United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
W. DeGRAVELLES JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
matter comes before the Court on two motions. The first is
the Motion to Dismiss Claims for Misjoinder, or in the
Alternative, to Sever and Transfer (Doc. 35) filed by
Defendant Warden Ray Hanson (“Hanson”). Plaintiff
Robert Parker (“Plaintiff” or
“Parker”) opposes this motion. (Doc. 41.) Hanson
filed a reply. (Doc. 42.) The second motion is the Motion
to Dismiss for Misjoinder, or in the Alternative, to
Sever and Transfer (Doc. 44) filed by Defendant LaSalle
Corrections, LLC (“LaSalle”). Parker also opposes
this motion. (Doc. 46.) LaSalle did not file a reply. Oral
argument is not necessary. The Court has carefully considered
the law, facts in the record, and arguments and submissions
of the parties and is prepared to rule. For the following
reasons, Defendants' motions are denied.
Relevant Factual Background 
Parker is a person of the full age of majority domiciled in
New Orleans, Louisiana. (Doc. 26, ¶11.) On December 21,
2016, Plaintiff was arrested for possible Violation of
Protective Orders by the New Orleans Police and held in
Orleans Parish Prison. (Id. ¶21.) On January 4,
2017, the Orleans District Attorney refused charges for
possible Violation of Protective Orders. (Id.
¶23.) On March 27, 2017, Plaintiff “self-revoked
his probation” in Orleans Criminal District Court.
(Id. ¶24.) Plaintiff was sentenced to two years
for revoking his probation, and he was given good time credit
and credit for time served that would reduce the number of
days in prison. (Id.) Following Plaintiff's
self-revocation, on March 30, 2017, he was transferred from
Orleans Parish Prison to Louisiana Department of Public
Safety and Corrections (“DOC”) custody.
(Id. ¶25.) Plaintiff spent time at two other
detention centers before he arrived at Richwood Correctional
Center either on May 30 or August 29, 2017. (Doc. 26,
¶25.) Ray Hanson was the Warden of Richwood Correctional
Center. (Id. ¶14.)
original Time Computation & Jail Credit report was
compiled on May 4, 2017, by a DOC staff member. (Id.
¶26.) This report listed Plaintiff's “Must
Serve date” as October 9, 2017. (Id.)
Plaintiff's Time Computation & Jail Credit report was
reviewed on or around September 2017 by a Time Computation
Specialist at David Wade Correctional Center. (Id.
¶27.) During this review, Plaintiff alleges that the
release date was struck through and the letters
“UNSORP” were written above the struck date.
(Id.) This acronym is used in reference to residency
plans for the release of sex offenders. (Doc. 26, ¶27.)
Part of the residency plan for the release of sex offenders
requires that he provide two physical addresses of friends
and/or family where he could live upon his release.
(Id. ¶28.) Plaintiff alleges that he was never
informed by DOC, or convicted of, being a sex offender.
contends that he made a request to discuss this issue with
Hanson and others at the DOC. (Id. ¶29.)
Further, Plaintiff states that he submitted two additional
Inmate Request Forms on September 4, 2017, where he asked to
speak with Hanson about the matter of his release date or sex
offender status. (Id. ¶30.) Both additional
requests were marked as “handled” on the day that
they were submitted. (Doc. 26, ¶30.)
October 9, 2017, Plaintiff was not released. (Id.
¶31.) On November 6, 2017, Plaintiff submitted another
Inmate Request Form stating that he provided two additional
addresses,  and the November 6 Request was marked as
“handled” on November 9, 2017. (Id.
¶34.) Again, Plaintiff contends he submitted another
Inmate Request Form on November 26, 2017, in which he asked
that the street addresses he previously provided be included
in his record. (Id. ¶35.) This Request was
marked as “handled” on November 30, 2017.
August 24, 2018, Plaintiff's Public Defender attempted to
contact the DOC to inquire about Plaintiff's release
date. (Doc. 26, ¶36.) On September 7, 2018, Plaintiff
hired a different attorney who contacted the DOC on
Plaintiff's behalf. (Id. ¶37.) Finally, on
September 10, 2018, Plaintiff was released. (Id.
Motion to Sever Standard
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states that
“Misjoinder of parties is not a ground for dismissing
an action.” Further, “[o]n 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.
Fifth Circuit has explained “Rule 21 does not provide
any standards by which district courts can determine if
parties are misjoined, courts have looked to Rule 20 for
guidance.” Acevedo v. Allsup's Convenience
Stores, Inc., 600 F.3d 516, 521 (5th Cir. 2010) (per
curiam) (citation omitted). Rule 20(a)(2) provides:
Persons…may be joined in one action as defendants if:
(A) any right to relief 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.
“Courts have described Rule 20 as creating a two-prong
test, allowing joinder of [parties] when (1) their claims
arise out of the ‘transaction, occurrence, or series of
transactions or occurrences' and when (2) there is at
least one common question of law or fact linking all
claims.” Acevedo, 600 F.3d at 521 (citations
omitted). The Fifth Circuit found “as long as both
prongs of the test are met, ‘permissive joinder of
[parties]…is at the option of the
[parties].'” Id. (quoting Applewhite
v. Reichhold Chems., Inc., 67 F.3d 571, 574 n.11 (5th
Cir. 1995)); see also United Mine Workers v. Gibbs,
383 U.S. 715, 724, 86 S.Ct. 1130 (1966) (“Under the
Rules, the impulse is towards entertaining the broadest
possible scope of action consistent with fairness to the
parties; joinder of claims, parties and remedies is strongly
applying the two-prong test, the Court considers whether
there is a logical relationship between the claims and
whether there is any overlapping proof or legal
question.” Peters v. Singh, No. 16-842, 2017
WL 5128750, at *2 (M.D. La. Nov. 6, 2017) (citing Weber
v. Lockheed Martin Corp., No. 00-2876, 2001 WL 274518,
at *1 (E.D. La. Mar. 20, 2001)). Additionally, “[t]he
Court must also consider whether settlement or judicial
economy would be promoted, whether prejudice would be averted
by severance, and whether different witnesses and documentary
proof are required for separate claims.” Id.
Thus, “even if this [two-part] test is satisfied,
district courts have the discretion to refuse joinder in the
interest of avoiding prejudice and delay, ensuring judicial
economy, or safeguarding principles of fundamental
fairness.” Acevedo, 600 F.3d at 521 (citation
omitted). “[D]istrict courts have considerable
discretion to deny joinder when it would not facilitate
judicial economy and when different witnesses and documentary
proof would be required for plaintiff[‘s]
claims.” Id. at 522 (citation omitted).
another way, the Eastern District applies this standard as a
five-factor test to determine whether severance is
(1) whether the claim arose out of the same transaction or
occurrence; (2) whether the claims present common questions
of law or fact; (3) whether settlement or judicial economy
would be promoted; (4) whether prejudice would be averted by
severance; and, (5) whether different ...