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Louie Mouratidis, et al v. Eric M. Taylor

September 21, 2011

LOUIE MOURATIDIS, ET AL., PLAINTIFF,
v.
ERIC M. TAYLOR, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jerome B. Simandle United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

It appearing that:

1. On July 28, 2011, the Clerk docketed the instant Complaint. The Complaint named forty-two persons as Plaintiffs in this matter (with Louie Mouratidis ("Mouratidis") being named first), referring to Mouratidis as a seemingly self-designated representative of a seemingly self-certified class of pre-trial detainees housed at the Camden County Correctional Facility ("CCCF"). See Docket Entry No. 1. The Caption of the Complaint lists only Mouratidis and Javon O'Neal ("O'Neal") by name and notes other plaintiffs as "'Inmates' in 3SB & 4SB in & at Camden County Correctional Fasility [sic]." See id. at 1. The Complaint itself was signed solely by Mouratidis, see id. at 30, but was accompanied by a "Signed Petition," see id. at 34, listing the printed names of forty plaintiffs in addition to Mouratidis and O'Neal.

2. No filing fee was received from any plaintiff. Mouratidis submitted a deficient in forma pauperis application. (Mouratidis's application did not include a six-month institutional account statement certified by an Authorized Officer of the Institution as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2).) No in forma pauperis application was received from O'Neal or any of the additional plaintiffs.

3. Plaintiffs' application for class certification will be denied. Since only Mouratidis signed the Complaint, and since no other Plaintiffs paid the filing fee or applied to proceed in forma pauperis, this Court has no certainty that all other named Plaintiffs intend to incur the financial responsibility and legal consequences associated with initiation of this action. See Fed. R. Civ. P.11(a)(requiring each plaintiff to sign the complaint); 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a)(the filing fee for a civil rights complaint it $350.00); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(if the prisoner is granted permission to file the complaint in forma pauperis, then the Court is required to assess the $350.00 filing fee against the prisoner and collect the fee); Hagan v. Rogers, 570 F.3d 146 (3d Cir. 2009)(litigants proceeding as joint plaintiffs are subject to $350.00 assessment each if they proceed in forma pauperis); Hairston v. Gronolsky, 348 Fed. App'x 716 (3d Cir. 2009)(regardless of the litigant's willingness or unwillingness to be assessed the filing fee, the litigant's "legal obligation to pay the filing fee [is automatically] incurred by the initiation of the action itself"). Moreover, the facts of the Complaint do not indicate that the requirements of Rule 23 would be met since the Court cannot establish numerosity from the allegations made therein, as the limited factual allegations as presented might be factually unique to some but not applicable to other Plaintiffs. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 23.

4. The Court, however, cannot rule out the possibility that Mouratidis and/or any/all other Plaintiff(s) named in the document appended to the Complaint might wish to prosecute his/their own claims and would be able to file amended complaints detailing the specific facts which each Plaintiff bona fide believes to be indicative of his rights being violated.

THEREFORE, it is on this 15th day of September , 2011; ORDERED that Plaintiffs' application for class certification is DENIED; and it is further

ORDERED that the Complaint, Docket Entry No. 1, is DISMISSED. Such dismissal is without prejudice to Plaintiffs' filing of individual amended complaints which conform to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; and it is further ORDERED that the Clerk shall terminate all Plaintiffs in this matter, except for Louie Mouratidis; and it is further

ORDERED that the Clerk shall administratively terminate this matter, subject to reopening in the event Louie Mouratidis submits, within 45 days from the date of entry of this Order, his amended complaint asserting his own challenges, together with his filing fee of $350.00 or with his duly executed in forma pauperis application; and it is further

ORDERED that the Clerk shall open forty-one new matters for the additional Plaintiffs, listed as #2-15 and 17-43 on the "Signed Petition," see Complaint at 34:

2. Angel Nieves AKA Angel Gomez #245741

3. Scott Taylor #248815

4. M. Douglas #253101

5. Stephen Hanssens #253020

6. William J. Henderson #252805

7. Thomas Arnone #246980

8. Eddie Satiago #250984

9. Robert Naumann ...


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