Williams v. McCormack et al
ORDER OF DISMISSAL, this case is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE pursuant to the three-strikes rule; if pltf wishes to proceed with this claim, he must, within 30 days of the entry of this Order, submit the $350 filing fee, along with a Motion to Reopen this case; judgment will be entered accordingly. Signed by Chief Judge J. Leon Holmes on 8/15/11. (vjt)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
No. 4:11CV00587 JLH
JAMES W MCCORMACK, Clerk,
United States District Court,
Eastern District of Arkansas, et al.
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
Plaintiff, Thelma Williams, Jr., who is a prisoner in the Varner Super Max Unit of the
Arkansas Department of Correction, has filed a pro se Complaint. See docket entry #1. However,
he has not paid the $350 filing fee or filed an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis.
The Prison Litigation Reform Act contains a three-strikes provision, which specifies that a
prisoner cannot proceed 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); see also Higgins v. Carpenter, 258 F.3d 797, 800 (8th Cir. 2002) (holding that
§ 1915(g) is constitutional).
The Court’s records demonstrate that Plaintiff has previously filed at least three cases that
were dismissed for failing to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See Williams v.
Gibson, 5:07CV00178 WRW (dismissed on Aug. 13, 2007, and dismissal affirmed on appeal on
Feb. 13, 2008); Williams v. Bennett; 5:07CV00179 JMM (dismissed on Aug. 17, 2007, and dismissal
affirmed on appeal on Feb. 13, 2008); Williams v. Smallwood; 5:07CV00181 JMM (dismissed on
September 13, 2007, and dismissal affirmed on appeal on December 8, 2008). Accordingly, Plaintiff
has accumulated three strikes, as defined by § 1915(g), prior to commencing this action on
January 28, 2011.1
Even though Plaintiff is a three striker, he may be allowed to proceed in forma pauperis if
he falls under the “imminent danger” exception to the three strikes rule that is set forth in § 1915(g).
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) (providing that three strikers should, nevertheless, be granted permission
to proceed in forma pauperis if they are “under imminent danger of serious physical injury”).
Ashley v. Dilworth, 147 F.3d 715, 717 (8th Cir. 1998), the Eighth Circuit explained that the
exception applies only if the prisoner alleges that he is in imminent danger “at the time of filing” and
that “[a]llegations that the prisoner has faced imminent danger in the past are insufficient.”
(Emphasis in the original.) The Eighth Circuit also has been reluctant to apply the imminent danger
exception unless the alleged ongoing danger exposes the prisoner to a risk of a truly serious physical
injury. Compare Ashley, 147 F.3d at 717 (applying the imminent danger exception when a prisoner
alleged that prison officials continued to place him near his enemies despite two prior stabbings),
with Martin v. Shelton, 319 F.3d 1048,1050 (8th Cir. 2003) (refusing to apply the imminent danger
exception when a plaintiff alleged that prison officials made him work outside in extreme weather
conditions that did not result in any serious physical injuries).
Additionally, Williams has previously had at least eighteen cases dismissed, pursuant to the
three-strikes rule. See Williams v. Edward, 2:08CV00188 JLH; Williams v. Sims, 2:08CV00196
WRW; Williams v. Cathell; 4:09CV00039 JMM; Williams v. Ferricher, 5:09CV00005 JMM;
Williams v. Manus, 5:09CV00144 SWW; Williams v. Mears, 4:10CV00140 JLH; Williams v.
Johnson, 4:10CV00141 SWW; Williams v. Yount, 4:10CV00142 SWW; Williams v. Crouch,
4:10CV00143 JMM; Williams v. Yount, 4:10CV01759 JLH; Williams v. Hicks, 5:10CV00125 JLH;
Williams v. Smith, 5:10CV00228 DPM; Williams v. Smith; 5:10CV274 SWW; Williams v. Free,
5:10CV00145 SWW; Williams v. Johnson, 5:11CV0005 SWW; Williaims v. Crouch, 5:11CV00007
DPM; Williams v. Moore; 5:11CV00018 DPM; Williams v. Harden, 2:11CV00021 JLH/JTR.
In his complaint, Plaintiff names a United States District Judge, three United States court
clerks, and a prison employee who works in the mail room of the Varner unit. Plaintiff does not
allege that he is under imminent danger of serious physical injury. He does not allege any facts
which would tend to prove that he is at such a risk. Plaintiff’s complaint seeks copies of all his
“DNA evidence, motions, briefs, [and] responses” that the defendants by law should send him, as
well as his court files and paper work. It is clear that Plaintiff does not satisfy the imminent danger
exception to the three strikes rule. Thus, it would be futile to order him to file an Application to
Proceed In Forma Pauperis.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:
This case is DISMISSED, WITHOUT PREJUDICE, pursuant to the three-strikes rule
set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
If Plaintiff wishes to proceed with this claims, he must, within thirty days of the
entry of this Order of Dismissal: (a) pay the statutory filing fee of $350, in full, noting the above
case style and number; and (b) file a Motion to Reopen the case.
The Court CERTIFIES, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an in forma pauperis
appeal from this Order of Dismissal and the accompanying Judgment would not be taken in good
DATED this 15th day of August, 2011.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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