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Houston v. Mink

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

January 22, 2015

ERIC HOUSTON, ET AL., Plaintiff
v.
D. MINK, ET AL., Defendants; ERIC HOUSTON, ET AL., Plaintiff
v.
N. ARNOLD, ET AL., Defendants

Eric Houston, Plaintiff (4:13-cv-01930-MWB-JVW), Pro se, Lewisburg, PA.

Eric Houston, Plaintiff (4:13cv2024), Pro se, Lewisburg, PA USA.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Matthew W. Brann, United States District Judge.

Background

Eric Houston and Edward McDonald initiated the two above captioned pro se this civil rights complaints regarding their confinement at the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania (USP-Lewisburg). Both actions were previously dismissed without prejudice as to Plaintiff McDonald for his failure to pay the required filing fees or in the alternative to file proper in forma pauperis applications and forms. Accordingly, Inmate Houston will be deemed the sole Plaintiff.

The initially filed action, Civil Action No. 4:CV-13-1930, names as Defendants the following USP-Lewisburg officials: SIC D. Mink; Warden Jeff Thomas; HSA Bonaparte; and Lieutenants Shuman and Knapp.. The rambling at times illegible and obscenity laced Complaint generally asserts that Plaintiffs are being subjected to racially motivated retaliatory mistreatment including verbal threats, physical torture, mail interference, inadequate medical care and living conditions while housed in the prison's Special Management Unit (SMU). Houston references incidents which allegedly transpired on January 11, 2012, December 18, 2011 and March 7, 2012. See Doc. 1, p. 4. However, there are no dates or specific incidents referenced in the complaint. Moreover, no specific conduct is attributed to any of the named Defendants. In light of those deficiencies, the exact nature of Plaintiff's claims against the respective Defendants is unknown. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief and monetary damages.

Named as Defendants in Plaintiff's second action, Civil Action No. 4:CV-13-2024, are the following USP-Lewisburg officials: Correctional Officers N. Arnold and Sholly; Unit Manager Stover; Captain Taggart; Beaver; and Stroud. This Complaint is also a rambling at times illegible narrative. Houston again raises similar vague contentions of being subjected to racially motivated mistreatment, including mail interference, verbal threats, food tampering, and excessive force, at USP-Lewisburg. He indicates that he is unable to provide any dates or times. It is unclear as to what role, if any, the named Defendants played in the alleged mistreatment.

Discussion

Consolidation

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

(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;

(2) consolidate the actions; or

(3) issue any other orders to avoid unnecessary costs or delay.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 42(a).

Both complaints are set forth in a disjointed manner which lack adequate factual detail. Despite those deficiencies, it is apparent the facts set forth in each of the above described complaints are similar in almost all respects. As noted earlier, the arguments set forth in the respective actions similarly claim that Houston and the former Plaintiff McDonald were subjected to racially motivated retaliatory mistreatment by USP-Lewisburg staff.

Consequently, since the above described actions contain common factors of law and fact, this Court will order the consolidation of the latest complaint into the initially filed action pursuant to Rule 42(a) and will proceed with the consolidated ...


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