United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Ocala Division
ERNEST J. VENNEAU, Plaintiff,
MS. WOODARD, MS. DUDSHOFF, MS. RANDOLPH, MS. HOLMES, Defendants.
WILLIAM F. JUNG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
initiated this action on September 20, 2019 by filing a,
pro se Civil Rights Complaint (Doc. 1) and has been
granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 7).
The case is before the Court for screening pursuant to the
Prison Litigation and Reform Act (PLRA). The PLRA directs the
Court to dismiss a case if the Court determines that the
action is frivolous, malicious, fails to state claim upon
which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief against
a defendant who is immune from such relief.The Court must
liberally construe a, pro se plaintiff s
Complaint, Venneau sues Ms. Woodard (Assistant Warden, Sumter
CI), Ms. Dudshof F (Head of Classification, Sumter CI), Ms.
Randolph (Head of Classification, Butler Reception), Ms.
Holmes (State Classification Officer, Butler Reception), for
alleged wrongdoing during his incarceration at Sumter CI and
Butler Reception. (Doc. 1 at 5-17). Venneau claims that
Defendants "maliciously with total disregaurd [sic] to
plaintiffs life, failed to protect plaintiff, sending him to
a violent gang infested inviorment [sic]. Plaintiffs throat
was sliced." (Doc. 1 at 21).
relief, Plaintiff seeks nominal damages of $1.00 and
"punitive/compensatory damages of $200, 000.00 per
claim/per Defendant." Id.
Joinder A plaintiff may set forth related
claims in one civil rights complaint. Pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 20(a), a plaintiff may not join
unrelated claims and various defendants unless the claims
arise "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." Id. As recognized by the Eleventh
Circuit, "a claim arises out of the same transaction or
occurrence if there is a logical relationship between the
claims." Construct Aggregates, Ltd. v. Forest
Commodities Corp., 147 F.3d 1334, 1337 (11th Cir. 1998).
Claims that are unrelated must be raised in separate actions.
this action to go forward against all 4 defendants would
prejudice the defendants and would be fundamentally unfair.
See Don King Prods., Inc. v. Colon-Rosario, 561
F.Supp.2d 189, 192 (D.P.R. 2008) (where claims against
multiple defendants arose from distinct transactions and
would give rise to unique defenses, the plaintiffs
"convenience to bring all claims against these
defendants in one action without paying fee for each
defendant, is outweighed by the prejudice and delay it would
put on the Court's shoulders, as well as each
defendant's defense counsel").
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 21, the proper remedy for
improper joinder of parties is not dismissal. Rather,
"[o]n motion or on its own, the court may at any time,
on just terms, add or drop a party. The court may also sever
any claim against a party." Id.
it is appropriate to dismiss the claims arising out of
Reception and Medical Center and proceed in this Court only on
the claims arising out of Sumter CI.
it is hereby ORDERED:
Plaintiffs claims against Reception and Medical Center
Defendants Randolph and Holmes are DISMISSED without
prejudice to raising these claims in the proper
venue. The Clerk is directed to enter
Plaintiffs claims against Sumter CI Defendants Woodward and
Dudshoff will remain in this case.