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Smith v. Pinkney

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio

May 9, 2018

DARRYL SMITH, Plaintiff,
v.
CLIFFORD PINKNEY, et. al Defendants.

          OPINION & ORDER [RESOLVING DOCS. 7, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 44, 45, 4750, 51, 53, 54]

          JAMES S. GWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Darryl Smith, pro se, brings a prisoner civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 regarding prison conditions at Cuyahoga County Correctional Center (“Cuyahoga County jail”).[1]

         On February 23, 2018, Smith filed a motion for class certification.[2] Other Cuyahoga County jail inmates have also filed motions to join the proposed class.[3] Inmate Aaron Harmon, pro se, has moved to be assigned/designated as a co-class representative.[4]

         For the following reasons, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's motion for class certification and DENIES Aaron Harmon's motion to assign/designate him as a co-representative of the class. The Court also DENIES the motions to join the class action filed by the other inmates.

         I. BACKGROUND

         During his time at the Cuyahoga County jail, Plaintiff Smith alleges he suffered from felonious assaults and beatings, violation of his due process rights, denial of medical care, retaliation for filing grievances, and unsafe and unhealthy confinement conditions.[5]

         The Court construes Plaintiff's filing as moving to certify the following class:

Pretrial detainees at the Cuyahoga County jail who have experienced, currently experience, and will experience dangerous overcrowding, assaults by other prisoners, severe and malicious beatings by Defendants and their guards, food deprivations, unsafe building conditions, denial of medical care, and other unlawful confinement conditions.[6]

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a), four prerequisites must be met before a class action can be certified:

(1) Numerosity: “the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable;”
(2) Commonality: “there are questions of law or fact common to the class;”
(3) Typicality: “the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class;” and
(4) An Adequate Class Representative: “the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the ...

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