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Mitchell v. Dodrill

January 23, 2009

TROY F. MITCHELL, PLAINTIFF
v.
SCOTT DODRILL, ET AL., DEFENDANTS
TROY F. MITCHELL, PLAINTIFF
v.
WARDEN BLEDSOE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sylvia H. Rambo United States District Judge

(Judge Rambo)

MEMORANDUM

Plaintiff Troy F. Mitchell ("Mitchell") initiated both of the above-captioned Bivens*fn1 -styled civil rights actions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Mitchell is currently incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania ("USP Lewisburg"). In civil action number 1:08-cv-01414, Mitchell names as Defendants Northeast Regional Director Scott Dodrill, USP-Lewisburg Warden B.A. Bledsoe, former Warden Troy Williamson, Associate Warden Marriano, Associate Warden Estrada, Captain Passaniti, and Unit Manager Hollenbach. In civil action number 1:09-cv-00020, Mitchell names as Defendants USP-Lewisburg Warden Bledsoe, former Warden Williamson, and Associate Warden Marriana, Associate Warden Estrada, Captain Passaniti, psychologist Contri, Lt. Carrasquillo, and hospital administrator Brown. For the reasons set forth below, the actions will be ordered consolidated, and Mitchell will be granted leave to file one all-inclusive amended complaint.

I. Background

In each complaint, Mitchell sets forth a number of constitutional violations relating to the special management unit ("SMU") at USP-Lewisburg. In the complaint docketed at 1:08-cv-01414, Mitchell alleges that prison officials subjected him to cruel and unusual punishment while he was housed in the SMU. Specifically, he is challenging his placement in the SMU and the conditions in the SMU. Further, he claims that he sustained serious injury to his hearing when prison officials needlessly shot him with a concussion grenade during a riot in the SMU which took place in March of 2008. Mitchell also alleges that prison officials violated his due process rights in subsequent administrative proceedings addressing his grievances with respect to the conditions in the SMU and the use of force upon him during the March 2008 riot. In the complaint docketed at 1:09-cv-00020, Mitchell sets forth the same allegations relating to his time spent in the SMU. Each complaint spans the time period from October 2007 through June 2008. As relief, Mitchell seeks monetary damages as well as injunctive relief.

II. Discussion

A review of both Bivens actions reveals that they involve common facts and questions of law. For the reasons outlined below, the court will direct that the cases be consolidated pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(a) and the consolidated matter will proceed under civil action number 1:08-cv-01414, which was the initially filed action.

Rule 42(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides:

(a) Consolidation. If actions before the court involve a common question of law or fact, the court may:

(1) join for hearing or trial any or all matters at issue in the actions;

(2) consolidate the actions; or

(3) issue any other orders to avoid unnecessary cost or delay. Fed. R. Civ. P. 42(a).

A review of the respective civil rights actions reveals that they are significantly similar. The actions assert essentially the same claims for relief, claims relating to Mitchell's treatment in the SMU, and span essentially the same time period. In addition, the actions contain common factors of law and fact. As a result, in the interests of judicial economy, the court will order the consolidation of the two actions pursuant to Rule 42(a) and will proceed with the consolidated matter under Mitchell's initially filed action, civil action number 1:08-cv-01414.

Further, in the interests of justice to this pro se litigant, see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520--21 (1972), the court will grant Mitchell the opportunity to file one all-inclusive amended complaint attempting to state an actionable Bivens claim against a named defendant or defendants. He will be afforded thirty ...


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