United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
NATHAN CAUDILL, and RODNEY SMITH, for themselves and on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated persons, Plaintiffs,
OFFICER HAYES, et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN CHIEF JUDGE
Nathan Caudill and Rodney Smith, on behalf of themselves and
others similarly situated, bring this class action against
Defendants Superintendent Mark Sevier, Assistant
Superintendent Andrew Pazera, Assistant Superintendent George
Payne, Internal Affairs (I.A.) Officer Hayes, Officer Chuck
Weiland, Captain Reeves, Captain Robinson, Sargent Burris,
Lieutenant Creasy, Lieutenant Herr, Officer Horn, I.A.
Officer Carr, I.A. Officer Wiley, Captain D. Reagle, Officer
H. Scott, Officer P. Lowe, Officer J. Marshall, Officer J.
Morgan, Officer R. Sterling, Officer S. Green, Sargent J.
Keininger, Officer D. Nettifee, Officer J. Englehardt,
Officer M. Clotheir, Officer C. Stoll, Officer J. Schock,
Officer D. Kropezynski, Officer N. Terry-Fielke, Officer M.
Houston, Officer J. Engle, Chairman C.J. Vorner, I.A. Officer
Whelan, and Administrator Mchorn, asserting, through 42
U.S.C. § 1983, a violation of their Eighth Amendment
right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, and their
Fourteenth Amendment right to due process. (See
Compl., ECF No. 21.) This matter is before the Court on the
Plaintiffs' Motion to Certify Class [ECF No. 78], filed
on March 31, 2017. The Defendants responded on April 28, 2017
[ECF No. 87], and the Plaintiffs replied on May 12, 2017 [ECF
No. 88]. Subsequently, the Defendants sought leave to file a
sur-reply brief [ECF No. 103-1] on September 19, 2017, and
the Plaintiffs filed a sur-reply response on September 26,
2017 [ECF No. 107]. For the reasons stated herein, the Court
denies class certification.
October 7, 2013, the Plaintiffs were housed in the General
Services Complex in the Westville Correctional Facility,
located in LaPorte County, Indiana. (Pls' Br. in Supp. of
Class Certification 2, ECF No. 79; Defs' Resp. 2, ECF No.
87.) The Plaintiffs were affiliated with Caucasian prison
gangs, one of them called the “Aryan
Brotherhood.” (Id.) On October 7, 2013, as a
result of violence between Caucasian and African American
inmates, the two inmate populations were segregated by prison
staff. (Id.) Caucasian inmates affiliated with white
prison gangs were taken to the prison gym, where they were
housed overnight. (Pls' Br. in Supp. of Class
Certification 2-3.) The Plaintiffs allege that the following
day, they warned the Defendants of the likelihood of
continued attacks if they were sent back to their dorms.
(Id. at 3; Defs' Resp. 2.) Nevertheless, the
Plaintiffs contend that the Defendants forced them out of
segregation and back into their dorms where they were then
attacked and injured numerous times by African American
inmates, as well as by the Defendants themselves, which the
Plaintiffs contend was excessive and unreasonable. (Pls'
Br. in Supp. of Class Certification 3; Compl. ¶¶
11-14.) Following the injuries, the Plaintiffs allege they
did not receive adequate medical treatment. (Compl. ¶
the Plaintiffs seek compensatory damages, declaratory and
injunctive relief, punitive damages, and reasonable
attorneys' fees and costs available under 42 U.S.C.
§§ 1983 and 1988. At issue here, the Plaintiffs
also seek certification of a class related to the claims set
forth in the Complaint.
of a class is proper only if the class meets all of the
requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a) and one
of the requirements of Rule 23(b). See Fed. R. Civ.
P. 23; Rosario v. Livaditis, 963 F.2d 1013, 1017
(7th Cir. 1992). Rule 23(a) is satisfied if:
(1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is
(2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class;
(3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are
typical of the claims or defenses of the class; and
(4) the representative parties will fairly and adequately
protect the interests of the class.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(1)-(4); Kress v. CCA of Tenn.,
LLC, 694 F.3d 890, 892-93 (7th Cir. 2012). If all of
these prerequisites are met, the Court must also find that at
least one of the subsections of Rule 23(b) is satisfied. As
relevant here, Rule 23(b)(3) is satisfied if:
(3) the court finds that the questions of law or fact common
to class members predominate over any questions affecting
only individual members, and that a class action is superior
to other available methods for fairly and efficiently
adjudicating the ...