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Purveegiin v. York County Prison

January 30, 2007

BATSAIHAN PURVEEGIIN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
YORK COUNTY PRISON, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Vanaskie

MEMORANDUM

I. Introduction

Plaintiff, Batsaihan Purveegiin, currently detained by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Pike County Correctional Facility in Lords Valley, Pennsylvania, commenced this pro se action with a civil rights complaint filed pursuant to the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claims that while he was previously incarcerated at York County Prison in York, Pennsylvania, Defendants interfered with his mail, denied adequate medical care, tortured him, poisoned his food, dispersed nerve gas, and discriminated against him based upon his race. Plaintiff seeks declaratory, injunctive, punitive and compensatory relief. Also pending is Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Dkt. Entry 2) and Plaintiff's motion to invoke the three strikes ifp standard (Dkt. Entry 5). For the reasons that follow, the Court concludes that Plaintiff's complaint does not satisfy the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiff's complaint will be dismissed without prejudice, and he will be given the opportunity to file an amended complaint which must comport with the requirements of the Federal Rules. Failure to do so may result in closure of this case or the dismissal of certain parties and claims. Plaintiff's pending motions will be denied, without prejudice, as moot.

II. Discussion

Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, andsuch parties are accorded substantial deference in federal court. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972); Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5 (1980). They are not, however, free to ignore the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20, titled Permissive Joinder of Parties, in pertinent part, reads:

(a) Permissive Joinder. All persons . . . may be joined in one action as defendants if there is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative, any right to relief in respect of or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences and if any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action. A plaintiff or defendant need not be interested in obtaining or defending against all the relief demanded. Judgment may be given for one or more of the plaintiffs according to their respective rights to relief, and against one or more defendants according to their respective liabilities.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a).

Plaintiff's complaint names eleven (11) defendants and contains numerous claims as set forth above. The claims alleged by Plaintiff address varied and unconnected issues such as inadequate medical care, torture, and other Constitutional deprivations. The claims against Defendants do not arise out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences, and they lack a question of law or fact common to all defendants.

Rule 20 is a flexible rule that allows for fairness and judicial economy.

Rule 20(a) permits joinder in a single action of all persons asserting, or defending against, a joint, several, or alternative right to relief that arises out of the same transaction or occurrence and presents a common question of law or fact. The purpose of the rule is to promote trial convenience and expedite the final determination of disputes, thereby preventing multiple lawsuits.

7 Charles Alan Wright, Arthur R. Miller, & Mary Kay Kane, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1652 at 371-72 (1986). "Instead of developing one generalized test for ascertaining whether or not a particular factual situation constitutes a single transaction or occurrence for purposes of Rule 20, the courts . . . have adopted a case by case approach." Id., § 1653 at 382. When the district court decides whether the particular facts warrant joinder, its decision is subject to review only for abuse of discretion. Chicago, Rock Island & Pac. R.R. Co. v. Williams, 245 F.2d 397, 404 (8th Cir. 1957), cert. denied, 335 U.S. 885 (1957).

In United Mine Workers of America v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 724 (1966), the Supreme Court held that "[u]nder the Rules, the impulse is toward entertaining the broadest possible scope of action consistent with fairness to the parties; joinder of claims, parties and remedies is strongly encouraged." United Mine Workers of America, 383 U.S. at 724. "Consistent with this policy, the transaction and common question requirements prescribed by Rule 20(a) are to be liberally construed in the interest of convenience and judicial economy." King v. Ralston Purina Co., 97 F.R.D. 477, 479-80 (W.D. N.C. 1983); see also Lewis v. City of Los Angeles, 5 Fed.Appx. 717, 718 (9th Cir. 2001).

However, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has noted that the policy of liberal application of Rule 20 is not a license to join any and all claims and defendants in one lawsuit:

Permissive joinder is not, however, applicable in all cases. The rule imposes two specific requisites to the joinder of parties: (1) a right to relief must be asserted by, or against, each plaintiff or defendant relating to or arising out of the same transaction or occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences; and ...


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