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Tran v. State

United States District Court, S.D. California

April 17, 2017

HOANG MINH TRAN, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF CALIFORNIA, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER: (1) DENYING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS (ECF NO. 2); AND (2) DISMISSING CIVIL ACTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE FOR FAILURE TO PAY REQUIRED FILING FEE

          HON CYNTHIA BASHANT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Hoang Minh Tran, currently housed at the San Diego Central Jail, has filed a civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff has not prepaid the full civil filing fee required by 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a), but has instead filed a Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (“IFP”). (ECF No. 2.)

         LEGAL STANDARD

         “All persons, not just prisoners, may seek IFP status.” Moore v. Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, 657 F.3d 890, 892 (9th Cir. 2011). However, when prisoners move to proceed IFP, they “face an additional hurdle.” Id. In addition to requiring prisoners to pay the full filing fee in increments, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3)(b), the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) amended § 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”). Where a prisoner has three strikes or more, he cannot proceed IFP. Id.; see also Andrews v. Cervantes, 493 F.3d 1047, 1052 (9th Cir. 2007) (hereafter “Cervantes”).

         “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). “[S]ection 1915(g)'s cap on prior dismissed claims applies to claims dismissed both before and after the statute's effective date.” Id. at 1311. Once a prisoner has accumulated three strikes, he is prohibited by § 1915(g) from pursuing any other IFP action in federal court unless he can show he is “under imminent danger of serious physical injury.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).

         DISCUSSION

         As a threshold matter, the Court has carefully reviewed Plaintiff's Complaint and has determined that it does not contain “plausible allegations” suggesting 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)). Therefore, if Plaintiff has accumulated three or more strikes, the instant action is barred under § 1915(g).

         The Court takes judicial notice that Plaintiff, while incarcerated, has brought at least three civil actions that were dismissed on the grounds that they were frivolous, malicious, or failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See Bias v. Moynihan, 508 F.3d 1212, 1225 (9th Cir. 2007) (“[W]e 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.”) (quoting Bennett v. Medtronic, Inc., 285 F.3d 801, 803 n.2 (9th Cir. 2002). Those previously dismissed actions are as follows:

1) Tran v. Gore, et al., Civil Case No. 10-1323 BTM (WMc) (S.D. Cal. Jan. 31, 2011), Order dismissing action for failing to comply with Court's Order and for failing to state a claim (strike one);
2) Tran v. Gore, et al., Civil Case No. 10-1751 JAH (WVG) (S.D. Cal. Feb. 14, 2011), Order dismissing First Amended Complaint for failing to state a claim and as frivolous pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) & 1915A(b) (strike two);
3) Tran v. Gore, et al., Civil Case No. 10-2036 JAH (WVG) (S.D. Cal. Feb. 15, 2011), Order dismissing First Amended Complaint as frivolous pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) & 1915A(b) (strike three);
4) Tran v. Gore, et al., Civil Case No. 10-1880 MMA (BLM) (S.D. Cal. Feb. 14, 2011), Order dismissing First Amended Complaint for failing to state a claim and as frivolous pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ...

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