Evans v. California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation
ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman on 10/16/17 DENYING 7 plaintiff's request to merge cases. (Plummer, M)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
RICHARD ANTHONY EVANS,
No. 2:17-cv-1891 KJN P
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF
Plaintiff is a state prisoner, proceeding pro se. On September 21, 2017, plaintiff filed a
motion to merge the instant case with his other two cases: (1) Evans v. California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation, 2:17-cv-1888 AC; and (2) Evans v. California Department of
Corrections & Rehabilitation, 2:17-cv-1890 DB. However, on September 26, 2017, plaintiff’s
motion to consolidate these three cases, filed in plaintiff’s lead case, 2:17-cv-1888 AC, was
The court notes that, of the three cases plaintiff seeks to
consolidate, only the immediate one has been screened. Thus, the
court cannot yet determine whether plaintiff’s claims in the other
two cases will involve common questions of law or fact. Indeed, the
court has dismissed plaintiff’s claims in this case with leave to
amend and, consequently, cannot even compare them to his
potential claims in the other cases. Therefore, plaintiff’s request
will be DENIED without prejudice as premature. Plaintiff may
renew his motion to consolidate once he has filed an adequate
complaint in this case and his other cases have been screened. If he
elects to do so, he should bear the above referenced standards in
mind and articulate why the convenience of consolidating his
claims outweighs the potential for delay, confusion, and prejudice
to the relevant defendants.
Id. (ECF No. 11.) The undersigned agrees with Judge Claire’s reasoning and denies plaintiff’s
motion on the same grounds.
To the extent plaintiff intends to raise all of his claims in one amended complaint, plaintiff
is reminded that he may only join multiple claims if they are all against a single defendant. Fed.
R. Civ. P. 18(a). If plaintiff has more than one claim based upon separate transactions or
occurrences, the claims must be set forth in separate paragraphs. Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(b). Unrelated
claims against different defendants must be pursued in multiple lawsuits.
The controlling principle appears in Fed. R. Civ. P. 18(a): ‘A party
asserting a claim . . . may join,  as independent or as alternate
claims, as many claims . . . as the party has against an opposing
party.’ Thus multiple claims against a single party are fine, but
Claim A against Defendant 1 should not be joined with unrelated
Claim B against Defendant 2. Unrelated claims against different
defendants belong in different suits, not only to prevent the sort of
morass [a multiple claim, multiple defendant] suit produce[s], but
also to ensure that prisoners pay the required filing fees-for the
Prison Litigation Reform Act limits to 3 the number of frivolous
suits or appeals that any prisoner may file without prepayment of
the required fees. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a)(2) (joinder of
defendants not permitted unless both commonality and same transaction requirements are
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s request to merge cases (ECF No.
7) is denied without prejudice.
Dated: October 16, 2017
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