Cheema v. Asadoorian et al
OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT 1 FOR FAILURE TO SERVE. Signed by District Judge Gershwin A. Drain. (TBan)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
SALIK N. CHEEMA,
Case No. 16-cv-13265
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
GERSHWIN A. DRAIN
LISA ASADOORIAN, et al.,
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
MONA K. MAJZOUB
OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT  FOR FAILURE TO SERVE
On September 9, 2016, Plaintiff Salik N. Cheema (“Plaintiff”) filed a
Complaint  against Lisa Asadoorian, et al. (“Defendants”). After Plaintiff failed
to serve any of the twenty (20) Defendants within 90 days, the Court ordered
Plaintiff to show cause why the case should not be dismissed. Dkt. No. 4.
Plaintiff’s response stated that he had difficulty finding an attorney to represent
him, but had located one that would be available after January 17, 2017. Dkt. No.
5, p. 1 (Pg. ID No. 35). Two weeks have passed since the date Plaintiff indicated
his attorney would be available. No attorney has appeared on behalf of Plaintiff
and there is no evidence that Defendants have received service of summons.
For the reasons stated below, the Court will DISMISS Plaintiff’s Complaint
A. Failure to Serve Summons
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m), “[i]f a defendant is not
served within 90 days after the complaint is filed, the court—on motion or on its
own after notice to the plaintiff—must dismiss the action without prejudice against
that defendant or order that service be made within a specified time.” FED. R. CIV.
P. 4(m) (emphasis added). In this case, the Court provided Plaintiff with notice that
his Complaint could be dismissed on December 13, 2016, and he still failed to
serve summons or otherwise prosecute in the month that followed. Plaintiff’s lack
of counsel does not constitute good cause for failure to serve. Breezley v. Hamilton
Cty., No. 16-3345, 2017 WL 36148, at *3 (6th Cir. Jan. 4, 2017) (providing
examples of “good cause,” “such as when a defendant willfully evades service or a
pro se plaintiff suffers from a serious illness.”).
Based on Plaintiff’s failure to serve parties, the Court will DISMISS his
Complaint, without prejudice, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m).
B. Misjoinder of Claims and Parties
Should Plaintiff wish to refile his Complaint in the future, significant
changes are needed to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. “Pro se
complaints are to be held ‘to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted
by lawyers,’ and should therefore be liberally construed.” Williams v. Curtin, 631
F.3d 380, 383 (6th Cir. 2011). Pro se litigants, however, are not exempt from the
requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Wells v. Brown, 891
F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989).
Plaintiff appears to have brought two causes of action under Section 1983
against twenty different individuals for a litany of alleged wrongs, including:
judges who sentenced him for different criminal offenses, individuals at
correctional facilities who denied him kosher meals, individuals who supervised at
the correctional facility where he was assaulted, individuals who denied him free
speech and due process, individuals who released from medical facilities without
medication, individuals who revoked his parole, and attorneys who represented
him in criminal proceedings. Dkt. No. 1, pp. 4–9 (Pg. ID No. 4–9). Two of these
defendants—the judges who sentenced Plaintiff—are immune from suit based on
judicial immunity. Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11 (1991).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 20(a) limits the joinder of parties in a
civil suit. Rule 20(a)(2) governs when multiple defendants may be joined in one
action: “[p]ersons . . . may be joined in one action as defendants if: (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)(2).
A plaintiff may join multiple defendants in a single action only if the
plaintiff asserts at least one claim to relief against each of them that arises out of
the same transaction or occurrence and presents questions of law or fact common
to all. See Proctor v. Applegate, 661 F. Supp. 2d 743, 778 (E.D. Mich. 2009).
Here, it is clear that Plaintiff’s claims against the twenty defendants arise out of
multiple different transactions. Thus, Plaintiff’s Complaint could not proceed
without amendment and removal of most parties and allegations, even if it had
been properly served. If Plaintiff refiles this case in the future, he must amend his
pleadings to comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 20(a).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Complaint is DISMISSED
IT IS SO ORDERED.
February 2, 2017
/s/Gershwin A Drain
HON. GERSHWIN A. DRAIN
United States District Court Judge
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