United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION DENYING LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS -
T. Neff United States District Judge
Paul Jackson, in conjunction with twelve other Ingham County
Jail inmates, has filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. He seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
The civil action filing fee is $400.00, or $350.00 when a
plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis. Because
there are multiple plaintiffs, each Plaintiff is
proportionately liable for any fees or costs. See
Talley-Bey v. Knebl, 168 F.3d 884, 887 (6th Cir. 1999);
In re Prison Litigation Reform Act, 105 F.3d 1131,
1137 (6th Cir. 1997). Thus, each Plaintiff is liable for
$26.92. Because Plaintiff Jackson has filed at least three
lawsuits that were dismissed as frivolous, malicious or for
failure to state a claim, he is barred from proceeding in
forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). The Court
will order Plaintiff Paul Jackson to pay his $26.92 portion
of the filing fee within twenty-eight (28) days of this
opinion and accompanying order. If Plaintiff fails to do so,
the Court will order that his claims be dismissed without
prejudice. Even if the case is dismissed, Plaintiff will be
responsible for payment of his $26.92 share of the filing
fee, in accordance with In re Alea, 286 F.3d 378,
380-81 (6th Cir. 2002).
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110
Stat. 1321 (1996), which was enacted on April 26, 1996,
amended the procedural rules governing a prisoner's
request for the privilege of proceeding in forma
pauperis. As the Sixth Circuit has stated, the PLRA was
“aimed at the skyrocketing numbers of claims filed by
prisoners - many of which are meritless - and the
corresponding burden those filings have placed on the federal
courts.” Hampton v. Hobbs, 106 F.3d 1281, 1286
(6th Cir. 1997). For that reason, Congress created economic
incentives to prompt a prisoner to “stop and
think” before filing a complaint. Id. For
example, a prisoner is liable for the civil action filing
fee, and if the prisoner qualifies to proceed in forma
pauperis, the prisoner may pay the fee through partial
payments as outlined in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). The
constitutionality of the fee requirements of the PLRA has
been upheld by the Sixth Circuit. Id. at 1288.
addition, another provision reinforces the “stop and
think” aspect of the PLRA by preventing a prisoner from
proceeding in forma pauperis when the prisoner
repeatedly files meritless lawsuits. Known as the
“three-strikes” rule, the provision states:
In no event shall a prisoner bring a civil action or appeal a
judgment in a civil action or proceeding under [the section
governing proceedings in forma pauperis] if 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 may be granted, unless the
prisoner is under imminent danger of serious physical injury.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). The statutory restriction
“[i]n no event, ” found in § 1915(g), is
express and unequivocal. The statute does allow an exception
for a prisoner who is “under imminent danger of serious
physical injury.” The Sixth Circuit has upheld the
constitutionality of the three-strikes rule against arguments
that it violates equal protection, the right of access to the
courts, and due process, and that it constitutes a bill of
attainder and is ex post facto legislation.
Wilson v. Yaklich, 148 F.3d 596, 604-06 (6th Cir.
1998); accord Pointer v. Wilkinson, 502 F.3d 369,
377 (6th Cir. 2007) (citing Wilson, 148 F.3d at
604-06); Rodriguez v. Cook, 169 F.3d 1176, 1178-82
(9th Cir. 1999); Rivera v. Allin, 144 F.3d 719,
723-26 (11th Cir. 1998); Carson v. Johnson, 112 F.3d
818, 821-22 (5th Cir. 1997).
has been an active litigant in the federal courts in
Michigan. The Court has dismissed at least three of
Plaintiff's lawsuits for failure to state a claim.
See Jackson v. Allegan County Jail et al., No.
1:07-cv-1086 (W.D. Mich. Feb. 25, 2008); Jackson v.
Martin et al., No. 1:03-cv-367 (W.D. Mich. June 30,
2003); Jackson v. Hall et al., No. 1:03-cv-332 (W.D.
Mich. May 22, 2003). In addition, Plaintiff Jackson has been
denied leave to proceed in forma pauperis in
multiple prior cases. See Jackson v. Ingham Cty. Jail et
al., No. 1:17-cv-463 (W.D. Mich. June 20, 2017);
Artis et al. v. Ingham Cty. Jail et al., No.
1:17-cv-516 (W.D. Mich. June 19, 2017); Jackson et al. v.
Ingham Cty. Jail et al., No. 1:17-cv-237 (W.D. Mich.
Mar. 23, 2017); Jackson v. 48th Cir. Court et al.,
No. 1:07-cv-1164 (W.D. Mich. Apr. 21, 2008); Jackson v.
Merrill et al., No. 1:07-1275 (W.D. Mich. Apr. 14,
2008); Jackson v. Meijer, Inc. et al., No.
1:07-cv-1250 (W.D. Mich. Apr. 14, 2008); Jackson v. Nancy
et al., No. 1:07-cv-1122 (W.D. Mich. Apr. 14, 2008).
Moreover, Plaintiff's allegations do not fall within the
“imminent danger” exception to the three-strikes
rule. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
§ 1915(g) prohibits Plaintiff from proceeding in
forma pauperis in this action. Plaintiff has
twenty-eight (28) days from the date of entry of this order
to pay his entire $26.92 portion of the civil action filing
fee. When Plaintiff pays his portion of the filing fee, the
Court will screen his complaint as required by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A and 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c). If Plaintiff does
not pay the filing fee within the 28-day period, this case