United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
A. DOUGHTY JUDGE
L. Hayes J United States Magistrate Judge
the undersigned are six civil rights complaints filed by
Plaintiff Greg Stevens, a prisoner at Franklin Parish
Detention Center proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis.
names Clerk of Court Ann Johnson as a defendant in his first
pleading, alleging that, in 2018, Johnson refused to follow a
court order to facilitate appointment of counsel in his state
habeas proceeding and that, in March 2019, Johnson refused to
file his civil rights complaint. [doc. # 6, p. 3].
names Assistant District Attorney Will Barham as a defendant
in his second pleading, alleging that Barham “exceeded
the time limits for the appointment of counsel after the
initiation of prosecution [on] June 19, 2017, ”
committed perjury before the grand jury, and “refused
to follow procedural law . . . .” [doc. # 7].
names Chad Lee, the Warden of Franklin Parish Detention
Center, as a defendant in his third pleading, alleging that
Lee failed to protect him from other prisoners, denied him
medical care, denied him “victim's rights
assistance, ” confined him in unconstitutional
conditions, and violated his right of access to court. [doc.
names Josh Dunn, a deputy with Franklin Parish Sheriff's
Department, and Aaron Touchet, a guard at Franklin Parish
Detention Center, as defendants in his fourth pleading. [doc.
# 9]. He alleges that, after he was arrested in February
2018, Dunn failed to show him the arrest warrant and failed
to submit either “a booking information summary at the
time of booking” or a “written statement or form
explaining why a complete booking information summary was not
presented.” Id. at 3. Plaintiff alleges that
Touchet failed to immediately inform him of his right to
request a preliminary examination. Id.
fifth pleading, Plaintiff names Detective Todd Roberts as a
defendant, alleging that Roberts “filed a complaint
with the district attorney's office on June 19, 2017,
that contained perjured testimony/statements.” [doc. #
sixth pleading, Plaintiff names the District Attorney's
Office, District Attorney James David Caldwell, and Assistant
District Attorney James Trey Phillips as defendants. [doc. #
11]. Plaintiff alleges that, in November 1998, these
defendants violated his right to a speedy trial. Id.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20(a)(2), “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[.]” “Unrelated claims against
different defendants belong in different suits, not only to
prevent [a] morass . . . but also to ensure that prisoners
pay the required filing fees-for the Prison Litigation Reform
Act limits to 3 the number of frivolous suits or appeals that
any prisoner may file without prepayment of the required
fees.” George v. Smith, 605');">507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th
motion or on its own, the court may at any time, on just
terms, add or drop a party. The court may also sever any
claim against a party.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 21. District
courts have “discretion to sever an action if it is
misjoined or might otherwise cause delay or prejudice.”
Applewhite v. Reichhold Chemicals, Inc., 67 F.3d
571, 574 (5th Cir. 1995).
in each pleading, Plaintiff asserts claims against defendants
that do not arise out of the same transaction, occurrence, or
series of transactions or occurrences set forth in the other
pleadings. Plaintiff may not, therefore, join all defendants
in one action.
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff s pleadings,
[doc. #s 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11], be SEVERED
into six separate proceedings. Except for the instant
proceeding, which will comprise only Plaintiffs initial
pleadings, [doc. #s 1, 6], Plaintiff must, in each new