United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION DENYING LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS -
Honorable Gordon J. Quist, Judge
a civil rights action brought by a state prisoner under 42
U.S.C. § 1983.
initially filed his action in the Southern District of
California, and the action subsequently was transferred to
this Court, where venue is proper. Plaintiff has filed a
series of motions respecting his failure to pay the filing
fee: a motion seeking leave to proceed in forma
pauperis (ECF No. 8); a motion seeking an order
directing the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) to
pay his filing fee (ECF No. 9); and motion seeking an order
vacating the Court's May 30, 2018, deficiency order,
which directed Plaintiff to either pay the full filing fee or
file the documents required to proceed in forma
pauperis (ECF No. 7). Because Plaintiff 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 to pay the $400.00
civil action filing fee applicable to those not permitted to
proceed in forma pauperis. This fee must be
paid within twenty-eight (28) days of this opinion and
accompanying order. If Plaintiff fails to pay the fee, the
Court will order that this case be dismissed without
prejudice. Even if the case is dismissed, Plaintiff must pay
the $400.00 filing fee in accordance with In re
Alea, 286 F.3d 378, 380-81 (6th Cir. 2002). The Court
therefore will deny Plaintiff's motions (ECF Nos. 7-9)
respecting his filing fee.
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.
has been an active litigant in the federal courts in
Michigan. The Court has dismissed three of Plaintiff's
lawsuits for failure to state a claim. See White v.
Renico et al., No. 2:13-cv-158 (W.D. Mich. Mar. 4,
2014); White v. Hathaway et al., 2:09-cv-134 (W.D.
Mich. Oct. 1, 2009); White v. Williams et al.,
2:07-cv-220 (W.D. Mich. Apr. 11, 2008); White v. Mich.
Dep't of Corr., 2:07-cv-86 (W.D. Mich. Nov. 15,
2007). Plaintiff also previously was denied leave to proceed
in forma pauperis in this Court. See White v.
Renico et. al., No. 2:13-cv-158 (W.D. Mich. June 24,
2013). Moreover, Plaintiff's allegations do
not fall within the exception to the three-strikes rule
because he does not allege any facts establishing that he is
under imminent danger of serious physical injury.
§ 1915(g) prohibits Plaintiff from proceeding in
forma pauperis in this action. Plaintiff's pending
motions regarding his filing fee (ECF Nos. 7-9) will be
denied. Plaintiff has twenty-eight (28) days from the date of
entry of this order to pay the entire civil action filing
fee, which is $400.00. When Plaintiff pays his 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
will be dismissed without prejudice, but Plaintiff will
continue to be responsible for payment of the $400.00 filing
 Plaintiff paid the full filing fee
after being denied leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. Upon review of the complaint, the Court
dismissed the action for failure to state a claim, rendering
the case a further strike within the meaning of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(g). See White v. Renico et al., No.