United States District Court, D. Maryland
K. Bredar United States District Judge
Michael Savage, presently detained at the Harford County
Detention Center (“HCDC”), filed a civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, seeking injunctive
relief providing him greater access to a proper legal
library. Additional allegations as to difficulties
with legal mail and access to the courts also are generally
described in the pleading. (ECF No. 1). In response to court
order (ECF No. 2), Savage amended his complaint, presenting
additional allegations that (1) his April 18, 2016 request
for notary services was ignored. (ECF No. 3 at p. 4). He
further alleged that (2) his request for certified mail
services was denied on April 20, 2016; (3) his request for a
docket sheet in his pending criminal case, mailed to the
Harford County Circuit Court, received no response; (4) the
law library has no copies of the federal code, and the
existing inventory of materials is dated; and (5) all legal
mail is copied and provided to the State's Attorney. (ECF
No. 3 at 4-8). Savage averred that the Assistant Public
Defender assigned to his defense is “too busy to
appropriately prepare any legal litigation on my
behalf” and that any pretrial motions filed in his case
were prepared “pro se.” (ECF No. 3-2 at p. 2).
Savage also provided an affidavit from fellow detainee Donald
Gary Rembold, who supports Savage's allegation that
outgoing legal mail is copied and sent to the State's
Attorney. (ECF No. 3-2 at p. 3).
Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817, 821 (1977), and
Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 355 (1996), the
undersigned dismissed Savage's claims concerning a
one-time denial of notary services or posting by certified
mail, his inability to obtain a docket sheet, and his
inability to obtain the federal code volumes concerning the
civil rights statutes. (ECF No. 5). Defendant Gahler, the
Sheriff of Harford County, was ordered to respond to the sole
allegation that the content of legal mail sent out of the
facility is routinely copied and provided to the Harford
County State's Attorney. (Id.) A notice of
appearance and motion for extension of time to respond was
promptly filed on Gahler's behalf. (ECF Nos. 10 and 11).
by the court's previous ruling, Savage sought to again
amend his complaint to add the County Executive, Barry
Glassman, as a defendant, and to include numerous conditions
of confinement claims, most of which do not affect him
personally. (ECF No. 12). Additionally, he moved for class
certification on behalf of all HCDC detainees (ECF No. 16)
and appointment of counsel on their behalf. (ECF No. 15).
Gahler moves to dismiss the amended complaint, on grounds
that Savage failed to exhaust administrative remedies with
regard to the conditions of confinement claims (ECF No. 18),
an argument opposed by Savage in his Motion to
Exclude/Strike. (ECF No. 23).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(1) permits a party to
amend his pleading once as a matter of course within 21 days
of service. Here, service was accepted on behalf of Gahler on
May 23, 2016 (ECF No. 10), ten days after the Clerk provided
the County Attorney with the complaint and amended complaint.
By this time, however, the undersigned had delineated that
the lawsuit was confined to the allegation that Savage's
outgoing legal mail is copied and sent to the State's
a party does not have standing to assert the rights of
others. See Inmates v. Owens, 561 F.2d 560, 562 (4th
Cir. 1977); Oxendine v. Williams, 509 F.2d 1405,
1407 (4th Cir. 1975); Fowler v. Lee, 18 F. App'x
164, 2001 WL 103312 (4th Cir. 2001) (pro se litigant cannot
represent a class). While a class action may be maintained
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a party must first make a
request for class certification under Rule 23. Because the
rights of many persons may be affected in a class action,
they are not certified as a class unless counsel has been
retained or appointed to represent the class. See
Oxendine, 509 F.3d at 1406.
it appears that Savage's second amended complaint was
filed in an effort to expand the scope of his claims against
personnel of Harford County Detention Center to include
general conditions of confinement allegedly endured by all
who are confined therein. None of the prerequisites for
certification set out in Rule 23(a) has been
demonstrated. While Savage is free to file a new
complaint alleging the impact poor conditions of confinement
have on him, he may not do so on behalf of other detainees.
His second motion to amend the complaint (ECF No. 12), and
his motion for appointment of counsel (ECF No. 15), request
for class action certification (ECF No. 16), and motion for
exclude/strike (ECF No. 23) are denied.
also seeks emergency injunctive relief to enjoin enforcement
of new policies affecting his ability to obtain mail from
friends and family. ECF No. 29. A detainee's ability to
obtain mail from family and friends may be actionable;
however, this issue lies outside the scope of this action,
which focuses solely on policies affecting legal mail. While
Savage may file a new action regarding this issue (after
exhausting any applicable administrative remedies within
HCDC), his attempt to again expand the scope of this lawsuit
compels the denial of the injunctive relief request.
has filed a dispositive motion with regard to the sole issue
in this case (ECF No. 17), which Savage opposes. ECF Nos. 25
and 26. The matter is under consideration, and the parties
shall provide no further submissions without leave of court.
separate order shall be filed forthwith.
 Savage indicated he has counsel in his
upcoming criminal case. (ECF No. 1 at p. 4).
 Rembold's affidavit contains
attachments, showing that mail from a family member (possibly
containing legal research) was returned. (ECF ...