers, security, and the need for each individual
plaintiff to represent himself and sign each pleading related
to his claims."). Of primary concern is that Plaintiff
and his fellow inmates cannot represent each other before the
Court. Wallace v. Smith, 145 F.App'x 300, 302
(11th Cir. 2005). Thus, Plaintiff and his fellow inmates
would have to each sign every document that they jointly
filed. Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(a). Additionally, if one plaintiff
filed a motion separately, he would then have to serve the
other plaintiffs with that pleading. Fed.R.Civ.P. 5(a). Such
timely communication between plaintiffs incarcerated in a
large state prison is impractical. Gentry, 2014 WL
2712305, at *1 ("Clearly, [the incarcerated proposed
joint plaintiffs] are not in a position to efficiently and
effectively confer with one another, review proposed
pleadings, and then sign them within the court's
deadlines."). Given these practical problems, allowing
consolidation would likely cause-not prevent-delay and
above-stated reasons, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs Motion to
Consolidate. (Doc. 13.) The Court's Order dated December
12, 2016, remains the Order of the Court, and this case
 The Motion is not signed by Plaintiff,
but the Court will treat this Motion as if Plaintiff had
filed this pleading himself. (Doc. 13, p. 2.) In addition,
the Court construes this Motion to Relate as a Motion to
Consolidate. "Federal courts sometimes will ignore the
legal label that a pro se litigant attaches to a
motion and recharacterize the motion in order to place it
within a different legal category." Retic v. United
States. 215 F.App'x 962, 964 (11th Cir. 2007)
(quoting Castro v. United States. 540 U.S. 375, 381
(2003)). This Court may "recharacterize a pro
se litigant's motion to create a better
correspondence between the ...