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Evans v. Mahoney

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

May 24, 2018

TOMMIE E. EVANS, Plaintiff,
v.
PATRICK A. MAHONEY, et al., Defendants. TOMMIE E. EVANS, Plaintiff,
v.
JANE DOE, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING MOTIONS TO CONSOLIDATE

          William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge.

         On October 20, 2017, Plaintiff Tommie Evans, who is representing himself and is currently incarcerated, brought two separate lawsuits under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging his constitutional rights were violated. Now before the court are plaintiff's motions to consolidate the cases. For the reasons expressed below, plaintiff's motions will be denied.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff alleges that on December 2, 2016, he was escorted from the Restrict Housing Unit to an interview booth for a scheduled attorney visit. The visit took about ninety minutes and after it had concluded, plaintiff notified an officer that he would like to return to his cell but that request was ignored. After an additional two hours in the interview cell, plaintiff alleges he began having a panic attack and feeling light-headed. He alleges that he began to yell and kick the door, but was unsuccessful. He alleges that after about three or four hours, he lost consciousness. He also alleges that the heating system within the cell was faulty, causing his body temperature to drop. After plaintiff was eventually found, he was taken to a hospital where he was treated for hypothermia, as well as injuries to his head and shoulder.

         Because of this incident, plaintiff brought claims of deliberate indifference against the officers he believed were responsible for forgetting about him and causing the injuries. Evans v. Mahoney, No. 17-C-1435. The court screened the claims on December 14, 2017, and plaintiff was allowed to proceed on claims of deliberate indifference against two identified and two unidentified officers. The rest of plaintiff's claims were dismissed.

         Plaintiff also alleges that on December 7, 2016, he was being transported to the Dane County Jail for a scheduled court appearance. At the time, plaintiff had a medical restriction that allowed him to be handcuffed in front of his body, rather than behind his back, due to a shoulder injury. Despite asserting he had a medical restriction, neither the officer handcuffing him, nor a nurse consulted about his medical restriction, found or recognized the restriction. As a result, plaintiff was handcuffed behind his back, which exacerbated his existing shoulder injury.

         In a separate lawsuit, plaintiff brought claims of deliberate indifference against the officer and the nurse he believed failed to recognize his medical restriction and caused him additional pain. Evans v. Doe, No. 17-C-1436. On November 29, 2017, the court screened the claim, and plaintiff was allowed to proceed on claims of deliberate indifference against the unidentified officer and nurse.

         On May 8, 2018, plaintiff filed identical motions in both cases asking for the cases to be consolidated. He argues that although different defendants are named, the cases should be consolidated because the incidents occurred at the same correctional facility and within a similar time frame. He argues the cases should be consolidated because he is a pro se litigant and lacks the financial resources necessary to prosecute them separately. He also alleges that although the causes of actions are different, the facts that give rise to the causes of action are identical. On May 9, 2018, the court instructed defendants to raise any objections within ten days. The defendants have not filed any objections to date.

         LEGAL STANDARDS

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(a) states:

(a) Consolidation. If actions before the court involve a common question of law or fact, the court may:
(1) join for hearing or trial any or all matters at issue in the actions;
(2) consolidate the actions; or
(3) issue any other orders to avoid unnecessary cost or ...

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