Civil Action No. 14-2594.


United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana.

December 8, 2014.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Ernest Billizone, Sr., Plaintiff, Pro Se.

Newell Normand, Sheriff, Defendant, represented by Daniel Rault Martiny , Martiny & Associates.


SALLY SHUSHAN, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff has filed a motion asking that the Court certify this matter as a class action. Rec. Doc. 5. However, it is clear that pro se litigants should not be allowed to serve as class representatives. As the United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has noted:

Under Rule 23(a)(4) [of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure], a class representative must "fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class." A litigant may bring his own claims to federal court without counsel, but not the claims of others. This is so because the competence of a layman is clearly too limited to allow him to risk the rights of others.

Fymbo v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., 213 F.3d 1320, 1321 (10th Cir. 2000) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted); accord Powers v. Clay, C.A. No. V-11-051, 2011 WL 6130929, at *3 (S.D. Tex. Dec. 8, 2011); Wetzel v. Strain, Civ. Action No. 09-7633, 2009 WL 5064445, at *1 (E.D. La. Dec. 16, 2009); Luna v. Kliebert, Civ. Action No. 09-3853, 2009 WL 2175773, at *1 n.1 (E.D. La. Jul. 17, 2009), aff'd, 368 Fed. App'x 500 (5th Cir. 2010); Sosa v. Strain, Civ. Action No. 06-9040, 2007 WL 1521441, at *7 (E.D. La. May 22, 2007). A pro se plaintiff's tenacity and zeal "are no substitute for the skill and experience which are needed to prosecute an action on behalf of a class." MacKenzie v. Local 624, International Union of Operating Engineers, 472 F.Supp. 1025, 1033 (N.D. Miss. 1979); accord Luna, 2009 WL 2175773, at *1 n.1; Sosa, 2007 WL 1521441, at *7. Accordingly, plaintiff's motion is DENIED.


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