United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT AND DENYING LEAVE TO
APPEAL IN FORMA PAUPERIS
COHN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a civil rights case under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and other
statutes. Plaintiff Michael Mohamed Salami, a pro se
state prisoner, is suing four individuals: his warden, Thomas
O'Bell Winn, and three employees of Corizon Healthcare,
Inc., which provides health care services to inmates in
Michigan prisons. Plaintiff alleges that the defendants
denied him an opportunity to participate in Ramadan by
forcing him to break his fast so that he can take his
medication. (Doc. 1). As will be explained, because Plaintiff
filed three prior complaints which were dismissed for failure
to state a claim, and because he has not prepaid the filing
fee for this action, his complaint will be dismissed under
the “three strikes” provision of 28 U.S.C. §
alleges that he is an active Muslim, who fasts during
Ramadan. Plaintiff also alleges that he takes psychiatric
medication. Earlier this year, he asked defendant Girard
whether he could take his medication with water before
sunrise so that he would not have to break his fast during
the day. Girard denied Plaintiff's request and told him
that he could either go without his medication or not observe
Ramadan, because clergy members had said that individuals on
medication are exempt from Ramadan. (Doc. 1, unnumbered page
challenged Girard's decision, using administrative
remedies at the prison, but defendant R.N. #13 denied his
grievance at step one of the grievance procedures, and
defendant Winn denied his grievance at step two.
Plaintiff's grievance was also denied at the third and
final step of the grievance procedures. Id.,
unnumbered pages 2-3. He now seeks money damages and a
declaratory judgment for alleged violations of his rights
under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Id., unnumbered pages 3-4.
did not prepay the filing fee for this action. The Court
therefore assumes that he wishes to proceed under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b) without prepaying the filing fee.
a federal litigant who is too poor to pay court fees
“may commence a civil action without prepaying fees or
paying certain expenses.” Coleman v.
Tollefson, 135 S.Ct. 1759, 1761 (2015) (citing 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915). But, as the Supreme Court explained in
a special “three strikes” provision prevents a
court from affording in forma pauperis status where
the litigant is a prisoner and he or she “has, on 3 or
more prior occasions, while incarcerated . . ., 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
Id. (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)). An exception
to this rule applies when “the prisoner is under
imminent danger of serious physical injury.” 28 U.S.C.
three strikes rule is not an affirmative defense that must be
raised in the pleadings.” Harris v. New York,
607 F.3d 18, 23 (2d Cir. 2010). Therefore, “a district
court can invoke § 1915(g) to dismiss a prisoner lawsuit
even if the three strikes rule has not been raised by the
defendant in the pleadings.” Id.; see also
Witzke v. Hiller, 966 F.Supp. 538, 539 (E.D. Mich. 1997)
(dismissing the prisoner's complaint sua sponte
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g)).
of Plaintiff's previous complaints have been summarily
dismissed for failure to state a claim. See Salami v.
Winn, et al., No. 19-cv-11568 (E.D. Mich. May 31, 2019);
Salami v. Michigan State Police Forensic Science
Laboratory, et al., No. 19-cv-10215 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 1,
2019); and Salami v. Michigan State Police Forensic
Science Laboratory, et al., No. 18-cv-13282 (E.D. Mich.
Feb. 5, 2019). Furthermore, Plaintiff has not demonstrated
that he was ...