Vreeland v. Schwartz et al
ORDER to File an Amended Complaint, by Magistrate Judge Boyd N. Boland on 2/18/2014. (slibi, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. 13-cv-03515-BNB
DELMART “E.J.M” VREELAND, II,
CELIA SCHWARTZ, Legal Assistant II,
LIEUTENANT S. MORGAN, BVCF/North Unit,
SERGEANT G. WOOD, BVCF/North Unit,
CASE MANAGER J. HANSEN, BVCF/North Unit,
D. COTTEN, Administrative Services Manager,
W. BRUNELL, Associate Warden,
J. DAVIS, Warden, and
RICHARD RAEMISCH, Executive Director,
Plaintiff, Delmart “E.J.M.” Vreeland, II, is in the custody of the Colorado
Department of Corrections (DOC) incarcerated at the Fremont Correctional Facility in
Cañon City, Colorado. On December 30, 2013, Plaintiff filed pro se a Prisoner
Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985 and 28 U.S.C. §§ 1343 and 1367.
The Court granted Plaintiff leave to proceed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 on February
The Court must construe Plaintiff’s Complaint liberally because he is not
represented by an attorney. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). However, the Court should act as an
advocate for a pro se litigant. See Hall, 935 F.2d at 1110. Plaintiff will be directed to file
an Amended Complaint for the reasons stated below.
The Complaint improperly combines a number of separate and unrelated claims
against different defendants. Pursuant to Rule 18(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, “[a] party asserting a claim . . . may join, as independent or alternative
claims, as many claims as it has against an opposing party.” However, the issue of
whether multiple defendants may be joined in a single action is governed by Rule
20(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides:
(2) Defendants. Persons . . . may be joined in one action as
(A) any right to relief is asserted against them
jointly, severally, or in the alternative with
respect to or arising out of the same
transaction, occurrence, or series of
transactions or occurrences; and
(B) any question of law or fact common to all
defendants will arise in the action.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a).
Plaintiff has identified three different incidents. The incidents involve the alleged
actions of various defendants and issues including (1) denial of copies and access to
telephone recordings; (2) retaliation for filing grievances and complaints; and (3)
challenge to DOC administrative regulations.
Requiring adherence in prisoner suits to the federal rules regarding joinder of
parties and claims prevents “the sort of morass [a multiple claim, multiple defendant]
suit produce[s].” George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007).
“Misjoinder of parties is not a ground for dismissing an action.” Fed. R. Civ. P.
21. Instead, “ ‘[t]o remedy misjoinder, . . . the court has two remedial options: (1)
misjoined parties may be dropped on such terms as are just; or (2) any claims against
misjoined parties may be severed and proceeded with separately.’ ” Nasious v. City
and County of Denver, 415 F. App’x 877, 881 (10th Cir. 2011) (quoting DirecTV, Inc., v.
Leto, 467 F.3d 842, 845 (3d Cir. 2006)). Nonetheless, the Court will refrain from
dropping or severing parties at this time because Plaintiff must submit an Amended
Complaint consistent with the joinder requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil
Also, pursuant to the Court’s instructions for filing a prisoner complaint, a
complaint, including the form and additional pages used to complete the form, may not
exceed thirty pages. Plaintiff’s Complaint is thirty-six pages long. Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that Plaintiff shall have thirty days from the date of this Order to
file an Amended Complaint as directed above. It is
FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall obtain the Court-approved Prisoner
Complaint form (with the assistance of his case manager or the facility’s legal assistant)
along with the applicable instructions at www.cod.uscourts.gov, to be used in filing the
Second Amended Complaint. It is
FURTHER ORDERED that if Plaintiff fails to comply within the time allowed the
Court will address the misjoinder of parties and claims pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 21.
DATED February 18, 2014, at Denver, Colorado.
BY THE COURT:
s/ Boyd N. Boland
United States Magistrate Judge
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