United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division
DAVID H. JOHNSTON, Plaintiff,
ROBERT DOOLEY, WARDEN, MIKE DURFEE STATE PRISON, IN HIS OFFICIAL AND INDIVIDUAL CAPACITIES; AND DENNIS KAEMINGK, SECRETARY OF CORRECTIONS FOR THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, IN HIS OFFICIAL AND INDIVIDUAL CAPACITIES; Defendants. MICHAEL READD, Plaintiff,
ROBERT DOOLEY, WARDEN MIKE DURFEE STATE PRISON, IN HIS OFFICIAL AND INDIVIDUAL CAPACITIES; AND DENNIS KAEMINGK, SOUTH DAKOTA SECRETARY OF CORRECTIONS, IN HIS OFFICIAL AND INDIVIDUAL CAPACITIES; Defendants.
ORDER ON MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE AND EXTEND MOTIONS
FILING DEADLINE DOCKET NOS. 29, 43
VERONICA L. DUFFY, United States Magistrate Judge
matter is before the court on the pro se complaints
of David H. Johnston and Michael Readd pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Defendants in both of these cases have filed a
motion to consolidate both cases into one. Defendants also
seek to amend the scheduling order to extend the deadline for
filing motions. Neither Mr. Johnston nor Mr. Readd object to
these motions. The district court, the Honorable Lawrence L.
Piersol, referred these motions to this magistrate judge for
resolution, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A).
Mr. Johnston and Mr. Readd filed nearly identical complaints
with this court on July 16, 2015. Both complaints name the
same defendants. Both complaints complain of conditions at
the Mike Durfee State Prison at Springfield, South Dakota.
The complaints of both Mr. Johnston and Mr. Readd relate to
the availability of legal resources and other related matters
such as access to the Internet. Both men rely on the same
constitutional provisions in support of their
court has authority to consolidate actions pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(a), which states:
actions before the court involve a common question of law or
fact, the court may:
(1) join for hearing or trial any and all matters at issue in
(2) consolidate the actions; or
(3) issue any other orders to avoid unnecessary cost or
Rule should be prudently employed as a valuable and important
tool of judicial administration, involved to expedite trial
and eliminate unnecessary repetition and
confusion.'” Bendzak v. Midland Nat'l Life
Ins. Co., 240 F.R.D. 449, 450 (S.D. Iowa 2007) (quoting
Devlin v. Transp. Commc=ns Int=l Union, 175 F.3d
121, 130 (2d Cir. 1999)). The purpose of consolidation is
“to avoid unnecessary cost or delay.”
Id. “Consolidation is inappropriate, however,
if it leads to inefficiency, inconvenience, or unfair
prejudice to a party.” E.E.O.C. v. HBE Corp.,
135 F.3d 543, 551 (8th Cir. 1998). However,
consolidation is not barred simply because the plaintiffs may
be relying on different legal theories or because there are
some questions that are not common to all the actions; the
critical considerations, as in other contexts of the Federal
Rules, is whether there is at least one common question of
law or fact to justify bringing the actions together. . . .
Charles A. Wright, Arthur R. Miller, Mary Kay Kane &
Richard L. Marcus, Fed. Practice & Procedure, Â§
2384 (3d ed. 2008) (hereinafter “Wright & Miller).
The district court has broad discretion in determining
whether to consolidate cases containing a common question of
fact or law. See ...