United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
A. Goldsmith District Judge.
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING STATE DEFENDANTS'
MOTION TO SEVER BASED ON MISJOINDER OF PARTIES AND CLAIMS (DE
ANTHONY P. PATTI UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Plaintiff brings his lawsuit against 18 defendants associated
with various MDOC locations.
Alexander (#731077) is currently incarcerated at the
MDOC's Macomb Correctional Facility (MRF) in New Haven,
Michigan. See www.michigan.gov/corrections,
“Offender Search.” On September 8, 2016, while
incarcerated at MRF, Hoosier filed the instant lawsuit
against 18 defendants, who are described as follows:
• nine (9) Defendants are associated with the MDOC's
Marquette Branch Prison (MBP) (Calzetta, Govern, Giesen,
Viitala, LaCount, Niemisto, Huss, Salmi and Meden), which
is located in Michigan s upper peninsula,
• eight (8) Defendants are associated with the
MDOC's Woodland Center Correctional Facility (WCC) (Saad,
Rosen, Watkins, Lewis, Lee, Slaughter, Houston and Idemudia),
which is located in Whitmore Lake, Michigan, and
• one (1) Defendant is associated with the MDOC's
Office of Legal Affairs (Johnson).
(DE 1 at 2 ¶¶ 5-12.) The facts underlying his
complaint span the period from February 2, 2015, when
Plaintiff was incarcerated at MBP, through February 2016,
when Plaintiff was incarcerated at WCC. (DE 1 at 2 ¶ 4,
DE 1 at 3-7 ¶¶ 13-48.)
case has been referred to me to conduct pretrial matters. (DE
Eight defendants have appeared, each of whom is associated
eight defendants who have appeared, seven are State
Defendants (Nicholas Calzetta, Fred Govern, Darrin Viitala,
Mandi Salmi, Kenneth Niemisto, Kristine Giesen, and Chad
LaCount) and one is Terry Meden, M.D. (DE 1 ¶¶ 5-6,
8-9; DEs 19, 25 and 26; see also DEs 10-16 and 18.)
Each of these defendants is identified as being associated
with MBP. (DE 1 ¶¶ 5-9.)
November 29, 2016, the seven State Defendants filed a motion
to sever based on misjoinder of parties and claims. (DE 20.)
A response, a reply and a sur-reply have been filed. (DEs
22-24.) In addition, Defendant Meden has filed a concurrence
in and adoption of the State Defendants' motion. (DE 27.)
Attempts at service upon the ten remaining Defendants are
ongoing. (DE 28-30.)
Fed.R.Civ.P. 20 (“Permissive Joinder of Parties”)
Rule of Civil Procedure 20 provides as follows with respect
to joinder of multiple parties in a single lawsuit:
Persons . . . 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) (emphases added). Thus, when joining
multiple defendants in a single action, both elements of the
two-part test of Rule 20(a)(2) must be met.
joinder of claims, parties, and remedies is “strongly
encouraged” when appropriate to further judicial
economy and fairness. United Mine Workers of Am. v.
Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 724 (1966). However, parties are
not entitled to join multiple defendants in a single suit
when the claims are unrelated. See, e.g., Payne v. Corr.
Corp. of America, 194 F.3d 313, at *1 (6th Cir. 1999)
(concluding severance was proper where the claims did not
arise from the same transactions or occurrences); see
also Michaels Bldg. Co. v. Ameritrust Co., N.A., 848
F.2d 674, 682 (6th Cir. 1988) (upholding the trial
court's dismissal of “wholly unrelated
claims” against misjoined parties).
alleged facts underlying Plaintiffs complaint span a one year
period and took place at two different correctional
factual allegations underlying Plaintiffs complaint, and the
locations discussed ...