United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING THE CASE WITHOUT
J. Tarnow Senior United States District Judge
Court has before it Plaintiff Donnell Williams' pro
se case, in which he appears to seek relief pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is a state prisoner
currently confined at the Muskegon Correctional Facility in
Muskegon, Michigan. For the reasons stated below, the Court
dismisses plaintiff's action without prejudice to him
filing a properly filed complaint or complaints with respect
to the constitutional violations that he alleges in his
has filed one hundred and fifty six pages worth of
grievances, appeals of the denial of those grievances, and
letters to various wardens or grievance coordinators
involving numerous alleged violations of his constitutional
rights that took place while plaintiff was incarcerated at
the Gus Harrison Facility (ARF) in Adrian, Michigan, the
Baraga Correctional Facility (AMF) in Baraga, Michigan, the
Brooks Correctional Facility (LRF) in Muskegon Heights,
Michigan, or the Muskegon Correctional Facility (MCF) in
Muskegon, Michigan. With the exception of the Gus Harrison
Facility, the other prison facilities are all located in the
Western District of Michigan. Although plaintiff claims in
his certificate of service that he wishes to file a §
1983 action, he has not filed an actual complaint, nor does
he indicate whether he seeks injunctive or monetary relief.
Plaintiff has also failed to submit an application to proceed
in forma pauperis, nor has he paid the $ 350.00
filing fee, plus the $ 50.00 administrative fee. Plaintiff
also failed to provide copies of his documents for service
upon the named defendants.
action is subject to dismissal for several reasons.
plaintiff has failed to file an actual complaint in this
case. Fed.R.Civ.P. 3 indicates clearly that: “A civil
action is commenced by filing a complaint with the
court.” A plaintiff must raise his or her claims in a
complaint and this Court cannot grant relief until a
complaint is actually filed which asserts a substantive claim
that supports the relief the plaintiff seeks. See e.g.
Smith v. Thompson, 638 F.Supp.2d 754, 756-57 (E.D. Ky.
assuming that plaintiff's documents could be construed as
a complaint, such a complaint would be subject to dismissal,
because plaintiff has failed to comply with the pleading
requirements of Fed. R.Civ. P. 8. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)
requires that a claim for relief contain “a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” This rule seeks “to avoid
technicalities and to require that the pleading discharge the
function of giving the opposing party fair notice of the
nature and basis or grounds of the claim and a general
indication of the type of litigation involved.”
Chase v. Northwest Airlines Corp., 49 F.Supp.2d 553,
563 (E.D. Mich.1999)(quoting Wright & Miller,
Federal Practice and Procedure: Civil 2d § 1215).
Similarly, Rule 8(e)(1) requires that “Each averment of
a pleading shall be simple, concise, and direct.” To
the extent that plaintiff's lengthy and voluminous
documents could be construed as a complaint, it is subject to
dismissal for failing to comply with the dictates of
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8 (a). See Echols v. Voisine, 506
F.Supp. 15, 17-19 (E.D. Mich. 1981), aff'd, 701
F.2d 176 (6th Cir. 1982)(Table); See also Payne v.
Secretary of Treas., 73 F.App'x. 836, 837 (6th Cir.
2003)(affirming sua sponte dismissal of complaint
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); “Neither this court
nor the district court is required to create Payne's
claim for her.”).
reason for dismissal of the action is that plaintiff appears
to be attempting to join together unrelated causes of action
and defendants from four different prisons, only one of which
is even located in the Eastern District of
Michigan. Plaintiff's attempt to join together a
number of unrelated claims and defendants into one action
would thwart the purpose of the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(PLRA), which was to reduce the large number of frivolous
prisoner lawsuits that were being filed in the federal
courts. See Riley v. Kurtz, 361 F.3d 906, 917 (6th
Cir. 2004). Under the PLRA, a prisoner may not commence an
action without prepayment of the filing fee in some form. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). These “new fee provisions
of the PLRA were designed to deter frivolous prisoner
litigation by making all prisoner litigants feel the
deterrent effect created by liability for filing fees.”
Williams v. Roberts, 116 F.3d 1126, 1127-28 (5th
Cir. 1997). The PLRA also contains a
“three-strikes” provision requiring the
collection of the entire filing fee after the dismissal for
frivolousness, etc., of three actions or appeals brought by a
prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis, unless the
statutory exception is satisfied. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
The “three strikes” provision was also an attempt
by Congress to curb frivolous prisoner litigation. See
Wilson v. Yaklich, 148 F.3d 596, 603 (6th Cir. 1998).
Fifth Circuit has discouraged “creative joinder of
actions” by prisoners attempting to circumvent the
PLRA's three-strikes provision. See Patton v.
Jefferson Correctional Center, 136 F.3d 458, 464 (5th
light of the PLRA provisions ... to continue the practice of
allowing joinder of claims which are not in compliance with
Rule 18 and Rule 20 [of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure]
would be to defeat, or at least greatly dilute, the clear
intent of the fee payment and three-strikes provisions of the
statute.” Walls v. Scott, 1998 WL 574903, * 3
(N.D.Tex. Aug. 28, 1998). Other courts have reached similar
conclusions. See Brown v. Blaine, 185 F.App'x.
166, 168-69 (3rd Cir. 2006)(allowing an inmate to assert
unrelated claims against new defendants based on actions
taken after the filing of his original complaint would have
defeated the purpose of the three strikes provision of PLRA);
Shephard v. Edwards, 2001 WL 1681145, * 1 (S.D. Ohio
August 30, 2001)(declining to consolidate prisoner's
unrelated various actions so as to allow him to pay one
filing fee, because it “would improperly circumvent the
express language and clear intent of the ‘three
strikes' provision”); Scott v. Kelly, 107
F.Supp.2d 706, 711 (E.D. Va. 2000)(denying prisoner's
request to add new, unrelated claims to an ongoing civil
rights action as an improper attempt to circumvent the
PLRA's filing fee requirements and an attempt to escape
the possibility of obtaining a “strike” under the
“three strikes” rule); Cf. Proctor v.
Applegate, 661 F.Supp.2d 743, 777 (E.D. Mich.
2009)(refusing to allow the joinder in a single
multi-plaintiff complaint of a variety of claims, because
“[E]ach separate claim by each plaintiff will require a
particularized analysis regarding statute of limitations,
exhaustion of administrative remedies, and on the
substance.”). Harris v. Spellman, 150 F.R.D.
130, 131-32 (N.D. Ill. 1993)(Permissive joinder was not
available with respect to two inmates' pre-PLRA §
1983 claims which not only involved different occurrences,
but also raised different issues of law; allegedly similar
procedural errors do not convert independent prison
disciplinary hearings into same “series” of
transactions or occurrences for purposes of permissive
fourth reason the Court dismisses the case is that plaintiff
has failed to filed an application to proceed in forma
pauperis, nor has he paid the $ 350.00 filing fee and
the $ 50.00 administrative fee.
PLRA states that “if a prisoner brings a civil action
or files an appeal in forma pauperis, the prisoner
shall be required to pay the full amount of a filing
fee.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1)(as amended). See
also In Re Prison Litigation Reform Act,105 F.3d 1131,
1138 (6th Cir. 1997). The in forma pauperis statute,
28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), does provide prisoners the
opportunity to make a “downpayment” of a ...