Harris v. Deal et al
ORDER denying 12 Motion to Amend/Correct; denying 13 Motion to Certify Class. Plaintiff must file an amended complaint within 14 days. Signed by Magistrate Judge Brian K. Epps on 1/17/17. (cmr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
MELVIN HARRIS, a/k/a
NATHAN DEAL, Governor;
HOMER BRYSON, Commissioner;
PHILLIP HALL, Warden;
and FRED GAMMAGE, Warden of Security, )
Plaintiff, an inmate incarcerated at Telfair State Prison in Helena, Georgia,
commenced the above-captioned case pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and is proceeding pro se
and in forma pauperis (“IFP”).
Plaintiff seeks to amend his complaint by inserting an
attachment to his originally filed complaint. (Doc. no. 12.) Plaintiff also seeks to bring a
class action. (Doc. no. 13.)
Because no responsive pleading has been served, Plaintiff may amend his complaint
once as a matter of course, Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). Although Plaintiff apparently intends for
the Court to read these allegations in conjunction with his original complaint, a plaintiff may
not amend his complaint in a piecemeal manner by simply amending sections of his
complaint or submitting separate filings. See Holland v. Burnette, CV 308-090, 2009 WL
1579507, at *1 (S.D. Ga. June 3, 2009). Accordingly, the Court hereby DENIES the motion
and ORDERS Plaintiff to amend his complaint to include all of the allegations and
defendants in one document, within fourteen days of the date of this Order. 1 Plaintiff must
use the standard form provided along with this Order, with no more than six handwritten
or typed pages attached. See London v. Georgia Dep’t of Corr., CV 502-107, doc. no. 10
(M.D. Ga. May 10, 2002) (directing amended complaint shall not exceed six handwritten
pages). If Plaintiff wishes to amend his complaint, he MUST file an amended complaint in
accordance with the following instructions.
The amended complaint shall supersede and replace in its entirety the previous
complaint. Lowery v. Ala. Power Co., 483 F.3d 1184, 1219 (11th Cir. 2007) (“an amended
complaint supersedes the initial complaint and becomes the operative pleading in the case”);
Pintando v. Miami-Dade Hous. Agency, 501 F.3d 1241, 1243 (11th Cir. 2007). It must be
printed legibly or typed so that the Court may discern Plaintiff’s claims. It must contain a
caption that clearly identifies, by name, each party that Plaintiff is suing in the present
lawsuit. Furthermore, the body of Plaintiff’s amended complaint must contain sequentially
numbered paragraphs containing only one act of misconduct per paragraph. The numbered
paragraphs in Plaintiff’s amended complaint should include information such as: (i) the
alleged act of misconduct; (ii) the date on which such misconduct occurred; (iii) the names of
each and every individual who participated in such misconduct; and (iv) where appropriate,
the location where the alleged misconduct occurred. While Plaintiff may attach exhibits to
his amended complaint, he shall not incorporate them by reference as a means of providing
The Court DIRECTS the CLERK to attach a standard form complaint used by pro
se litigants in the Southern District of Georgia to Plaintiff’s copy of this Order, stamped with
this case number.
the factual basis for his complaint. 2 Thus, Plaintiff must name the parties whom he seeks to
include as Defendants herein in both the caption and the body of his amended complaint; he
may not rely on the fact that the parties are named in the exhibits attached to her amended
complaint as a means of including such persons as defendants to this lawsuit. The Court will
not independently examine exhibits that Plaintiff does not specifically reference (by the
exhibit’s page number) in his amended complaint.
Plaintiff is further cautioned that no portion of any prior filing shall be incorporated
into his amended complaint by reference.
Moreover, Plaintiff shall submit only one
amended complaint in accordance with the terms of this Order. Therefore, Plaintiff shall
state in the single amended complaint filed in accordance with the terms of this Order all
related claims that he wishes the Court to consider as a basis for awarding the relief sought.
Once Plaintiff has complied with the conditions of this Order, the Court will review
the amended complaint to determine which, if any, claims are viable and which, if any,
Defendants should be served with a copy of the amended complaint. If no timely amended
complaint is received from Plaintiff, the Court will presume that Plaintiff desires to have this
case voluntarily dismissed and will recommend dismissal of this action, without prejudice.
Plaintiff is cautioned that while this action is pending, he shall immediately inform this Court
of any change of address. Failure to do so will result in dismissal of this case.
Turning to Plaintiff’s “motion for class action lawsuit,” the Court notes pro se
prisoner class action complaints are improper. Indeed, “[i]t is plain error to permit [an]
imprisoned litigant who is unassisted by counsel to represent his fellow inmates in a class
For example, Plaintiff should not simply state, “See attached documents.”
action.” Wallace v. Smith, 145 F. App’x 300, 302 (11th Cir. 2005) (per curiam) (quoting
Oxendine v. Williams, 509 F.2d 1405, 1407 (4th Cir.1975)). Simply put, incarcerated pro se
litigants may not bring a class action on behalf of other prisoners. See Fymbo v. State Farm Fire
& Cas. Co., 213 F.3d 1320, 1321 (10th Cir. 2000) (holding that a pro se litigant “cannot
adequately represent [a] putative class”). Any inmate desiring to bring suit against Defendants
must initiate a separate action by submitting a signed complaint and either paying the applicable
filing fee or filing a motion to proceed in forma pauperis. See Loc. R. 4.1. Accordingly, the
Court DENIES Petitioner’s motion for a class action. (Doc. no. 13.)
SO ORDERED this 17th day of January, 2017, at Augusta, Georgia.
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