United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
RUFUS L. SPEARMAN, Plaintiff,
MICHIGAN, STATE OF, et. Al., Defendants,
OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING THE CASE WITHOUT
PREJUDICE AND DIRECTING DIRECTING CLERK OF THE COURT TO
RETURN ANY FEES COLLECTED FROM PLAINTIFF
HONORABLE ARTHUR J. TARNOW UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Court has before it Plaintiff Rufus L. Spearman's pro
se case, in which he seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Plaintiff is a state prisoner currently confined
at the Chippewa Correctional Facility in Kincheloe, Michigan.
For the reasons stated below, the Court dismisses
plaintiff's action without prejudice to him filing a
properly filed complaint or complaints with respect to the
constitutional violations that he alleges in his complaint.
has filed three hundred and sixty seven pages worth of
pleadings, including numerous exhibits. Plaintiff's
complaint and attached exhibits allege violations occurring
while plaintiff was incarcerated at the Huron Valley Case
2:17-cv-12805-AJT-RSW ECF# 15 Filed 12/13/17 Pg 2 of 7 Pg
ID.443 Correctional Facility, the Alger Correctional
Facility, the Marquette Branch Prison, the Chippewa
Correctional Facility, the Baraga Correctional Facility, the
Woodland Correctional Facility, the Gus Harrison Correctional
Facility, and the Macomb Correctional Facility. Four of these
prisons (Chippewa, Baraga, Alger, and Marquette) are all
located in the Western District of Michigan. Plaintiff failed
to provide copies of his documents for service upon the named
action is subject to dismissal for several reasons.
plaintiff's complaint is subject to dismissal, because
plaintiff has failed to comply with the pleading requirements
of Fed. R.Civ. P. 8. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) requires that a
claim for relief contain “a short and plain statement
of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” This rule seeks “to avoid technicalities
and to require that the pleading discharge the function of
giving the opposing party fair notice of the nature and basis
or grounds of the claim and a general indication of the type
of litigation involved.” Chase v. Northwest
Airlines Corp., 49 F.Supp.2d 553, 563 (E.D.
Mich.1999)(quoting Wright & Miller, Federal
Practice and Procedure: Civil 2d § 1215). Similarly,
Rule 8(e)(1) requires that “Each averment of a pleading
shall be simple, concise, and direct.” Plaintiff's
lengthy and voluminous complaint is subject to dismissal for
failing to comply with the dictates of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8 (a).
See Echols v. Voisine, 506 F.Supp. 15, 17-19 (E.D.
Mich. 1981), aff'd, 701 F.2d 176 (6th Cir.
1982)(Table); See also Payne v. Secretary of Treas.,
73 F. App'x. 836, 837 (6th Cir. 2003)(affirming sua
sponte dismissal of complaint pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2); “Neither this court nor the district court is
required to create Payne's claim for her.”).
second reason for dismissal of the action is that plaintiff
appears to be attempting to join together unrelated causes of
action and defendants from nine different prisons, only five
of which are even located in the Eastern District of
Michigan. Plaintiff's attempt to join together a
number of unrelated claims and defendants into one action
could thwart the purpose of the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(PLRA), which was to reduce the large number of frivolous
prisoner lawsuits that were being filed in the federal
courts. See Riley v. Kurtz, 361 F.3d 906, 917 (6th
Cir. 2004). Under the PLRA, a prisoner may not commence an
action without prepayment of the filing fee in some form. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). These “new fee provisions
of the PLRA were designed to deter frivolous prisoner
litigation by making all prisoner litigants feel the
deterrent effect created by liability for filing fees.”
Williams v. Roberts, 116 F.3d 1126, 1127-28 (5th
Cir. 1997). The PLRA also contains a
“three-strikes” provision requiring the
collection of the entire filing fee after the dismissal for
frivolousness, etc., of three actions or appeals brought by a
prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis, unless the
statutory exception is satisfied. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
The “three strikes” provision was also an attempt
by Congress to curb frivolous prisoner litigation. See
Wilson v. Yaklich, 148 F.3d 596, 603 (6th Cir. 1998).
