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Daker v. Allen

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division

March 30, 2018

WASEEM DAKER, Petitioner,
v.
MARY ALLEN, Warden Respondent.

          ORDER

          J. RANDAL HALL, CHIEF JUDGE

         Presently before the Court is Petitioner Waseem Daker's ("Daker") Objection, (doc. 10), to the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation dated March 3, 2018, (doc. 9). The Honorable R. Stan Baker recommended the Court consolidate Daker's habeas Petition with another of his pending habeas petitions: Daker v. Allen, Civil Action No. 6:17-cv-23 [hereinafter Daker I]. Judge Baker also dismissed Daker's Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis, (doc. 2), dismissed as moot Daker's Motion to Expedite Proceedings, (doc. 4), and denied Daker's Motion for Law Library Access, (doc. 5), Motion for Subpoena and Preservation of Evidence, (doc. 6), and Motion to Appoint Counsel, (doc. 7). Daker objects to Judge Baker's Order and Report and Recommendation in its entirety. (Doc. 10, p. 3.)

         After an independent and de novo review of the entire record, the undersigned concurs with the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation. Accordingly, for the reasons set forth below, the Court OVERRULES Daker's Objections, (doc. 10), and ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation, (doc. 4), as the opinion of the Court. The Court hereby CONSOLIDATES Daker's Petition and filings in the above-captioned case with Daker I. The Court DIRECTS the Clerk of Court to file all pleadings docketed in Case No. 6:17-cv-90, including this Order, upon the docket and record of Case No. 6:17-cv-23; CONSOLIDATE Case No. 6:17-cv-90 with Case No. 6:17-cv-23; and CLOSE Case No. 6:17-cv-90.

         BACKGROUND

         On July 3, 2017, Daker filed this Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus alleging that he was unlawfully placed in Tier II administrative segregation. (Doc. 1.) Daker seeks release from administrative segregation. (Doc. 1, pp. 1, 2, 4.) Daker contends his placement in Tier II segregation violates the First Amendment, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act ("RLUIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-l et seq., substantive due process, and procedural due process. (Id. at pp. 5-9.)

         Prior to this case, Daker filed a habeas corpus action on February 3, 2017. In that earlier petition, Daker set forth legally identical and factually similar claims related to his placement in Tier II administrative segregation. See Daker v. Allen. 6:17-cv-23 (S.D. Ga. Feb. 3, 2017), ECF No. 1 (alleging his placement in administrative segregation violated substantive due process, procedural due process, the First Amendment, and RLUIPA). Like his claim here, Daker complains he was unlawfully found guilty of certain disciplinary reports concerning his beard and insubordination, among other transgressions, and was committed to segregation without due process. Id. The Court's review of respondent's answer and Daker's petition in that pending case shows Daker's application for habeas release emanates from a single, uninterrupted stay in Tier II segregation that is continuous to his Petition presently before the Court. Id. at pp. 5-9; ECF No. 30-1, pp. 57-58.

         DISCUSSION

         Daker filed Objections to the Magistrate Judge's recommendation that the Court consolidate the present habeas Petition with his petition in Civil Action Number 6:17-cv-23. (Doc. 10, pp. 3-4.) Daker also objects to the Magistrate Judge's order dismissing and denying his several motions. (Id. at pp. 4-17.) The Court addresses each of these Objections in turn.

         I. Daker's Objection to Consolidation

         Daker objects to the Court's consolidation of his habeas petitions because it will delay resolution of Daker L as Respondent has already filed an answer and Daker two summary judgment motions. (Doc. 10, p. 3.) Daker also contends consolidation is "unnecessary" because each petition challenges a different segregation decision. (Id.) Additionally, Daker includes a list of five habeas petitions that he has filed since February 2017, each challenging the same period of Tier II segregation as well as the disciplinary reports and decisions which occasioned his placement in segregation. (Id. at pp. 1-2.) Daker notes these habeas petitions challenge Respondent's "ongoing policy and custom" of placing him in segregation. (Id.)

         The Court's inherent discretion to consolidate cases is a matter of black letter law. As the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has held, consolidation under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(a) is "permissive" and "a purely discretionary power" of the Court. Young v. City of Augusta, 59 F.3d 1160, 1168 (11th Cir. 1995) (internal quotes omitted). Courts may exercise their discretion to consolidate cases so long as they "involve a common question of law or fact." Fed.R.Civ.P. 42(a). When deciding to consolidate, the Court 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. 1.985).

         In light of the common questions of law and fact between Daker's petitions, as described in detail by the Magistrate Judge, Daker's present Petition warrants consolidation with Daker I. The petitions at hand involve similar facts and the same Respondent, and Daker advances identical legal claims in both petitions. Furthermore, Daker seeks release from a single, uninterrupted stay in Tier II administrative segregation. Daker himself admits he is challenging an allegedly unlawful "ongoing policy and custom" of Respondent.

         By filing separate habeas petitions regarding his uninterrupted stay in Tier II segregation, Daker seeks to have multiple and successive bites at the same apple. Although the facts may slightly differ from one disciplinary report to another, they are altogether factually similar, and their lawfulness to support his segregated confinement turns on the same legal standards. Daker may be correct that consolidation could delay a decision in Daker L but more importantly, it will expedite an ultimate decision on the lawfulness of his placement in segregation and usher a more efficient resolution of his several, nearly identical habeas petitions. Furthermore, consolidation is necessary to advance judicial economy and to avoid the difficulties of piecemeal litigation wrought by Daker's successive habeas filings.[1] Consolidation here will bring consistency rather than confusion, and the minor prejudice caused by a possible slight delay to Daker I pales in comparison to the burden on the Court and Respondent which would occur without consolidation. Therefore, the Court concurs with the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge to consolidate Daker's petitions. The Court OVERRULES Daker's Objections, (doc. 10), and ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation as the opinion of the Court. Nevertheless, the Court still addresses Plaintiffs remaining objections.

         II. Daker's Objections to the Magistrate ...


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