Pierson v. Bauer et al
OPINION AND ORDER: The court DISMISSES this case as INADVERTENTLY OPENED; ADMONISHES Michael Allen Huff to not sign or file papers in this court on behalf of anyone other than himself; CAUTIONS Michael Allen Huff if he signs or files papers in this c ourt on behalf of someone other than himself, he may be fined, sanctioned, or restricted; and DIRECTS the clerk to send a copy of this order to Michael Allen Huff. Signed by Judge Damon R Leichty on 6/7/2021. (Copy mailed to pro se party and Michael Allen Huff)(bas)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
SOUTH BEND DIVISION
CAUSE NO. 3:21-CV-389-DRL-MGG
J. BAUER, et al.,
OPINON AND ORDER
Michael Allen Huff, a prisoner at the Indiana State Prison, filed an unsigned
complaint purportedly on behalf of Pernell Pierson. ECF 1. Mr. Huff asserts this is
permitted by Johnson v. Avery, 393 U.S. 483 (1969). It is not. Johnson held that “unless and
until the State provides some reasonable alternative to assist inmates in the preparation
of petitions for post-conviction relief, it may not validly enforce a regulation such as that
here in issue, barring inmates from furnishing such assistance to other prisoners.” Id. at
490. Johnson did not hold that inmates can file complaints or other papers with the court
on behalf of other inmates. Mr. Huff is not a lawyer and cannot represent Mr. Pierson.
See Malone v. Nielson, 474 F.3d 934, 937 (7th Cir. 2007); Navin v. Park Ridge Sch. Dist., 270
F.3d 1147, 1149 (7th Cir. 2001); and Nowicki v. Ullsvik, 69 F.3d 1320, 1325 (7th Cir. 1995).
Nor did Johnson hold that complaints or other papers can be filed unsigned. Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 11(a) requires all filings be signed.
Though the clerk was correct to have opened this case so the filing could be
addressed with a judicial order, it will be dismissed as inadvertently opened because Mr.
Huff cannot file on behalf of Mr. Pierson and thus could not initiate this lawsuit on his
behalf. A copy of this order will be sent to Mr. Pierson. Though he did not file this lawsuit,
he needs to know it was filed. If Mr. Pierson wants to file a lawsuit in this court, he needs
to get a Pro Se 14 (INND Rev. 2/20) Prisoner Complaint from his prison law library. He
needs to follow the instructions on that form. He must personally sign it before sending
it to the clerk. A copy of this order will also be sent to Mr. Huff solely to admonish him
to not file papers in this court on behalf of anyone other than himself. He is cautioned if
he does so again, he may be fined, sanctioned, or restricted.
For these reasons, the court:
(1) DISMISSES this case as INADVERTENTLY OPENED;
(2) ADMONISHES Michael Allen Huff to not sign or file papers in this court on
behalf of anyone other than himself;
(3) CAUTIONS Michael Allen Huff if he signs or files papers in this court on behalf
of someone other than himself, he may be fined, sanctioned, or restricted; and
(4) DIRECTS the clerk to send a copy of this order to Michael Allen Huff.
s/ Damon R. Leichty
Judge, United States District Court
June 7, 2021
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