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Pierce v. Obama

United States District Court, S.D. California

August 20, 2014

SEAVON PIERCE, CDCR #F-13921, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, et al., Defendants.

ORDER:1) DISMISSING CIVIL ACTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE FOR FAILING TO PAY FILING FEE REQUIRED BY 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a) AND 2) DENYING MOTION TO CERTIFY CLASS AND CONSOLIDATE CASES AS MOOT [Doc. No. 3]

ROGER T. BENITEZ, District Judge.

Seavon Pierce ("Plaintiff"), a prisoner currently incarcerated at California State Prison in Lancaster, California ("LAC"), has filed a civil complaint ("Compl."), purportedly under the "False Claims Act, " in which he seeks this Court's "intervention" in another civil action he filed in the Eastern District of California. See Compl. (Docket No. 1) at 1, 6-8.

Plaintiff has also filed a request for class certification pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, on behalf of himself and "all inmates defined as U.S. prisoners under the A.E.D.P.A., " which is coupled with a request to consolidate this case with his Eastern District case. See Pl.'s Mot. (Doc. No. 3) at 1, 2, 4.

I. FAILURE TO PAY FILING FEE OR REQUEST IFP STATUS

All parties instituting any civil action, suit or proceeding in a district court of the United States, other than a writ of habeas corpus, must pay a filing fee of $400.[1] See 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). An action may proceed despite a party's failure to pay only if the party is granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). See Rodriguez v. Cook, 169 F.3d 1176, 1177 (9th Cir. 1999).

Plaintiff has not prepaid the $400 in filing and administrative fees required to commence this action, nor has he submitted a Motion to Proceed IFP. Therefore, his case is subject to immediate dismissal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a). While the Court would ordinarily grant him leave to file an IFP motion pursuant 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), it finds, for the reasons set out below, that doing so would be futile since Plaintiff is no longer entitled to that privilege.

II. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)'S "THREE-STRIKES" BAR

"All persons, not just prisoners, may seek IFP status." Moore v. Maricopa Cnty. Sheriff's Office, 657 F.3d 890, 892 (9th Cir. 2011). "Prisoners, " 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 in cases where the 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, "prisoners 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).

"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 1055 (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.").

III. 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 Plaintiff "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)). Instead, Plaintiff appears to seek this Court's intervention in another civil case he filed in the Eastern District of California, which is being heard by United States Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston in Civil Case No. 1:10-cv-00285-JLT. See Compl. at 1, 2, 4. While not altogether clear, it appears Plaintiff seeks to challenge a "judgment/settlement" entered by Judge Thurston in that case which he claims effects his "contemplated" and "still pending litigation." Id. at 7.[2]

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. ...


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