UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
March 18, 2013
CORNELIUS ANDERSON, CDCR #T-71542, PLAINTIFF,
CALIPATRIA UCC CLASSIFICATION; AS CAPT. WITMAN; WARDEN JANA, MOOT; AND, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Michael M. Anello United States District Judge
ORDER: (1) DENYING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS AS BARRED BY 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g); [Doc. No. 3] (2) DENYING MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL [Doc. No. 4] (3) DISMISSING CASE FOR FAILURE TO PAY FILING FEE REQUIRED BY 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a)
Plaintiff, Cornelius Anderson, a state prisoner currently incarcerated at Calipatria State Prison, and proceeding pro se, has filed this civil rights action. Plaintiff did not prepay the civil filing fee required by 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a) at the time he filed his Complaint; instead, he submitted a Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis ("IFP") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) [ECF No. 3], as well as a Motion for Appointment of Counsel [ECF No. 4].
I. PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO PROCEED IFP
"All persons, not just prisoners, may seek IFP status." Moore v. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, 657 F.3d 890, 892 (9th Cir. 2011). "Prisoners," like Plaintiff, however, "face an additional hurdle." Id. In addition to requiring prisoners to "pay the full amount of a filing fee," in installments as provided by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3)(b), the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") amended section 1915 to preclude the privilege to proceed IFP:
. . . if [a] prisoner has, on 3 or more prior occasions, while incarcerated or detained in any facility, brought an action or appeal in a court of the United States that was dismissed on the grounds that it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, unless the prisoner is under imminent danger of serious physical injury.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). "This subdivision is commonly known as the 'three strikes' provision." Andrews v. King, 398 F.3d 1113, 1116 n.1 (9th Cir. 2005) (hereafter "Andrews").
"Pursuant to § 1915(g), a prisoner with three strikes or more cannot proceed IFP." Id.; see also Andrews v. Cervantes, 493 F.3d 1047, 1052 (9th Cir. 2007) (hereafter "Cervantes") (under the PLRA, "[p]risoners who have repeatedly brought unsuccessful suits may entirely be barred from IFP status under the three strikes rule[.]"). The objective of the PLRA is to further "the congressional goal of reducing frivolous prisoner litigation in federal court." Tierney v. Kupers, 128 F.3d 1310, 1312 (9th Cir. 1997). "[S]section 1915(g)'s cap on prior dismissed claims applies to claims dismissed both before and after the statute's effective date." Id. at 1311.
"Strikes are prior cases or appeals, brought while the plaintiff was a prisoner, which were dismissed on the ground that they were frivolous, malicious, or failed to state a claim," Andrews, 398 F.3d at 1116 n.1 (internal quotations omitted), "even if the district court styles such dismissal as a denial of the prisoner's application to file the action without prepayment of the full filing fee." O'Neal v. Price, 531 F.3d 1146, 1153 (9th Cir. 2008). Once a prisoner has accumulated three strikes, he is prohibited by section 1915(g) from pursuing any other IFP action in federal court unless he can show he is facing "imminent danger of serious physical injury." See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g); Cervantes, 493 F.3d at 1051-52 (noting § 1915(g)'s exception for IFP complaints which "make a plausible allegation that the prisoner faced 'imminent danger of serious physical injury' at the time of filing.").
II. APPLICATION TO PLAINTIFF
As an initial matter, the Court has carefully reviewed Plaintiff's pleading and has ascertained that it contains no "plausible allegation" to suggest he "faced 'imminent danger of serious physical injury' at the time of filing." Cervantes, 493 F.3d at 1055 (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)).
A court "'may take notice of proceedings in other courts, both within and without the federal judicial system, if those proceedings have a direct relation to matters at issue.'" Bias v. Moynihan, 508 F.3d 1212, 1225 (9th Cir. 2007) (quoting Bennett v. Medtronic, Inc., 285 F.3d 801, 803 n.2 (9th Cir. 2002)); see also United States ex rel. Robinson Rancheria Citizens Council v. Borneo, Inc., 971 F.2d 244, 248 (9th Cir. 1992). This Court takes judicial notice that Plaintiff has had three prior prisoner civil actions dismissed on the grounds that they were frivolous, malicious, or failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
1) Anderson v. Kinneer, et al., Civil Case No. 95-4401 (C.D. Cal. July 6, 1995) (Order denying in forma pauperis status because Plaintiff failed to state a claim against the named defendants) (strike one);
2) Anderson v. Harway, et al., Civil Case No. 98-2364 (C.D. Cal. April 28, 1998) (Order denying in forma pauperis status because Plaintiff failed to state a claim and four prior actions of Plaintiff's had been dismissed for failing to state a claim) (striketwo);
3) Anderson v. Montes, et al., Civil Case No. 09-7465 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 15, 2009) (Order denying in forma pauperis status followed by Ninth Circuit Order on Appeal denying in forma pauperis on appeal because the proposed appeal was not taken in good faith, was frivolous, without merit and did not present a substantial question) (strike three).
Accordingly, because Plaintiff has, while incarcerated, accumulated three "strikes" as defined by § 1915(g), and he fails to make a "plausible allegation" that he faced imminent danger of serious physical injury at the time he filed his Complaint, he is not entitled to the privilege of proceeding IFP in this action.See Cervantes, 493 F.3d at 1055; Rodriguez, 169 F.3d at 1180 (finding that 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) "does not prevent all prisoners from accessing the courts; it only precludes prisoners with a history of abusing the legal system from continuing to abuse it while enjoying IFP status"); see also Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1231 (9th Cir. 1984) ("[C]court permission to proceed IFP is itself a matter of privilege and not right.").
III. CONCLUSION AND ORDER
For the reasons set forth above, the Court hereby:
(1) DENIES Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed IFP (ECF Doc. No. 3) as barred by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g);
(2) DENIES Plaintiff's Motion to Appoint Counsel (ECF Doc. No. 4) as moot; (3) DISMISSES this action sua sponte without prejudice for failing to prepay the $350 filing fee pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a); and,*fn1
(4) CERTIFIES that an IFP appeal from this Order would also be frivolous and therefore, not taken in good faith pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3). See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 445 (1962); Gardner v. Pogue, 558 F.2d 548, 550 (9th Cir. 1977) (indigent appellant is permitted to proceed IFP on appeal only if appeal would not be frivolous).
The Clerk shall close the file.
IT IS SO ORDERED.