United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Guy I. Greene, Plaintiff,
Kelly Lake; Paul Coughlin; Brian Belich; Dave Kumanen; Jason Wilmes; Cammi Werner; Travis Warnygora; Tom Roy; John Does, an unknown number; and Jane Does, and unknown number; sued in their individual and official capacities, Defendants.
Greene, pro se.
M. Tindal, Iverson Reuvers Condon, for Defendants Kelly Lake;
Paul Coughlin; Brian Belich; Dave Kumanen; Jason Wilmes;
Cammi Werner; and Travis Warnygora.
S. Kemp, Minnesota Attorney General's Paul, Minnesota for
Defendant Tom Roy.
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
RICHARD NELSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”) of Magistrate Judge Katherine M.
Menendez dated January 16, 2018 [Doc. No. 47] recommending
denial of Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification
[Doc. No. 37]. Plaintiff Guy I. Greene
(“Plaintiff”) filed “Plaintiff's
Objection to the Report and Recommendation.” (Pl.'s
Obj. to R&R [Doc. No. 48].) Defendants Lake, Coughlin,
Belich, Kumanen, Wilmes, Werner, and Warnygora (collectively,
“Carlton County Defendants”) filed a timely
response [Doc. No. 50]. For the reasons set forth below, the
Court overrules Plaintiff's Objection, adopts the R&R
in its entirety, and denies Plaintiff's Motion for Class
factual and procedural background of Plaintiff's case is
detailed in three separate R&Rs by Magistrate Judge
Menendez and is incorporated herein by reference.
(See Docs. No. 9, 47, 62.) Plaintiff is housed with
the Minnesota Sex Offender Program at Moose Lake, where he
has limited access to legal resources and to the internet.
(See June 4, 2018 Order [Doc. No. 70].) He brought
this civil rights action pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
for alleged harms arising out of an unrelated period of
incarceration in the Carlton County Jail. Plaintiff sued the
Jail itself, its employees, and the Commissioner of the
Minnesota Department of Public Corrections. (Am. Compl. at
2-3 ¶¶ 1-10 [Doc. No. 25].) Plaintiff alleged fourteen
counts, including a variety of constitutional and state law
tort claims. (Id. at 25-30.)
December 14, 2017, Plaintiff moved for class certification
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. (Pl.'s
Mot. Class Certification [Doc. No. 37] at 5 (citing
Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a), (b).) He does not define the scope of the
proposed class, but asserts that his “Amended Complaint
makes allegations that concern all of the individuals
detained in the Carlton County Jail and who are threatened
with future unconstitutional detention in Carlton County
Jail.” (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that his
proposed class meets all of the Rule 23(a) and (b)(2)
requirements. (Id.) He also requests court-appointed
counsel on behalf of the class. (Id. at 4-5.)
response to the class certification motion, Defendants argue
that Plaintiff has failed to show that his proposed class
meets the Rule 23 requirements. (Carlton Cty. Defs.'
Opp'n Mem. [Doc. No. 45]; Def. Tom Roy's Opp'n
Mem. [Doc. No. 44].) They emphasize that Plaintiff cannot be
an adequate class representative acting pro se. (Carlton Cty.
Defs.' Opp'n Mem. at 4-6; Def. Tom Roy's
Opp'n Mem. at 5.) Defendants alternatively contend that
Plaintiff's class fails for lack of standing. (Carlton
Cty. Defs.' Opp'n Mem. at 4; Def. Tom Roy's
Opp'n Mem. at 4.)
R&R, Magistrate Judge Menendez recommends that
Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification be denied.
(R&R at 3.) She concludes that Plaintiff could not be an
adequate class representative acting pro se. (Id. at
2.) She additionally recommends that the Court not appoint
class counsel because doing so is outside the scope of Rule
23(g). (Id.) Magistrate Judge Menendez declines to
address whether Plaintiff's claims were otherwise
appropriate for class resolution. (Id.)
objections are difficult to decipher, but must be read
liberally in light of his pro se status. See Horsey v.
Asher, 741 F.2d 209, 211 n.3 (8th Cir. 1984) (citing
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972)). While
plaintiff appears to largely repeat the arguments he made to
the magistrate judge, he does specifically contend that the
magistrate judge erred by (1) finding that a pro se plaintiff
cannot be an adequate class representative as a matter of
law, and (2) declining to appoint class counsel.
(See Pl.'s Obj. to R&R.)
Adequacy of a Pro Se Class Representative
District Court must conduct a de novo review of a magistrate
judge's report and recommendation on dispositive motions
to which specific objections have been made. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); D. Minn. L.R. 72.2(b). A
motion for class certification is a dispositive ...