United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Waycross Division
LISA GODBEY WOOD, JUDGE
who is currently housed at Smith State Prison in Glennville,
Georgia, filed the two above-captioned causes of action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. From a review of
Plaintiff's Complaints, it appears he makes virtually
identical allegations in both actions. Accordingly, for the
reasons and in the manner set forth below, these actions are
filed Case Number 5:17-cv-118, on September 5, 2017. Dkt. No.
1. In that Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that on June 30,
2017, he was robbed by ten fellow inmates who are members of
a gang. Id. at p. 4. The inmates robbed Plaintiff of
contraband including a cell phone. Id. Plaintiff
contends these inmates threatened him with future harm, and
he notified Sergeant Harris of the robbery and the threats.
Id. at p. 5. Plaintiff maintains that Sergeant
Harris then notified Lieutenant Domini of the incident, and
that Domini placed Plaintiff in isolation and refused
Plaintiff s request for protective custody. Id. at
pp. 5-6. He contends that after this incident, other officers
and prison administrators have denied his request to be
placed in protective custody and that he has remained in
disciplinary segregation without a hearing. Id. at
filed Case Number 5:17-cv-122, on September 15, 2017. Dkt.
No. 1. In that Complaint, Plaintiff reasserts, albeit with
less detail, the allegations regarding his attack by gang
members, prison officials' refusal to place him in
protective custody, and his continued detention in
administrative segregation. Id. He requests that the
Court order that he be placed in protective custody.
Id. at p. 5. As in Case Number 5:17-cv-118,
Plaintiff has moved to proceed in forma pauperis in
Case Number 5:17-cv-122. Dkt. No. 2.
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.
Raybestos-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).
cases at hand, Plaintiff sets forth allegations that are
related to each other and that involve common questions of
law and fact. His two Complaints name the same individuals as
Defendants, center on the same facts, and request essentially
the same relief. Therefore, consolidation is warranted to
prevent inconsistent rulings on common questions of law and
fact and to avoid the inefficiency of duplicative litigation.
reasons set forth above, the Court exercises its discretion
to consolidate these actions. Accordingly, the Clerk of Court
is DIRECTED to: file all pleadings docketed
in Case Number 5:17-cv-118 upon the docket and record of Case
Number 5:17-cv-122; CONSOLIDATE Case Numbers
5:17-cv-118 and 5:17-cv-122; and CLOSE Case
Number 5:17-cv-118. In consolidating the Complaint, the Clerk
should consolidate the Defendants listed on the case dockets
and only list each Defendant once on the consolidated case
Court DISMISSES AS MOOT the Motion for Leave
to Proceed in Forma Pauperis in Case Number
5:17-cv-118. Following consolidation on the record, the
United States Magistrate Judge will review the Motion for
Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis filed in Case
Number 5:17-cv-122 and will conduct the requisite frivolity
review of Plaintiff's allegations and assess whether
Defendants should be served with the Complaint.