Fifth Circuit has discouraged “creative joinder of
actions” by prisoners attempting to circumvent the
PLRA's three-strikes provision. See Patton v.
Jefferson Correctional Center, 136 F.3d 458, 464 (5th
light of the PLRA provisions ... to continue the practice of
allowing joinder of claims which are not in compliance with
Rule 18 and Rule 20 [of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure]
would be to defeat, or at least greatly dilute, the clear
intent of the fee payment and three-strikes provisions of the
statute.” Walls v. Scott, 1998 WL 574903, * 3
(N.D.Tex. Aug. 28, 1998). Other courts have reached similar
conclusions. See Brown v. Blaine, 185 F. App'x.
166, 168-69 (3rd Cir. 2006)(allowing an inmate to assert
unrelated claims against new defendants based on actions
taken after the filing of his original complaint would have
defeated the purpose of the three strikes provision of PLRA);
Shephard v. Edwards, 2001 WL 1681145, * 1 (S.D. Ohio
August 30, 2001)(declining to consolidate prisoner's
unrelated various actions so as to allow him to pay one
filing fee, because it “would improperly circumvent the
express language and clear intent of the ‘three
strikes' provision”); Scott v. Kelly, 107
F.Supp.2d 706, 711 (E.D. Va. 2000)(denying prisoner's
request to add new, unrelated claims to an ongoing civil
rights action as an improper attempt to circumvent the
PLRA's filing fee requirements and an attempt to escape
the possibility of obtaining a “strike” under the
“three strikes” rule); Cf. Proctor v.
Applegate, 661 F.Supp.2d 743, 777 (E.D. Mich.
2009)(refusing to allow the joinder in a single
multi-plaintiff complaint of a variety of claims, because
“[E]ach separate claim by each plaintiff will require a
particularized analysis regarding statute of limitations,
exhaustion of administrative remedies, and on the
substance.”). Harris v. Spellman, 150 F.R.D.
130, 131-32 (N.D. Ill. 1993)(Permissive joinder was not
available with respect to two inmates' pre-PLRA §
1983 claims which not only involved different occurrences,
but also raised different issues of law; allegedly similar
procedural errors do not convert independent prison
disciplinary hearings into same “series” of
transactions or occurrences for purposes of permissive
complaint is also subject to dismissal because plaintiff has
failed to provide the requisite copies of his complaint for
service upon the named defendants, which undoubtedly was made
more difficult by the length of the complaint and the
attached exhibits. An inmate bringing a civil rights
complaint must specifically identify each defendant against
whom relief is sought, and must give each defendant notice of
the action by serving upon him or her a summons and copy of
the complaint. Feliciano v. DuBois, 846 F.Supp.
1033, 1048 (D. Mass. 1994). Where a plaintiff is proceeding
in forma pauperis, the district court must bear the
responsibility for issuing the plaintiff's process to a
United States Marshal's Office, who must effect service
upon the defendants once the plaintiff has properly
identified the defendants in the complaint. Byrd v.
Stone, 94 F.3d 217, 219 (6th Cir. 1996); Fed.R.Civ.P.
4(c)(2); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d). Magistrate Judge R. Steven
Whalen, in fact, signed an Order of Deficiency requiring
plaintiff to provide the requisite number of copies of the
complaint. The M.D.O.C. has a policy regarding the copying of
court pleadings, whereby an inmate's prison account is
debited for the cost. See Laster v. Pramstaller, No.
2009 WL 482701, * 1 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 25, 2009). Plaintiff is
not entitled to an order directing the M.D.O.C. to make
copies for plaintiff because he does not allege that he has
requested the prison where he is incarcerated to copy his
pleadings, pursuant to that M.D.O.C. policy. Id.
light of the number of the deficiencies in this case, as well
as the fact that it is unclear whether plaintiff could even
maintain an action for some of these claims in this district,
the Court will dismiss the action without prejudice.
because plaintiff is proceeding pro se and may not
have intended to bring a single action against all of these
defendants, the Clerk of the Court is directed to return any
filing fees that they have received from plaintiff. See