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Daker v. Allen

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

April 3, 2018

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

          ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          R. STAN BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Petitioner Waseem Daker (“Daker”), who is incarcerated at Georgia State Prison in Reidsville, Georgia, filed an action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 challenging his confinement in administrative segregation. (Doc. 1.) Daker has an additional habeas corpus petition pending before this Court: Daker v. Allen, Civil Action Number 6:17-cv-23, [hereinafter Daker I].[1] For the reasons and in the manner set forth below, I RECOMMEND that the Court CONSOLIDATE Daker's Petitions and CLOSE this case. Further, the Court DISMISSES as moot Daker's Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis, (doc. 2), and DENIES Daker's Motions to Expedite Proceedings, (docs. 4, 8), and Daker's Motion to Appoint Counsel, (doc. 5).

         BACKGROUND

         On October 23, 2017, Daker filed this Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus and alleges he was unlawfully placed in Tier II administrative segregation. (Doc. 1.) Daker seeks release from administrative segregation. (See id.) Daker contends his placement and continued detention in Tier II segregation violates the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1 et seq., the First Amendment, substantive due process, and procedural due process. (Id. at pp. 5-8.)

         Specifically, Daker argues the disciplinary reports on which his placement in Tier II was based violate RLUIPA and the First Amendment because they concern his refusal to comply with the prison's policy limiting beard length, which he contends violates the law, as it burdens his religious exercise. (Id. at p. 5.) Daker alleges his conviction on Disciplinary Report Number 713724 violates his right to substantive due process because this report is false, and the force he used to combat officers' attempts to shave him was justified, as the officers' actions violate RLUIPA. (Id.) Further, Daker argues he was denied a fair and impartial hearing and an adequate opportunity to be heard when he was found guilty of these disciplinary reports. (Id. at pp. 6-7.) Daker also argues his retention in Tier II segregation on September 22, 2017, violated his right to procedural due process because it was done without notice and an opportunity to be heard and was otherwise premised on unlawful disciplinary reports. (Id. at pp. 7-8.) Additionally, Daker contends his retention in Tier II segregation violates RLUIPA and his right to substantive due process. (Id. at p. 8.)

         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 I (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 claims here, Daker complains he was unlawfully found guilty of disciplinary reports concerning his beard, using force against officers, and possession of a cell phone and was committed to segregation without due process. Id. A review of the respondent's answer and Daker's petition in that case reveals Daker's application for habeas release stems from a single, uninterrupted stay in Tier II segregation that is continuous through the filing of his Petition presently before the Court. Id. at pp. 5-9; ECF No. 30-1, pp. 57-58.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Consolidation of Daker's Habeas Cases

         A 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). “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);[2] see also Devlin v. Transp. Communs. Int'l Union, 175 F.3d 121, 130 (2d Cir. 1999) (courts can sua sponte consolidate cases under Rule 42(a)).

         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).

         Daker's habeas proceedings involve similar facts and the same Respondent, and Daker pleads identical legal claims. At the core of his claims, Daker seeks his release from administrative segregation for the same reasons-allegedly unlawful disciplinary reports and segregated confinement.[3] Moreover, Daker seeks release from the same, uninterrupted stay in Tier II administrative segregation. Given this congruence, and in light of Daker's well-documented litigiousness, the benefits of consolidation far outweigh any prejudice to the parties.

         Accordingly, the Court should CONSOLIDATE Daker's habeas petitions and DIRECT the Clerk of Court to file all pleadings docketed in Case Number 6:18-cv-19 upon the docket and record of Daker I, Case Number 6:17-cv-23; CONSOLIDATE Case Number 6:18-cv-19 with Daker I; and CLOSE Case Number 6:18-cv-19. For this reason, the Court DISMISSES as moot Daker's Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis in this case, (doc. 2).

         II. Motions to Expedite Proceedings (Docs. 4, 8)

         Given the routine passage of time since Daker filed his habeas corpus action, his Motions to Expedite Proceedings are not appropriately before the Court because there has been no unreasonable delay. Cf. Johnson v. Rogers, 917 F.2d 1283, 1284 (10th Cir. 1990) (finding a fourteen-month delay in ruling on a habeas petition impermissible where no explanation other than docket congestion was provided). The Court will address the relative merits of Daker's Petition in the ordinary course of business in Daker I, should this Report and Recommendation be adopted as the opinion of the Court. Daker has not presented sufficient allegations to warrant giving his case priority over the other cases on the Court's docket. Particularly given Daker's extensive history of litigation in this and other courts, the Court discerns no reason to prioritize his case over other litigants' cases. Daker's second Motion to Expedite, simultaneously filed in four of Daker's habeas cases, both underscores the vexatious nature of his motions and undermines his efforts to have the Court ...


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